No, this has nothing to do with the Zach Williams song by the same name which is, without question, a very important and uplifting piece of music. Instead, this article speaks of the bondage and chains that many are held captive in by religious traditions and legalism. This is true for many people including church leaders and everyday Christians.

As a conservative Christian, I am all about tradition in terms of social and political issues and believe that scripture is the literal word of God and we must treat it as such. We are to literally take God’s word as truth and treat our lives according to the principles laid out in His word. Personally, I do not see anything wrong with living by certain traditions of the church or family but there are too many people who live by tradition and legalism even if it goes against God’s word.

When this is the case, we are putting more stock into the traditions of man than the word of God but this is not anything new. There are different events within scripture where the church elders and/or believers put their sacred traditions of their faith over the word of God and one of the best examples of this comes from Matthew when the church leaders were mad at Christ for healing on the Sabbath.

Can you imagine someone being mad at a doctor for healing anyone on a certain day? Matthew Chapter 12 tells the story of a man with a deformed hand that Christ healed on the Sabbath and this displeased many. This was unfortunate to read and it’s unfortunate to realize that the same attitude and mindsets held way back when are still held today and according to some during His day, Christ violated the Sabbath by healing on it. Clearly, such thinking is unbiblical and extreme but this is what happens when legalism is accepted before God’s word.

In Matthew fifteen (15), we see there is a real debate over tradition and moral defilement and ultimately, the dangers of tradition and vain worship. There is an old saying about the more time changes, the more things stay the same and while there are a lot of changes that come with time, there is a lot of truth behind this saying and this is especially truth with people.

People of this day were focused in on an image, a representation of what they thought a believer was to be like, but many of them had their hearts in all the wrong places. The same is true for many people today. Too many people within church buildings or behind the pulpit are there for all the wrong reasons and while I do not know people’s hearts or why they do what they do but God does and as believers, we are to see them for their fruits and scripture teaches us that a tree of good fruit will not produce bad fruit and a tree of bad fruit will not produce good fruit (Matthew 7:18).

The good news is we do not have to be held in bondage or captivity to legalism or traditions. Christ gave us all His holy word and all of the answers that we are searching for and how to do things are within it. There are many people who make life far more difficult than it has to be and if you allow your mind to wonder, as I often times do, the questions can get deeper and more extreme. Examples of this including rather or not a cremated person can get to Heaven, if a smoker can get into Heaven, or if a person can lose their salvation or not and while these questions can be fun to research and discuss, we should never but our own opinions before that of what Christ actually says.

God’s word says a lot and reveals a lot which is why it is so important for us to be active in it: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). His word lets us know that there is a better way, one that He has planned for our lives: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11). Maybe most importantly is that God has made a way to break such chains: ”

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted; to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19).

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

–John 8:31-32

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Written by Billy Ray Parrish


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Christ’s Compassion