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?
“When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of Grace, he frees him from his natural bondage under sin,…”
Christian, sin no longer has any power over you. It is not your master. Those who are converted are freed from the bondage of sin. The guilt it holds over us is removed by the work of Christ, and we need not fear that we will be forever desiring sin. We are free!
Who is it that frees us from this bondage? Definitely not us! We cannot look in the mirror and say each morning, “I am freed from sin” and voila – it happens! No, we are powerless to change ourselves. It is God who converts us from slaves to sin to adopted sons of Himself. He makes the provision for our sin. He changes our state of loving sin to hating it. God alone makes this happen.
Knowing that it is God who has freed us from the bondage of sin gives us hope, for this freedom is an act of an all-powerful Being. Therefore, there is no way that this act of redemption could be half-baked: “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” We are freed from sin, all thanks to Him!
Questions to Consider
Do you ever doubt that as a Christian you are freed from sin’s rule in your life?
“Modern Christians seem to marginalize the doctrine of Christian liberty. The subject is rarely discussed in any systematic theologies. Even practical books on Christian living often gloss over the topic. For some, the doctrine of Christian liberty is just not that important in relationship to other doctrines of the faith. For others, the doctrine of Christian liberty is too controversial. Consequently, many modern Christians fail to give this doctrine the attention it deserves.” – from Dr. Bob Gonzalez over at It Is Written, read more…
“Many of today’s young evangelicals have happily thrown off the legalistic fundamentalism of their childhood. They’ve come to a greater understanding of God’s abundant grace, and the gospel has liberated them from slavery to guilt and fear. That’s a very good thing. But I submit that recovering the gospel alone isn’t enough to keep legalism at bay. We need a renewed emphasis on the law of God or else legalism will inevitably reemerge. Specifically, we need a clear emphasis on (1) the law as a covenant, and (2) the law as a standard or rule.” – from Tom Hicks over at The Blog (Founders), read more…
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