“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.”
– Romans 8:18-21
Through Christ Jesus, we have been made free – free from despair, free from the apparent futility of life, free from the enslavement to corruption, sin and death. Whereas some wonder if there is life after death, we who look to the Christ have a certitude of personality survival on into eternity.
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.”
– 1 Thessalonians 4:13
That assurance is verified through our spirit as the spirit of truth bears witness that we are sons of God and heirs of Christ (Romans 8:16) – heirs to the heavenly kingdom. We must be careful to safeguard this freedom and not let it be trampled upon by doubt, smothered by anxiety, or destroyed by looking to the weak and beggarly elementary things. Yes, we live in the flesh, but we are not led by the flesh. We are led by spirit.
“For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.”
– Romans 8:14
The early Christians, being mostly Jews, had an especially difficult time keeping their minds on their spiritual inheritance. Their long history of law-keeping, seasonal observances, sacrifice and offerings seemed to always lurk in the background threatening to swallow their new found freedom. Paul was thus obliged to repeatedly counsel those brothers and sisters not to look back to the Law Covenant or the things under the law. For if they did, then as to them individually, the Christ died for nothing. (Galatians 2:21)
Strangely, Christians today, the vast majority of whom are not fleshly Jews and were never under law, are falling victim to the same folly of turning to the Law Covenant of the Jews as a guide and measure of their faith. We refer to that as “rebuilding Jerusalem” and it is to be strictly avoided because such a course will nullify our spiritual inheritance and cause us to be condemned as those under law.
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a]free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."
– Romans 8:1-4
Let us examine what it means to “rebuild Jerusalem” and how that can affect our freedom – the freedom Christ lived and died for – as well as our eternal future.