Sermon #14631 Miscellaneous Sermons
Text: Romans 8:21
Date: Sunday Evening –
Tape # W-50b
Nothing in all the
world can be compared to freedom. In just three days almost everyone in the
· Cuban Refuges.
· Freed Captives – Hostages.
· Freed Slaves.
Obviously, you have not come here to hear and I have not come to talk about political freedom. I have come to talk to you and I hope you are anxious to hear about a freedom that will liberate your soul. The title of my message tonight is -- Liberty – Glorious Liberty! Our text will be Romans 8:21.
Our text speaks of both bondage and liberty, “the bondage of corruption and the glorious liberty of the children of God”. “The bondage of corruption” -- is that bondage into which sin has brought us. It is the bondage of nature, the bondage which makes us all miserable slaves and prisoners. This bondage of corruption is the forerunner of the everlasting torments of hell’s bondage. Unless God intervenes, it will bring us and our children into eternal misery at last.
All who live in the dungeon of sensuality and corruption, as the willing bond slaves of sin, dragged from place to place by the chains of envy, malice, anger, and wrath shall spend eternity in the darkness and corruption of hell under the wrath of God, unless the Son of God makes them free.
“The bondage of corruption” holds multitudes in abject servitude to fashion, style, and social approval. It makes us all, by nature, slaves to our own corrupt passions; and that man who is a slave to his own passions is a slave to the worst possible despot. Physical slavery is the most immoral, debasing abuse of humanity imaginable. However, this “bondage of corruption” is indescribably worse. This is the bondage not of our bodies, but of our hearts, our minds, our souls! This satanic “bondage of corruption” manifest itself in many ways…
· The Bondage Of Sin.
· The Bondage Of The Law.
· The Bondage Of Social Acceptance And Approval.
· The Bondage Of Religious Tradition, Custom, And Superstition.
The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God came into this world to deliver God’s elect from “the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God”. He came to set the captive free, to open the doors of the prison which held his people in captivity, to break the oppressive chains and shackles which held us captives to sin and Satan. Christ is the great liberator of men’s souls. He came to set his people free.
Proposition: Salvation is the deliverance of chosen, redeemed sinners by the grace and power of God “into the glorious liberty of the children of God”.
That is my subject tonight. I want to preach to you about -- Liberty – Glorious Liberty! I realize that this is a very controversial subject. But it is controversial only because of the prevailing errors of ascetic, legal religion which have become so universally accepted that all men call liberty licentiousness and bondage godliness. All human religion is bondage, operates upon principles of bondage, and seeks to keep people in bondage.
Tonight, I want to stop the mouths of those who would bring the children of God into bondage. However, I hope to go beyond the quibbles of theological controversy and give you some very plain, practical instructions about the matter of Christian liberty. I want us to look into the Word of God and see what God has to say to his people about their liberty in Christ. I want every child of God to know that since Christ has made us free, it is our responsibility both to stand fast in the liberty of his grace, refusing to be brought again under the yoke of legal bondage, and to use the liberty he has given us for the glory of his name and the good of his people.
1. Jesus Christ alone is the great Liberator of men.
2. Faith in Christ brings us into “the glorious liberty of the children of God”.
3. There is a glorious liberty yet to be revealed.
I. JESUS CHRIST ALONE IS THE GREAT LIBERATOR OF MEN.
No one ever comes to enjoy true liberty before God, true liberty of heart and mind, true liberty in his soul, until he is set free by the merit of Christ’s blood and the power of his grace. It is this liberty of grace that I want for you.
A. However, I must first warn you to beware of false liberty.
Everything good, every work of God’s grace is imitated by Satan. He is a master counterfeiter. Multitudes are deceived by him with a false liberty. Therefore, I warn you.
“liberty” has bee greatly abused by many. I have personally heard men use it to
excuse and justify everything from
1. A Religious Profession
Multitudes are so naïve and gullible that they think a mere profession of religion is liberty from the curse of the law and the wrath of God. They think they are free because they profess that they are free!
Many a man grows weary of his evil ways and seeks freedom by making an outward moral reformation. Really, most of what passes for Christianity is nothing more than a reformation of life.
is a vile, atrocious thing. It says, “Since salvation is by grace, it does not
matter how I live, or what I do.” We are frequently called antinomians, just as
Paul was (
May God the Holy Spirit keep us from a false liberty. It is far better to be in bondage and know it than to be in bondage and think your bondage is liberty.
B. However, I do want you to see that the Lord Jesus Christ truly does make sinners free (John -36; Rom. ; Gal. 4:6-7; 5:1).
True liberty, the liberty of grace, the liberty of life and peace in Christ is obtained only by the power and authority of God’s eternal Son. Only the Son can make you free. Let me show you the significance of those words.
During the days of our Lord’s earthly ministry there was a custom among the Greeks and Romans. When a man died, if he left slave they became the property of his eldest son. If the son said, “I proclaim these slaves, left to me by my father, free men”, those slaves were forever free and could never be taken into slavery again. Under Greek and Roman law, that was the one, certain way by which a slave could obtain his liberty. If the son proclaimed freedom, the slave must go free.
Do you see the illustration? Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the great Heir of promise. If he, the Son of God, makes you free, you shall be free indeed!
1. The Lord Jesus Christ purchased freedom for his people by his precious blood (Gal. ).
2. The Son of God comes to chosen, redeemed sinners in the preaching of the gospel and proclaims liberty to captives (Isa. 61:1-3).
a. He proclaims liberty accomplished.
b. He proclaims liberty freely and unconditionally.
c. He proclaims liberty available.
3. However, the Lord Jesus Christ is more than a proclaimer of liberty, he accomplishes liberty, effectually brings his elect into the glorious liberty of his grace by the power of his Spirit.
“He breaks the power of cancelled sin;
He sets the prisoner free!
His blood can make the foulest clean;
His blood avails for me!”
Note: The instrument by which the Lord Jesus brings liberty to his people is the Word of God (John ).
The preaching of the gospel is like the blowing of
the jubilee trumpet. The more clearly the truths of the gospel are preached and
understood, the more fully liberty is enjoyed. Bondage comes from error.
II. FAITH IN CHRIST BRINGS US INTO THIS “GLORIOUS
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).
Let me describe that liberty which is ours in Christ Jesus. May God give us grace ever to promote it and walk in it for the honor of his name.
A. 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.
1. The Lord Jesus Christ frees his people from the bondage of sin (Rom. -18).
Believers are not free from the being of sin, the body of sin, or the acts of sin. All God’s 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.
a. The guilt of sin has been removed by the blood of Christ.
[1 Peter 4:1] "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin."
The condemnation of sin has been removed by that same precious blood (
c. The power of sin has been broken by the power of God’s saving grace.
2. 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 taken them captive at his will to do his bidding.
salvation the Spirit of God dethrones Satan. He enters the hearts of God’s
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
Illustrations: The Dungeon
Pilgrim and the Roaring Lion
3. The Lord Jesus Christ has also made us free from the law (Rom. ,15;7:4; 8:2; 10:4; Gal. -25).
a. We are free from all the types and shadows of the ceremonial law.
b. We are free from all the rigors of Old Testament dietary laws.
c. We are free from statutes and curses of the law.
d. We are free in Christ from the bondage, terror, and rule of the law as a way of life.
The Word of God is so abundantly clear in this matter that error here is inexcusable. In Christ God’s people have no covenant with the law, no curse from the law, no condemnation by the law, and absolutely no obligation to the law. Christ has satisfied all the law for us and we fulfill all the law by faith in him (Rom. ). The lives of God’s people in this world are not ruled, governed, and motivated by rules and regulations, but by gratitude, love, and faith for the glory of God (1 John 3:23; 2 Cor. 5:14).
4. Perhaps you are thinking - “What can be wrong with teaching God’s people to live by the ten commands as a rule of life?” Let me show you.
a. It is a direct violation of the Word of God (Col. 2:16-17).
b. Legalism promotes pride and self-righteousness.
c. Legalism always produces severity, judgmentalism, and a condemning spirit.
d. Legalism denies the finished work of Christ and causes men to look not to him alone for everything, but to him and to themselves…
· For Assurance.
· For Sanctification.
· For Acceptance With God.
· For Worthiness.
· For Peace.
There can be absolutely no mixture of law and grace. We must never wear a garment of linen and wool before God, or plow with the ox of grace and the ass of our own works in the same yoke!
This liberty that we have in Christ goes beyond these doctrinal matters. According to the teachings of the New Testament, it reaches to the common, everyday affairs of our lives.
B. Our liberty in Christ gives us total liberty from all the religious customs, traditions, and superstitions of men.
Pharisees, both ancient and modern, impose heavy burdens upon the consciences of men and women by which they make void the Word and commandments of God. We must never allow ourselves to become the servants of such things. We have no obligation to adhere to religious tradition. Indeed, we must not adhere to the oracles of men in spiritual matters (Matt. 15:1-6; Col. 2:6-8, 16-18, 20-23).
C. In Christ God’s people are perfectly free to use every creature of God for their food, happiness, comfort, and satisfaction in this world.
In the Old Testament things were divided into clean and unclean categories for the purposes of ceremonial purification. The Levitical law made the use of some things unlawful. But in this gospel age we are given liberty to use every creature of God. Nothing is common, or unclean of itself (Acts -15; Rom. ; 1 Tim. 4:3-4).
We are perfectly free to use those things which are neither commanded nor forbidden of God, matters of indifference, as we see fit (Rom. 14:2-3, 13-15, 20-23; 1 Cor. 8:9-13). I will lay down no rules about those things. Let me simply offer a few biblical guidelines about the use of those things which are matters of indifference.
1. Do not make any of these things a point of merit before God.
Indifferent things become idolatrous if you make the use or nonuse of them a means of obtaining favor with God, a means of religious devotion, or a means of obtaining peace of conscience.
2. Use all things in moderation.
Eating is not wrong; but gluttony is. Drinking a glass of wine is not wrong; but drunkenness is. Entertainment is not wrong; but reveling is. Use all things wisely, abusing none.
3. Carefully avoid offending your brethren.
To offend a brother is to cause him to go against his own conscience. This we must avoid at all costs to ourselves. My brother’s conscience is more important than my own comfort, happiness, and satisfaction.
4. Make your use of all things subservient to the glory of God, the gospel of Christ, and the welfare of the church.
One more thought about these matters of indifference - John Gill gave this word of caution - “Care should be taken, on the one hand, lest such things should be reckoned indifferent, which are not indifferent, and so any precept, or ordinance of God be neglected; and on the other hand, such as are indifferent, should not be imposed as necessary, which may lead to superstition and will-worship.”
In all things make love for Christ and his people the basis of your actions. Use all things wisely, for the glory of God. And abuse none.
D. Once more, in Christ we are free to worship and serve the Lord our God.
No man can or will truly worship God except by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. But all who are in Christ are free to do so (Eph. ).
1. In Christ we are free to call upon God in prayer.
2. In Christ we are free to all the ordinances of the gospel - Baptism - Church Fellowship - The Lord’s Supper.
3. Those who are in Christ by faith have freely given themselves up as bond slaves to him.
We hold ourselves, and all that we are, and all that we possess in reserve for our Master, his cause, and his family.
“Ready to go, ready to stay,
Ready my place to fill;
Ready for service, lowly or great,
Ready to do His will.”
“All for Jesus, all for Jesus!
All my beings ransomed powers:
All my thoughts, and words, and doings,
All my days and all my hours.
Let my hands perform His bidding,
Let my feet run in His ways;
Let my eyes see Jesus only,
Let my lips speak forth His praise.”
E. And in Christ we are freed from the fear of death (Heb. -15).
Through his incarnation, sufferings, and death he has delivered us, who, through fear of death, were all our lifetime subject to bondage. Death, formidable as it is, is no longer king of terrors to God’s elect.
1. We have no reason to fear the death of this body.
Trusting Christ, believing that we are in him, and having a good hope that we shall ever be with him, we choose to depart this life and be with the Lord.
· We know that to die is gain.
· In the prospect of death and eternity, we can sing, “O death, where is thy sting! O grave, where is thy victory!”
· We both live and die in hope of the resurrection.
2. And in Christ, we have no reason to fear the second, eternal death (Rev. 20:6).
Being justified by his grace and redeemed by his blood, the second death has no power over God’s elect.
“Bold shall I stand in that great day!
For who ought to my charge shall lay?
While through Thy blood absolved I am,
From sin’s tremendous curse and blame?”
III. Still, the Word of God has something more to say about our liberty in Christ - THERE IS A GLORIOUS LIBERTY YET TO BE REVEALED.
This is the liberty spoken of in our text. This is the liberty which the sons of God shall have in the world to come.
A. As soon as the believer dies, he shall be with Christ and with the spirits of just men made perfect - And he shall be free from all sin.
1. We will be free from all the corruption and defilement of sin.
2. We will be free from the very being of sin!
3. And we will be free from all the consequences of sin.
I do not pretend to know all that awaits us in heaven. But this I know - There we shall be free from everything associated with our sin!
· Free from all unbelief!
· Free from all doubts!
· Free from all fears!
· Free from all distresses!
· Free from all evil thoughts!
· Free from all temptations!
· Free from all punishment!
· Free from all pride!
· Free from all conflict!
B. And when Jesus Christ comes again, these very bodies
shall be raised to “The Glorious
In the resurrection, these bodies shall no longer be sinful, but glorious. And they shall not even bear the scars and pains of sin!
1. This body shall be free from every pain and disorder.
2. This body shall be immortal.
soul shall be joined together in perfection. We shall be like Christ. We shall
be with Christ. And we shall never be in danger of the bondage of sin again!
This is “The Glorious
1. Brethren, this liberty we owe, in its entirety, to the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us therefore use our liberty for him.
Would you be made free? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”
See Sermon #433 and Doctrine #42 preached at