Stand Firm in Christian Freedom, Part 2
Scripture: Galatians 5:1
Stand Firm in Christian Freedom!
Text: Galatians 5:1
I. The Fact of Christian Freedom: The purpose of Christ’s redemption was to obtain the believer’s freedom. v. 1a
What is the “freedom” Paul is speaking of? What is a Christian freed from and to?
“the doctrine of Christian freedom must be carefully considered, both to support the doctrine of justification and to encourage and comfort our consciences…” (Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, vol. 26, p. 461).
“…wise and skilful persons are aware that this is one of the most important doctrines connected with salvation. This is not a question whether you shall eat this or that food,- whether you shall observe or neglect a particular day, (which is the foolish notion entertained by many, and the slander uttered by some,) but what is your positive duty before God, what is necessary to salvation, and what cannot be omitted without sin. In short, the controversy relates to the liberty of conscience, when placed before the tribunal of God” (John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries, vol. 21, “Galatians,” p. 146).
“Removing, then, mention of law, and laying aside all consideration of works, we should, when justification is being discussed, embrace God’s mercy alone, turn our attention from ourselves, and look only to Christ” (John Calvin, Institutes, 3.19.2.).
“The point of idolatry is to maintain our own autonomy (i.e., sovereignty) over God” (Michael Horton, God of Promise, p. 15).
“What is crucial is not the tree but the rebellion. What is so wretchedly tragic is God’s image bearer standing over against God. This is the de-god-ing of God so that I can be my own god. This, in short, is idolatry” (D.A. Carson, The God Who Is There, p. 33).
“Every day we sin, both consciously and unconsciously, both willfully and unintentionally. We evangelical believers generally abstain from the grosser sins of society; in fact, we tend to sit in judgment of those who practice such things. But beneath the surface of our own lives we tolerate all kinds of ‘refined’ sins such as selfishness, covetousness, pride, resentment, envy, jealousy, self-righteousness, and a critical spirit toward others” (Jerry Bridges, The Gospel For Real Life, pp. 25-26).
“It is because ‘Christ was made a curse, that He might redeem us from the curse of the law, (Gal. iii. 13;) because He has revoked the power of the law, so far as it held us liable to the judgment of God under the penalty of eternal death; because, in a word, He has rescued us from the tyranny of sin, satan, and death” (John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries, vol. 21, “Galatians,” p. 147).
Guilt: The law says you “ought” to obey but you can’t.
Grace: Jesus fulfilled your “ought.” He fulfilled the Law and therefore removed your “can’t” and your guilt.
Gratitude: The law now says you “ought” because you can. The law says to the justified believer, “Be who you are!”
“For freedom Christ has set us free!”
© John Fonville
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