We are always formed by our past experiences, which creates a tension in the way that we hear and process the Gospel. For some, retreat from legalism moves us toward license. For others, the way of Jesus can never be legalism or license. Instead, we are all invited to live by the Spirit so that we might experience the life of Jesus.
There is now no condemnation—not in guilt, not in measuring up, nor at the end of our lives. And instead of understanding this truth well and living amazing lives, we often misunderstand it and live selfishly and small. God help us!
The promise of Eden, so rich in Genesis 2, gives way to the bondage to sin in Genesis 3. In the same way, the promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, typified in the character of Joseph, gave way to brutal slavery in Egypt. However, God does not leave His people in slavery—He hears them, has compassion on them, and moves among them for their deliverance.