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Gospel Liberty

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18).

The Son of God came down from Heaven to make us free. Let us look into the nature of the liberty Jesus Christ offers you and me.

Liberty from the Slavery of Satan

When we give ourselves like slaves to obey someone, that person is our master (Romans 6:16). Who does man obey? Does he obey God? Certainly not, for the Bible says, “All we like sheep have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6), and “there is none that seeketh after God … there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:11-12).

The lusts and passions of fallen man easily submit to the subtle suggestions of the wicked one. This archenemy deceives and blinds, lest the glorious gospel should shine into the hearts of men (2 Corinthians 4:4). Jesus, however, came to destroy the works of the devil and by His death, and resurrection from the dead, He led captivity captive, and triumphed over principalities and powers (Ephesians 4:8; Colossians 2:15). All who believe in His name are made free.

Liberty from the Guilt and Dominion of Sin

How can anyone know pardon and peace, who never felt condemnation and guilt? The whole need not a physician, but they that are sick (Mark 2:17). Why do some people not feel guilt? Because they do not properly consider what they are in God’s sight. The divine sentence has gone forth, and all the world stands “guilty before God” (Romans 3:19). Jesus came to give us deliverance from this dreadful guilt by offering Himself on the cross. There God made Him to be sin for us; there our iniquities were laid upon Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Not only have our sins been judged on the cross, but our “old man” has been crucified, too (Romans 6:6). By faith in the Son of God we have liberty from the guilt and dominion of sin.

Liberty from the Bondage and Curse of the Law

The law of Moses is described by Peter as a yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1). It made righteous and holy demands on fallen, helpless sinners. Man needs power, and he needs life. By Christ, “all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39).

This is liberty indeed! We have all merited God’s curse by breaking His law. But Jesus, the Redeemer, came forth and rescued us: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Galatians 3:13).

Liberty from the Fear of Death

Nothing can enable us to meet death with composure and peace, but the sheltering power of the blood of the Lamb. In Christ we have the blessed knowledge that we have passed from death unto life, and the assurance that though the physical body may fall asleep, death can have no claim upon us. Jesus has gone through death and judgment in our place. The true language of faith is, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law” (1 Corinthians 15:55-56).

Liberty of Service

The believer is a servant of God, and the Lord’s service is perfect freedom. Jesus says, “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). A Christian works not for liberty, but in liberty; not for life, but from life. This is happy service which flows from the love of a cheerful heart. There are no cares or burdens connected with such service—its only aim is to exalt Him who ransomed us with His own blood. 

Do You Have Liberty?

Can you rejoice in this blessed liberty wherewith Christ has made us free? Or are you fearing, doubting, and trembling as to your eternal prospects? Lift up your eyes to Calvary’s cross, and see in Christ’s death God’s love to sinners. Think of the value of your soul. It is high time to flee from the wrath to come!

Oh, that the Spirit of God might graciously fasten these eternally important thoughts upon your conscience, so that the sincere cry of your heart may be, “What must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:30-31).

—Adapted from Streams of Refreshing from the Fountain of Life by H. H. Snell.