The Christian’s Freedom

On the 4th of July, we celebrate the independence and freedom that is ours as Americans. Our liberties are a privilege not to be taken for granted, and we should regularly remember and review them so that we might stand firm in them. Yet even more precious are the freedoms that we enjoy as Christians – freedoms that transcend national borders, histories, or forms of government. If we still lived under a monarchy – if we lived under a brutal dictator – if we lived under a Communist regime – the freedoms that Christ Jesus has won for us by His death and endlessly righteous life would still be ours, as they are for so many of our brothers and sisters who are citizens of governments other than constitutional republics.

So what are the freedoms of a Christian? In what does our liberty consist, by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone? Briefly, expanding on the Westminster Confession of Faith chapter 20, thus:

  1. We are free from the penalty of sin, the condemning wrath of God, and the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13; Romans 8:1; I Thessalonians 1:10). We have been declared not guilty through faith in Jesus Christ, our debt has been paid by His perfect obedience and the shedding of His blood in our place. The law has been satisfied, God’s anger has been appeased, our record is spotless in Christ.
  2. We are free from having to keep the law as a means of salvation (Galatians 2:15-16; 5:1). No longer are we under the covenant of works, but have died to that covenant – it having been kept perfectly by Jesus on our behalf. We are no longer struggling to be free – we are free indeed, having been rescued by the grace of Jesus.
  3. We are free from the tyranny of Satan, and from this present evil age, the domain of darkness (Colossians 1:13; Galatians 1:4; Acts 26:18; Hebrews 2:14; II Timothy 2:26). The strongman has been bound, he who had the power of death has been rendered powerless, we have been powerfully rescued from Satan’s kingdom and brought into the kingdom of light. He can no longer accuse us of guilt, for we are not guilty in Jesus Christ.
  4. We are free from the power and dominion of sin (Romans 6:6, 14; 8:2). Sin has lost its grip on us, we are no longer its slave. Thus we can practice righteousness by God’s grace, and one day the very presence of sin will be eradicated.
  5. We are free to be what God created us to be, obeying His law not out of slavish fear, but out of a childlike love and willing heart, in the power of the Holy Spirit (Titus 2:14; Romans 8:3-4, 14-15; Galatians 4:6; I John 4:18). We are no longer struggling to be free – we are free to struggle against sin, fighting against it in the power of the Spirit.
  6. We are free from the yoke of the ceremonial law of Moses (given by God for the church under age), and any commandments of men (Ephesians 2:15; Galatians 4:1-7; Colossians 2:20-23). We are not bound by the obligations under which the Jewish church labored – no more food laws, no more sacrificial system, no more religious symbolism of the old covenant. And definitely no human commandments, which Pharisees of all sorts are prone to add to the holy law of God.
  7. We are free from the fear of death, and thus free to lay down our lives for the cause of King Jesus (Hebrews 2:15; Revelation 6:9-11; 7:13-17). There is no more sting in death; rather, it is but our entrance into glory. What can men do to us? Only kill us. They cannot take away our salvation or our freedoms. We go boldly into the world, proclaiming the reconciling love of God in Christ.
  8. We are free to approach the throne of grace without fear, confidently in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16; 10:19-22). God hears our prayers, for He receives us in the person of our great High Priest, His beloved Son. We need not come through any merely human intermediary, but can come directly through Christ Jesus the God-Man to our heavenly Father.
  9. We are free from the evil of afflictions (I Corinthians 15:54-57; II Corinthians 4:15-18; Romans 8:28; Psalm 119:71; Romans 8:18). Though we suffer in this life, every trial comes from the hand of a loving heavenly Father, who is not angry with us, but designs and works all for our transformation and glorification.
  10. We are free from worrying what people think about us, and from the fear of man (Galatians 1:10; I Corinthians 4:3-5). We are no longer slaves to men and their opinions, for we are slaves of God, bond-servants of Jesus Christ. Our boldness is not arrogance, however, for being free from people means that truly…
  11. We are free to love other people sacrificially (Galatians 5:13). True freedom is never license. We are free for the sake of others, and for the glory of God. Christian freedom is self-denying, Christ-affirming, others-pursuing, God-devoted.

These are the deepest, most important and most substantial freedoms that we celebrate, not just one day a year, but every day, and particularly every Lord’s Day. May God enable us to stand firm in this freedom, not be subject again to a yoke of slavery, and not turn our freedom into an opportunity for the flesh.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Great post! Well said. Hope you published this for your congregation. With your permission I might post it for mine!

    Reply

    • Posted by calebcangelosi on July 4, 2016 at 8:29 am

      Feel free to share with your congregation, Chad! Sorry I missed GA. Hope y’all are well.

      Reply

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