Sermon #14631                                      Miscellaneous Sermons


     Title:            Liberty – Glorious Liberty!

     Text:            Romans 8:21

     Subject:       Liberty in Christ

     Date:            Sunday Evening – July 1, 2001

     Tape #         W-50b

     Readings:     David Coleman – James Jordan



Nothing in all the world can be compared to freedom. In just three days almost everyone in the United States will celebrate the blessed freedom and independence of our nation. To win this freedom thousands of men sacrificed their lives. To protect this freedom thousands of others have died. To gain this freedom thousands flood our shores and borders every year. This is the only nation in the world that has to build fences and walls to keep people out. Freedom has enriched our lives. Nothing in all the world can be compared to freedom. Happy are these people who live in freedom! But no one appreciates freedom like one who has escaped from bondage and oppression, tyranny and fear.


·        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.


Romans 8:21 "Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God."


     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.




     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.


     The word “liberty” has bee greatly abused by many. I have personally heard men use it to excuse and justify everything from Hollywood evangelism to homosexuality and the ordination of women to the worship of idols. Do not be deceived. All is not liberty which men call liberty. May God graciously keep us from a false liberty that will bring us into eternal ruin. Here are three common refuges, refuges of lies, into which people run, in hopes of finding liberty. Pay attention to me now. I am not talking to fill in time.


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!


2.   Self-righteousness


     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.


3.   Antinomianism


     Antinomianism 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 (Rom. 3:8). Do not allow that slander to bother you. It is impossible to preach salvation by grace alone and not be charged with that evil by slanderous legalists. However, we must always be on guard against that form of licentiousness. Freedom from the law is not a license to do evil.


     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 8:32-36; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6-7; 5:1).


John 8:32-36 "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."


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."


Galatians 4:6-7 "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."


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."


     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. 3:13).


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).


Isaiah 61:1-3 "The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified."


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 8:32).


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


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. Liberty is the result of truth.




Galatians 4:1-7 "Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; 2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."


     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).


Galatians 5:1-4 "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."


     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. 6:14-18).


Romans 6:14-18 "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness."


     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."


b.   The condemnation of sin has been removed by that same precious blood (Rom. 8:1).


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.


     In 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 kingdom of God’s 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!


                        Illustrations: The Dungeon

                                             Pilgrim and the Roaring Lion


3.   The Lord Jesus Christ has also made us free from the law (Rom. 6:14,15;7:4; 8:2; 10:4; Gal. 3:23-25).


Romans 6:14-15 "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid."


Romans 7:4 "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."


Romans 8:2 "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."


Romans 10:4 "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."


Galatians 3:23-25 "But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster."


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. 3:31). 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).


Matthew 15:1-6 "Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. 3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition."


Colossians 2:6-8 "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."


Colossians 2:16-18 "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. 18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind."


Colossians 2:20-23 "Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh."


     Neither the Church of Christ, nor those men who are sent of God to preach the gospel, nor any other group of men or individual men have any right to add anything to the Word of God. We do not have the right to develop our own rules, dogmas, or doctrines.


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 10:14-15; Rom. 14:14; 1 Tim. 4:3-4).


Romans 14:14 "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."


1 Timothy 4:3-4 "Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:"


     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. 2:18).


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. 2:14-15).


Hebrews 2:14-15 "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."


     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).


Revelation 20:6 "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."


     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 Liberty of the Children of God”!


     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.


     Body and 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 Liberty of the Children of God”!




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.”





















[1] See Sermon #433 and Doctrine #42 preached at Danville (8\15\82 and Tuesday 01/13/98) and Laird St. Baptist Church, New Caney, TX 6\27\87.