So speak you, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
By "the law of liberty" is meant the gospel, whose principles and precepts form a rule of life now, and will be the rule of reward hereafter. It is a law, inasmuch as it prescribes a particular form of character and course of conduct with authority and sanctions; and it is a law of liberty, inasmuch as the only adequate obedience to it is one which is perfectly free, voluntary and cheerful. It is a law that has power to work in its subjects such a spirit as will render their service perfect freedom, procure from them a willing and cheerful performance of its behests, and create such a thorough coincidence between its requirements and the choice of their wills, as will rid their submission of any feeling of restraint or awe of authority.
I. The gospel is a law of liberty, BY ITS TRANSFORMING EFFECT UPON THE PRINCIPLES AND DISPOSITIONS OF MEN. The gospel does not repeal or alter God's law, but republishes it with some remedial and corrective accompaniments. By these, it aims to effect relief for man in that only other way which is practicable — the rectification of his wishes and inclinations, so as to make them coincide with the behests of the law, in order that he may not be free without obedience, but free in obedience.
II. The gospel is a law of liberty, IN RESPECT TO ITS MODE OF LEGISLATING FOR MEN. A free-will service is always a profuse and generous one; and as the gospel produces, expects, and accepts only a free-will service, it deals with its subjects accordingly, as with beings who will have no inclination to economise and stint their service, and dole it out in the very scantiest measures that will answer the literal terms of demand. It does not look for close construction and parsimonious obedience in its subjects, but supposes them to be inflamed with a love of duty, and directed by a spirit of liberal and affectionate loyalty. It is an evil sign of Christian people to see them always hovering on the very verge of positive impropriety and disobedience, casting a wistful eye into Satan's territory, and arguing with the world for the last inch of debatable ground between them. Oh, rather let your doings and renunciations for Christ be generous. For your sakes He became poor. In return, be willing to do much and renounce much, and with light and willing heart take up your cross and follow Him.
(R. A. Hallam, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.