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.