devotional

03APR
2020

LBCF 1689 Reflections. Part 182

Reflections on the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689

 

23 Aug 14 began a perhaps unbroken, orderly, and personal journey through my favorite written confession of faith. These are my personal reflections on this beloved historic Particular Baptist confession of the Christian Faith.

 

NEXT-

 

Chapter 21. “Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience.” Paragraph 1a: “The liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the gospel, consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, the rigour and curse of the law, and in their being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin, from the evil of afflictions, the fear and sting of death, the victory of the grave, and ever-lasting damnation…”

 

There are I see here two separate areas briefly explored on the liberty of the Christian- the first is a freedom from many things. The other is the freedom unto many things. Today, I want to reflect on the first part. Galatians 5:1: “It was for freedom that Christ set us free…” I just love that passage. I need to work it in more everywhere I can I think. Christ sets people free. John 8:36. I’m certain that the more the Spirit of God shows us our sin the more we can grow in our love for God by Christ. When we see how much we’ve been forgiven, Jesus preciousness is magnified in our eyes. Jesus taught this very principle in Luke 7:40-50. Our liberty in Christ reminds us of all we’ve been set free from. This is why I detest a lot of preaching today as it seems to assume, even in evangelism, that mostly everyone listening is doing okay with God and understands God’s grace and so it doesn’t spend any time doing what Jesus or the Apostles did and talk about sin. We just assume that people “get love” when we mention it, forgetting that God’s love is not like what the world loves. 1 John 2:15. Many preachers just want sermonettes on cozy couches to people with no sense of sin, and just seem to want to help people on their way to hell with smiles. Who in their right mind plays around with hell? As a preacher, I simply must detest soft gospeling. I want people cozy on their couches appreciating their Savior.

I love their use of the phrase “rigour and curse of the law” here. It reminds me of exactly why Jesus says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. Weighed down under the burden of the law? Christ can lift your burden. Call on him to save you. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Romans 10:4.

Christians are free. Totally and completely set for heaven are those bought by Jesus. To those still in bondage in the things from which Christians have been set free, this is not even possibly apparent, but the Christians are free. It’s like a former heroin addict free from the addiction among other addicts who pity him the loss of the drug. We know we’ve sinned and sin, but we’re free from the guilt of it. The Law’s jurisdiction lost its hold when we were adopted into the new nation of the kingdom of God and hence God’s just wrath for our evil was removed. The writers of Scripture expound the various ways that one with faith has overcome the world. 1 John 2; 1 Corinthians 15:54-57; Romans 8:2; 2 Peter 2:20, etc.

Christians are free from the fear of hell because Jesus has passed through death and brought them life. Hebrews 2:15; 2 Timothy 1:10. In fact, God’s love casts out such a fear. 1 John 4:18. We can appreciate this more by considering just how free Jesus makes us from the things of SIN. He truly sets people free. That freedom is everything. It is precious. Liberty means heaven. Christians will dwell on a new earth and in some form of new heaven in the age to come. Liberty in Christ means having such hope resident within us.

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