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Sermons from Galeton Community Church

Doctrine of Christian Liberty - True Liberty Defined II

June 19, 2022 Series: Great Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Scripture: John 8:31–47, Galatians 6:14, Galatians 5:22, 2 Timothy 2:24, Psalm 119:65–72, 2 Corinthians 4:8–16, 2 Corinthians 12:10, 1 Samuel 3:1–6, 2 Corinthians 5:6–11

Review

We are taking a nice easy stroll through the concept of Christian Liberty.

As we are beginning to understand, many Christians have an incomplete or faulty understanding of liberty.

The reason that we have this trouble today

  • is because we are competing with what we should really be calling license
  • there are many of us in the church today that prefer license to Christian liberty.

It is my hope that we use this study to bring us into a proper biblical understanding of liberty

  • so that we might find ourselves content in the Lord
  • so that we might find ourselves appreciative of what God has done for us
  • so that we might set aside the errors of this day
    • the errors through indulgence
    • the errors through pride
    • these errors that have so infected our churches

For example – what is today?

  • It is the Lord’s Day
  • It is not Father’s Day
  • It is not Mother’s Day
  • It is not “Go Out to Eat Day”

Likewise, we must have a biblical view of freedom

  • in order to rightly press into those freedoms
  • in order to enjoy them rightly and fully

There is freedrom in true Christian Liberty:

  • from the broken covenant of works

True biblical freedom has tangible implications

  • from the bondage of Satan
  • from the power of sin
  • from the weakness of the flesh
  • from the inordinate attractions to the world.

That is freedom.

  • We cannot be made free by heeding the lies of those souls around us
    • that tell us that freedom means the ability to do what we want when we want
    • that is what the natural man does every day
    • he confuses liberty with license
      • with the “doing” and “chasing” of his pleasures
    • Brothers and sisters
      • this is only to serve your lusts
    • It is not freedom
      • It is bondage

Now, if we would be free

  • Then we must like Jesus said here, know the truth. Jesus is teaching true freedom here.

John 8.31-47

Today

  • We are going to continue in our outline of Article 1 of Chapter 20.

We are going to talk about some other freedoms.

  • We are going to try to get our minds in line with the Scriptures regarding freedom.
  • Instead of the world defining freedom for us….
    • we are going to seek to understand how God defines freedom

Freedom from the Effects of the Broken Covenant of Works

The first section

  • freedom from the guilt of sin
  • freedom condemning wrath of God
  • freedom from the curse of the moral law

→ freedom from the judicial effects of the broken covenant of works

Semicolon – the next carriage-return in the outline

The second section

  • delivery from this present evil world
  • delivery from bondage to Satan
  • delivery from dominion of sin.

→ freedom from the effects of the broken covenant of works

Delivered from the world

  • we are delivered from the flesh and the devil
  • we are delivered from being bound to the world
Three references:

Gal-06.14 → Delivered from the world

  • What Paul is saying there is that he is no longer under the bondage of the world's attractions and distractions and calling him away from the celestial city.
  • Paul is delivered from that temptation John speaks of in 1 John 2

Gal-05.22 → Delivered from bondage to the flesh

  • This should be liberating.

We should think about that in such a way that no longer are we bound to this paradigm:

  • “If I am irritable today, you will just have to bear with me because the flesh is getting the better of me today. “

The Bible says that we have crucified the flesh with its affections and its lusts.

2 Tim-02.24 → Delivered from the devil

  • He holds no authority over us
  • This passage is in regard to us being a bondservant, to Satan, that if God grants repentance, right, under the gospel, we are free from the bondage of Satan.

Unbelievers cannot say that

  • In fact, they are held by him, under fear of death.
Summary

The first section then is talking about the paradigm of sin → freedom from the judicial effects of the broken covenant of works

  • it is guilt
  • its judgment
  • its condemnation.

The second section is talking about the effects of that freedom → freedom from the effects of the broken covenant of works

  • we are freed from the bondage of sin
  • we are freed from the weakness of our flesh
  • we are freed from the attractions of the world
  • we are freed from being born slaves to Satan

The last section, we will look at the freedom from the detriments of evils.

As we continue, it is especially important that we give our minds leave to allow the Scriptures to form our idea of Christian Liberty

  • We must not do as we have always done and force Scripture to form to our mind
  • It does not matter if Scripture aligns with what we have always done or want to do
  • What matters is…what does Scripture say

The world forms their idea by saying things like:

  • I know you have asked me to come to church
    • But, Pastor, you do not understand, I am free from that.
    • I have liberty to decide if I want to come to 0, 1, 2, or 10 services on Sunday
    • You see, I have Christian liberty which the freedom to do what I want when I want.

Brothers and Sisters, do you not know the Scripture tells us that we simply do not have the tools, the perceptions, the accuracy, the foundation of truth within ourselves?

We cannot decide what liberty is on our own.

This is why we must continually work to jettison the ideas in our heads and bring them under the obedience of Christ

  • and we must do so with the biblical idea of freedom

Freedom from Detriment of Evils

Evils of Affliction

In 17th century English, the word evil did not necessarily mean what we think it means today.

  • It simply meant some kind of calamity
  • some kind of dark or difficult providence
  • some kind of affliction that befalls you
    • A car accident would be considered an evil
    • A difficult/ persistent illness would be an evil

It is not necessarily be a moral evil

  • it could be providential evil

We must understand as Christians:

  • The natural man has no hope in Christ
    • Suppose when he feels ill and to goes to the doctor
      • Supposte the doctor says you have six months live, go home, make peace with your family
    • He will exhaust himself on every means available to prolong his life
    • But in the end, that will be a horrible evil.
    • Iin the end, there will be no good for his soul

Do you see that as bondage? That is what it is.

  • They are shut up to those evils.
  • They have nothing but difficulty
    • nothing but evil
    • nothing but negative
    • nothing but bad in the afflictions that come
  • That is bondage.

It is not so for the Christian’s afflictions.

The Christian is delivered from the evils of afflictions

  • Afflictions come
    • but they are not evil to us
    • but they do not destroy us
    • but they do not rule us.

We know whence they come.

  • We know from whom they come

We know the kind intention of our Heavenly Father in sending them

  • And we are delivered
  • And we are freed from the evil of afflictions

The natural man can have none of that

  • There is nothing for him.
    • There is only destitution
    • want and deprivation
    • sadness and despair in his afflictions.
  • There is only bondage. There is no freedom.

For the Christian, there is freedom in having our afflictions do us good.

  • God sends afflictions for our profit
  • And so, we are freed from the evil of afflictions

Psalm 119.65-72

  • We need to be reminded of this truth often
  • How can a natural man say anything like this?

2 Cor-4.8-16

  • What do you think were the light afflictions that the apostle Paul suffered?
    • Five times he received of the Jews 40 lashes save one (2 Cor 11.24)
    • he spent a day and night in the deep, being shipwrecked (2 Cor 11:25)
    • He had been beaten and stoned and left for dead. (Acts 14:19)

What do those kinds of light afflictions work?

  • They work, an eternal weight of glory.

Notice, Paul makes a conscious contrast between light and weight.

  • There is a light affliction
  • But there is the weight of glory.

Paul expects freedom from the evils of afflictions

  • Paul expects that his afflictions will do him good.

Do we have this same expectation?

  • We should, it is in faithfulness, that God afflicts
  • There is a greater hand at work than simply the bare hand of chance, luck, fortune, and those other idolatrous words
  • It is in faithfulness.
  • And so, we should expect a rather good outcome than a than an evil one.

2 Cor-12.10

The apostle says, I take pleasure in infirmities, in persecutions, in distresses

One of the freedoms that we enjoy as Christians that the world cannot enjoy is freedom from the evils of affliction.

We can expect that our afflictions will do us good.

  • And brothers and sisters, is that not a freedom?

The natural man can have it no other way

  • his affliction, his persecution, his deprivation, his denial, his want
    • only brings hopelessness and despair
    • and even perhaps, a fearful expectation of judgment

When trouble comes…which would you prefer?

  • would you be shut up in bondage to suffering hopelessness under your afflictions?
  • would you have it, in Christ under the gospel. To be freed from the evils of elections?

1 Samuel 3.1-6

  • Is that an affliction?
  • What did David do at that very moment?
  • David encouraged himself in the Lord his God

Sting of Death

2 Corinthians 5.6-11

This does not mean that we as Christians are not bound to death, but that we are freed from it staying

  • absent from the body, present with the Lord

So, death holds no sting for the believer

  • while the believer is laid in the grave
    • his body sleeps in Jesus

1 Thess-04.14

We read that our bodies sleep in Jesus.

  • That is a sweet metaphor given to the Christian

To the natural man, what does death bring?

  • He is bound up to fear
  • He is bound up to judgment

Why is the youth culture flourishing today?

  • Why are people getting their bodies changed and augmented so they can look young longer and longer?

Why are all these things going on?

  • because we are afraid of death
    • As a society, we are deathly afraid of it

For the Christian, we are delivered from the sting of death, absent from the body, present with the Lord.

  • Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
  • Those words do not apply to unbelievers.

We to know that we will die

  • It is given to all men once to die, and then comes the judgment.

We know that. But we are freed from death’s sting

  • It has no sting. Right?

Victory of the Grave

This is the doctrine of the resurrection.

Job believed in the resurrection

  • I know that my that my Redeemer liveth
  • And he will stand on the earth of the last days and these eyes will see him my very eyes will see him although my body be consumed by worms.

Abraham believed in it

Isaac and Jacob believed in it.

The natural man is shut up to the finality of death.

We hear people talking about the finality of death.

  • Those words might go together for some
    • but not for the Christian because we believe in the resurrection.

We believe that there is a day coming.

  • Where the sting of death be taken away
  • And the finality of the grave will be removed

The victory of the grave is taken away because it could not hold Jesus Christ

  • He was victorious over death
  • And because He lives
    • you will live also if you believe in him

The natural man is bound up to the finality of death.

  • The natural man is shut up to the finality of death, not us, we believe in the resurrection.

Delivered from Everlasting Damnation

Rev 20.11-13

Christ will come and before him will be a large desk, and it will have books on it and then one book by itself.

  • In the books, there will be what we consider to be the book of works, and every man will be judged out of the book of works.
    • Everything that we have ever done, will be brought to light, we will see our sins, all of those sins that we did not see today, we will see them
  • then there will be another book opened, and it will be the book of life.
    • If your name is not found written in the book of life, then you will be cast into the lake of fire

The Book of Life is a book that is populated with its citizenry, from the foundation of the world.

  • for the believer, there is the freedom from eternal judgment, in Christ, under the gospel

Conclusion

Brothers and sisters

  • I hope you can see that we are going a long way to reprogram our silly 21st century minds that have gotten freedom all wrong

These are wonderful things.

These are huge things.

Christian liberty is not about freedom from the law

  • that I can sin all I want
  • that I cad do whatever I want
  • that my conscience can dictate right from wrong

That is not freedom.

That is going back to bondage

We must begin to move this biblical understanding in our thoughts

  • we must not be attracted/ led away by false notions of “License” masquerading as liberty

If we begin to think according to these standards, these biblical teachings

  • we will begin to appreciate true freedom

We will begin to appreciate that we have

  • freedom from the guilt of sin
  • freedom from the condemning wrath of God
  • freedom from the curse of the law

We will begin to appreciate

  • that we are freed from bondage to sin
  • that we are freed from bondage to Satan
  • that we are freed from an inordinate attraction to the things of the world.

Now, there might be Christians who go to church every Lord’s Day, maybe even in this church, that say things like:

  • Well, Pastor, I understand all of these things.
  • But you know, in the execution of it, I have difficulty living it out.

But let me ask you which is going to be better for your soul?

Continue allowing the world to define freedom

  • Living how you think is best for you
  • Master of your own fortune
  • Accountable to no one but yourself
  • Thinking and claiming to be free under Christ
    • but in reality, you are living in bondage to sin

Or, recognizing that we have these freedoms in Christ

  • we strive
  • and we work
  • and we struggle to honor our Lord
    • seeking to obey Him in all things

Which is going to be better for your soul?

Of course, to ask the question is to answer it, isn't it?

I hope we use this study to bring us into a biblical understanding of liberty so that we might find ourselves content in the Lord.

Last week we said one of the reasons we see people pressing their liberties when they are not really biblical liberties

  • is because they are somehow and, in some way, dissatisfied with the liberty that God has provided.

But we need to reprogram our minds to conform to the Word of God and not conform to ourselves or our cliques or our friend-groups.

We need to become content with what God has declare and given to us…

  • so that we might find ourselves appreciative of what God has done for us
  • so that we might set aside the errors of this day
  • so that we might set aside the indulgence and pride that have infected our churches and our people

True Christian Liberty has nothing to do with

  • what you want to do
  • what you feel like you should do
  • what you feel your conscience tells you to do.

Christ has not set you free to follow your own path.

Christ has set you free so you can follow His.