Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience.
Chapter 21, Paragraph 1.
“…as also in their free access to God, and their yielding obedience unto Him, not out of slavish fear, but a child-like love and willing mind….”
1 John 4:18
As sinners, we have much to fear. Fear of condemnation, fear of the Law, fear of this evil world, fear of future torment. As believers, through our union with Christ, we need not fear those things any more. He took our condemnation. He fulfilled the Law. He defeated evil. We are safe from harm when we are found in Him.
Freed from such a miserable state of being and a horrific future, do we now cower in fear before God? Certainly we ought to be humbled and awe-struck at His very being. But do we need to be apprehensive when approaching Him? Will He turn angry with us when we fail?
Look at who God is. Almighty, all-knowing, everywhere present and holy, yet also most loving and abundant in goodness. This God sent His Son, who lowered Himself and took on human flesh. He endured the terror of this evil world. He suffered the wrath due to our sin. He died so that we may live. In rescuing us, Christ has drawn us so closely to Himself that when God looks at us, He sees Christ’s righteousness as ours. Nothing hinders us from accessing God.
Purchasing for us the freedom to access God, Christ has also procured for us the desire to access God. When we are regenerated, we are enabled by the Holy Spirit to will and do that which is pleasing to God. Enlightened by Him as to His will, we wish to obey Him, and freely act to do so. Knowing the love the Father has lavished on us, we do not need to fearfully obey Him. We are free to obey Him.
Questions to Consider
- What motivates your actions: love of God, or fear of Him?