February 23, 2009 Ration

James 1:25

“But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

The law of liberty….

Artist, you want to be free, do you not? Your freedom in all of life is purchased and awaiting your enjoyment. It is all laid out plainly in the perfect law of liberty. Hear it and act upon it.

No man has enjoyed the pleasures of complete liberation because no man has kept the perfect law perfectly – save Jesus. Christ only has fulfilled the law perfectly. Therefore, only in Christ is found our liberty since we stand enslaved as transgressors of the law.

This liberty we could possess in Christ is explained in the law, which is why we must look into it. It seems that in the arts we desire too quickly to be bound by other laws, other masters. The laws of the flesh, the laws of our passions, the laws of the pride of life, the laws of human autonomy, the laws doled out by men and establishments, the laws of artistic freedom: all these laws only produce burdens, taxes of sorts, for the one who tries to keep them as these laws all have legislators who benefit by their enacting. But God is unlike these lawmakers. He needs not more freedoms Himself, for He is Liberty. Liberty is defined by who God is as God is bound by no one. So the law of liberty – the Word of God – is the only law that actually secures and serves freedom to the one who loves it and perseveres in it, as it is the way of the Liberator.

What does it mean to persevere in the law of liberty? To know what is right is not the same as to do what is right. To persevere means that you do, you act, according to what the law of liberty informs until you find its liberties. A listener only is not a perseverer. A listener only has not yet proven belief. Until knowledge is exercised in an act, it is only good information. But once it is exercised, its power can be enjoyed. This liberty is not experienced in knowledge only. The acting on, the working out, the proven belief of that knowledge is necessary for its enjoyment.

Artists, James tells us that the one who looks into the perfect law and perseveres in it is the one who will be blessed in his doing. God is the Author of all blessings. God is the Grantor of liberty. His liberty is found and understood in His word, which is the law of the universe. When we try to find our liberties elsewhere, apart from God, we only find a measure of indulgence, but never outright liberty. Freedom from God is not liberty; it is mutiny. Unless you can wage a successful revolt against God and secure a greater bounty than the Author of all that you enjoy, your dreams of liberation outside of God are futile. There are no blessings for insurrectionists. There are only stayed graces from a merciful Commander until final judgments can be reckoned. The heirs of the Master, however, will enjoy His liberties!

So artists, let us persevere in understanding that perfect law of liberty – the Word of God, and let us persevere in acting upon what it reveals about the way of liberation. The one who is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts is the one who will be blessed in his doing. Prove, then, and enjoy the glory of the law of liberty! In your artistry, be set free by the perfect law through faithfulness to Christ who perfected it.

Jason Harms


© 2009 The Gaius Project