Evening Reading for April 22

John 8:28-36
Suggested further reading: Romans 6:1-11

These verses show us, lastly, the nature of true liberty. Our Lord declares this to the Jews in one comprehensive sentence. He says, `If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.'

Liberty, most Englishmen know, is rightly esteemed one of the highest temporal blessings. Freedom from foreign dominion, a free constitution, free trade, a free press, civil and religious liberty — what a world of meaning lies beneath these phrases! How many would sacrifice life and fortune to maintain the things which they represent! Yet, after all our boasting, there are many so-called freemen who are nothing better than slaves. There are many who are totally ignorant of the highest, purest form of liberty. The noblest liberty is that which is the property of the true Christian. Those only are perfectly free people whom the Son of God `makes free'. All else will sooner or later be found slaves.

Wherein does the liberty of true Christians consist? Of what is their freedom made up? They are freed from the guilt and consequences of sin by the blood of Christ. Justified, pardoned, forgiven, they can look forward boldly to the Day of Judgement, and cry, `Who shall lay anything to our charge? Who is he that condemneth?' They are freed from the power of sin by the grace of Christ's Spirit. Sin has no longer dominion over them. Renewed, converted, sanctified, they mortify and tread down sin and are no longer led captive by it. Liberty like this is the portion of all true Christians in the day that they flee to Christ by faith and commit their souls to him. That day they become free men. Liberty like this is their portion for evermore. Death cannot stop it. The grave cannot even hold their bodies for more than a little season. Those whom Christ makes free are free to all eternity.

For meditation: John Knox as a slave on a galley ship was freer as a Christian than John Newton as a slave-trader without Christ.

These readings (ISBN: 0 85234 420 1) are copyrighted and made available with permission by
Evangelical Press; 12 Wooler St., Darlington, Co, Durham, England, DL1 1RQ