Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience.
Chapter 21, Paragraph 1.
“…from the Evil of Afflictions; the Fear, and Sting of death, the Victory of the Grave, and Everlasting Damnation:…”
1 Corinthians 15:54-57
2 Thessalonians 1:10
Christ has purchased liberty for His people. Through our union with Christ, we receive multiple freedoms upon regeneration. Among these are:
- freedom from the evil of afflictions,
- freedom from the fear and sting of death,
- freedom from the victory of the grave, and
- freedom from everlasting damnation.
Those who are in Christ no longer experience the evil of afflictions. This may puzzle some readers. Don’t Christians still endure afflictions? How are we free from such pain and hardship? It is not the affliction from which we are freed, but the evil of afflictions. “…after a most special manner [the Providence of God] taketh care of his Church, and disposeth of all things to the good thereof.” (LBCF 5.7)
The same objection may be made of freedom of the fear of death as of the evil of afflictions. “I still fear death – why am I not free from the fear of it?” Dying is unnatural. Death is an enemy. But for the Christian, it is a defeated enemy. Its sting is removed. While we may be apprehensive concerning death, we are not terrified by it.
Our death is not a satisfaction for our sins, but the abolishing of sin and our passage into everlasting life.
-Hercules Collins, An Orthodox Catechism
Death will never be victorious over the Christian. Through Christ we have freedom from the grave’s victory. Life is ours – eternally! “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) Those outside of Christ will receive everlasting damnation. Such torment and condemnation is without end. Believer, Christ has freed you from this!
Questions to Consider
- When you think of afflictions and death, how do you react? Are you reminded of Christ, or do you retreat in fear?