Tag Archives: Freedom

“At least, so it ought to be” by Herman Bavinck

“When we are reconciled to God we are reconciled to all things.

When we stand in a right relationship to God we also come to stand in a right relationship over against the world.

The redemption in Christ is a redemption from the guilt and punishment of sin, but it is a redemption also from the world which can so confine and oppress us.

We know that the Father loved the world, and that Christ gained the victory over the world. The world can therefore still oppress us, but it cannot rob us of our good courage (John 16:33).

As children of the Heavenly Father, the believers are not anxious about what they shall eat, and what they shall drink, and with what they shall be clothed, for He knows that they have need of all these things (Matt. 6:25ff.).

They do not gather treasures upon earth, but have their treasure in Heaven where neither moth nor rust corrupts, and where thieves do not break through nor steal (Matt. 6:19–20).

As unknown they are nevertheless known; as dying they live; as chastened they are not killed; as sorrowful yet always rejoicing; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things (2 Cor. 6:9–10).

They do not torment themselves with the ‘Taste not, touch not’ attitude, but regard every creature of God as good and accept it with gratitude (Col. 2:20 and 1 Tim. 4:4).

They remain and they work in the same calling in which they are called and are not bondservants of men but of Christ alone (1 Cor. 7:20–24).

They see in the trials which fall to them not a punishment but a chastisement and a token of God’s love (Heb. 12:5–8).

They are free over against all creatures because nothing can separate them from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus their Lord (Rom. 8:35 and 39).

Indeed, all things are theirs because they are Christ’s (1 Cor. 3:21–23), and all things must work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).

The believer who is justified in Christ is the freest creature in the world.

At least, so it ought to be.”

–Herman Bavinck, The Wonderful Works of God (trans. Henry Zylstra; Glenside, PA: Westminster Seminary Press, 1956/2019), 449-450.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Christian Theology, Faith, grace, Herman Bavinck, Jesus Christ, Justification, Preaching, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Church, The Gospel, Union with Christ, Worship

“Perfect and glorious liberty” by Jonathan Edwards

“In God’s service is a perfect and glorious liberty. We are never free till we become the servants of God; we are never out from under the yoke of bondage till we take Christ’s yoke upon us.

There is as much difference—yea, more—between a man that ties himself strictly to the laws of God, uses the utmost caution lest he should transgress in any point, and a man that gives himself the liberty to go just as his lusts and the devil drive him, or rather, gives his lusts and the devil liberty to drive him where they will, as there is between a bird at liberty in the open air and shut up in a cage.

When a man first gets into Christ he comes out, as it were, of a stinking, dark dungeon into liberty, and although he loved his dungeon while he was in it because he knew not there was any better place in the world, yet when once he has had experience of perfect liberty he would not return again into it for all the world.”

–Jonathan Edwards “Christian Liberty: A Sermon on James 1:25,” in Sermons and Discourses 1720-1723, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 10, Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (New Haven: Yale, 1992), 623. Edwards was 18 years old when he preached this sermon. It may be read here in its entirety.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Theology, Jesus Christ, Jonathan Edwards, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel

“Liberty to everyone” by Jonathan Edwards

“One of the great ends of Christ’s appearing in the world was to proclaim liberty to everyone that would accept of it. He offers a most glorious freedom from the worst of servitudes and bondages.

He opens the doors of the most filthy prisons and draws out of the most loathsome dungeons, redeems out of the worst captivity to a most cruel enemy, frees from the hardest drudgery and brings into a perfect and glorious liberty, even the liberty of the sons of God.” 

–Jonathan Edwards “Christian Liberty: A Sermon on James 1:25,” in Sermons and Discourses 1720-1723, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 10, Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (New Haven: Yale, 1992), 621. Edwards was 18 years old when he preached this sermon. It may be read here in its entirety.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Theology, Jesus Christ, Jonathan Edwards, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel

“The most gracious Master that ever was” by Jonathan Edwards

“Let me take occasion from this doctrine to invite all to the service of God. He is the best, most kind and gracious Master that ever was.

To all those that serve Him He gives perfect liberty, and more than that, He makes His servants His children: all that serve Him, He adopts them and gives them a right to the glorious privileges of the sons of God.

He calls them no more servants, but He calls them children; for He manifests Himself to them, makes them His intimate friends, His heirs and joint-heirs with His Son.

He unbosoms His love to them and embraces them in His arms, and dwells in their souls and makes His abode with them, and gives Himself to them to be their father and their portion. They shall not serve Him for nothing.

In this life He will frequently refresh them with the spiritual dews of heaven. He will shine upon them with beams of light and love. But hereafter He will make them perfectly happy, and that forevermore.

Was there ever so good a Master? Is not this better than to serve Satan, to be the devil’s drudge, and to be rewarded with nothing but misery at last? Is such a liberty as this far preferable to the devil’s dungeon service and slavery?

O then, be invited to cast away his chains, throw off his yoke, and resolve to walk at liberty. Arise out of the dark dungeon, shake thyself from the dust, and Christ shall give thee light.”

–Jonathan Edwards “Christian Liberty: A Sermon on James 1:25,” in Sermons and Discourses 1720-1723, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 10, Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (New Haven: Yale, 1992), 630. Edwards was 18 years old when he preached this sermon. It may be read here in its entirety.

Leave a comment

Filed under Adoption, Christian Theology, God the Father, Jesus Christ, Jonathan Edwards, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel

“The great Liberator” by Donald Macleod

“Jesus is the great Liberator. He is not, like Che Guevara or William Wallace, a mere inspiration from the past. He is alive; and He is in control, possessing authority over the whole of heaven and the whole of earth (Mt. 28:18). He has liberated; He is liberating; and He will liberate still. We, to change the metaphor, are mere builder’s labourers. He is the great Master Builder.

He is not an absent Christ, once active in history but now withdrawn. He is an ever-present one, the great freedom fighter who has already destroyed the powers and who, following His death and resurrection, continues to bring liberation to the world’s spiritual slaves.

Our hope for the world rests not with the great stream of Christian pilgrims following in the footsteps of Jesus, but with the living Jesus Himself: still able to conquer every potentate and still able to open every heart. Everyone who comes to Him finds instant freedom (Mt. 11:29).”

–Donald Macleod, The Person of Christ (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1998), 260.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Theology, Christology, Jesus Christ, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel