The moment a sinner is born again by the Spirit of God and becomes (experimentally) a child of God by faith in Christ, he begins to enjoy true, lasting liberty before God. As we grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, as we mature spiritually, we enjoy that liberty more fully; but the liberty is ours the moment we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. It is both our privilege and our responsibility to walk in, enjoy, and protect this liberty which the Lord Jesus purchased for us by his blood and gave to us by the power of his grace. Any return to bondage is to give up the liberty of grace (Gal. 5:1-4).
††††††††††† In Christ we are free from sin, Satan, and the law. This is where the liberty of grace begins. When a person comes to Christ in faith, he is set free from that bondage in which all men by nature are held as prisoners and slaves.
††††††††††† The Lord Jesus Christ frees his people from the bondage of sin (Rom. 6:14-18). Believers are not free from the being of sin, the body of sin, or the acts of sin. All Godís elect, so long as we are in this world, have to contend with sin. But in Christ we are no longer under the dominion of sin. The guilt of sin has been removed by the blood of Christ. The condemnation of sin has been removed by that same precious blood (Rom. 8:1). The power of sin has been broken by the power of Godís saving grace.
††††††††††† In salvation the Lord Jesus also delivers his people from the power of Satan. By nature the devil holds a usurped dominion over the all men, blinding them, binding them, deceiving them, and taking them captive at his will to do his bidding. In salvation the Spirit of God dethrones Satan. He enters the hearts of Godís elect, binds the strong man, and takes his house. He turns men and women from the power of Satan to God. He translates us from the power of darkness into the kingdom of Godís dear Son. Thus, the believer is no longer a slave to Satan to do his works and lusts. We are not yet freed from the temptations of the devil, or his roars; but we shall never be devoured by him.
††††††††††† In his book, Pilgrimís Progress, John Bunyan drew a picture of the believer making his way through this world by the grace of God. At one point, he describes Pilgrim walking through a dark, dark valley. He had to go through the valley. His path took him there. There was no other way to the Celestial City. As he walked along his path, Pilgrim was suddenly terrified by the roar of a lion nearby. He paused for a moment in fear. The lion continued to roar vehemently. But he must go on his way. As he proceeded, just ahead of him, he saw a huge lion beside his path, roaring and lunging at him, as if he would devour him. Again, he paused in terror. But he would not, he could not go back. So, Pilgrim proceeded in his path to the Celestial City. As he walked on in his appointed path, he saw that the lion roaring at him was tethered by a huge chain, his claws and teeth were all gone. All he could do was roar.
Child of God, Satan is, indeed, a roaring lion which would devour us if he could. But all he can do is roar. Christ has bound the lion, taken away his power, and freed us from him forever! When Satan roars against you, look up to Christ on his throne, see in his hand the chain by which the fiend of hell is bound, and walk on in your appointed path to your predestined end with joy.