Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Our Liberty In Christ

Temple Baptist Church - 4-1-2009

Galatians 2:1-5


A. Galatians is a defense of justification through faith in Christ alone. We do not have the righteousness of the law but the righteousness of Christ. The difference: the righteousness of the Law was not meant to save and the righteousness of Christ is the only way of salvation.

Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (The Law condemns while Christ liberates!)

Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

B. The world thinks that we are “bound” because of salvation but the truth is this: the world is bound by sin while we are made free in Christ Jesus.

John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (Christians are not bound by a set of rules. We are bound by our love and debt! We are truly debtors and those who love Christ obey His commandments.)

C. The child of God has been MADE free, not set free!

1. Free From The Condemnation of Sin - Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2. Free From The Bondage of Sin - Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

3. Free From The Bondage of The Law – Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Salvation is “done,” not “do.”)

4. Free From The Bondage of Fear - Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (No fear of hell or death!)

5. Free From The Bondage of Corruption - Romans 8:18-25 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

6. Made free from the Law of Death - 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

D. One of the greatest attacks upon the believer today is the attack against our liberty which we have in Christ. Before I get into the subject of religious liberty, we need to define just what liberty in Christ is and is not.

1. Liberty in Christ is NEVER license to sin! Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

1 Peter 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

2. Liberty in Christ is ALWAYS liberty to serve! 1 Corinthians 9:19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

E. Our Liberty is attacked by what the scripture defines as “false brethren.” Vs. 4

These are people who never understood salvation by grace through faith. To them, man has to “do his part” in order to be saved or remain saved. Two things prove this theology erroneous to the true believer:

1. Characterization by Word of God – it depicts man in his natural state of depravity as helpless, hopeless and worthless outside of the righteousness of Christ.

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

2. Conviction by the Spirit of God – the Holy Ghost convicts the true believer of sinfulness and his need of salvation through Christ alone.

John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

F. Our Liberty is attacked by weaker brethren. “Taste not, touch not, handle not, etc.” The entire chapter of Romans 14 is given to this subject. Well intending brethren are continually trying to force their preferences or convictions upon other believers.

Romans 14:22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.

H. True Liberty should be based upon the absolute Lordship of Christ in our lives! If He is Lord in our lives, then liberty is a glorious thing that will never be or cause a problem to others. This is the Liberty that Paul set forth in the Pauline Epistles.

I. Let’s look at our liberty for a few minutes. Here are some simple “rules” to follow when exercising our liberty:

1. Our Liberty Should Never Make Void Plain Scripture - Many things are clearly set forth in the Bible. The Word of God either condemns them or commands them. These are not matters of preference but conviction. Often we call our preferences convictions or call convictions preferences, according to what we want or intend to do with them. If the Bible either condemns or commands, there is no liberty to go contrary to it.

2. Our Liberty Should Never Be Exercised Contrary To The Clear Leading Of The Holy Ghost – God has given to us His precious Spirit to lead us into God’s will for our lives.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

3. Our Liberty Should Never Become A Stumbling Block To A Weaker Brother.

Romans 14:13-15 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. 14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

4. Our Liberty Should Never Be Purposefully Offensive To Another Believer. (Notice that I used the word purposefully. We often “offend” others without knowing it. I am speaking of knowing that something will offend another and willfully doing it anyway.)

1 Corinthians 8:13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

5. Our Liberty Should Never Become A Stumbling Block To The Lost. Many times the lost know or think that they know more about how Christians should behave themselves than we do!

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven

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