CHRISTIAN LIBERTY

Dr. Grant C. Richison

 

 

I. Two violations of Christian liberty:

License

uses grace as an excuse to sin

ends in anarchy

Legalism

an attitude which conforms to a code to please self.

not to opposite of liberty.

 

II. Definition of Liberty

A. Liberty is your position in Christ.

B. Liberty has restrictions:

Wrongly restricted liberty is legalism.

Unrestricted liberty is license.

Rightly restricted liberty is limited by love, Ga. 5:13.

C. Liberty is the opposite of slavery.

Liberty from sin positionally, Ro. 6:17-22.

Liberty is limited by the nature of God.

 

III. An illusion — freedom apart from God.

 

IV. Essential condition of freedom is its end purpose God’s glory.

Freedom is a means to an end, not the acts of a life.

Proper perspective points to the proper end.

 

V. The principle — Freedom is a compulsion of love to serve God’s glory.

The believer is so constituted that he can only be happy operating in this higher sphere.

Freedom is filial, not legal. Christianity is a relationship, not a morality.

 

VI. The creator-creature relationship limits liberty.

A. A believer is only free when he is in right relation to God.

B. It is a love-limited liberty. 1 Cor. 8:13; 9:13-22.

C. It is forensic, not a life lived in quest of God’s approval: “Accepted by God in Christ.”

 

VII. Freedom is the dignity of determination.

A. The mainspring of action is the will.

B. The will functions most directly in attention.

C. Attention is the basis of self-control.

D. Interest is the basis of attention.

Self-control is not dependent upon the power of the will; It depends upon attention. The chief support of attention is strong and varied interest.

E. Relationship is the basis of interest.

The impulse to act must be kept subordinate to the considered view of what is best in terms of unforeseen results.

The exercise of the free will, then, in directing attention is essential in self-control.

F. Therefore, our conduct is directed in light of our philosophy of life which gives us principles for living.

This is government from within from ideas freely chosen.

G. To control our emotions, we must use indirect means (attention/actions).

H. The principle of displacement is the key — 2 Co. 10:5

I. We form character by our choices and decisions; we form our characters which in turn make later choices and decisions of a certain kind.

Character is never completely formed, however, there is a point where a person becomes mature.

J. Only as we present ourselves available to God (yield) do we become free (in our relation with God).

Our will is no longer divided against itself. When we yield to our sin capacity we are at variance with ourselves, and therefore not free.

K. The Christian life is not a set of rules but a set of principles.

Principles guide the believer in the choices he makes.

 

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