Liberty is “the fullest opportunity for man to be and do the very best that is possible for him.”1 Christian liberty simply speaks of those things that the Christian is free from and free for. In other words, Christian liberty is freedom from the things that threaten or enslave, and freedom for or to the things that God desires and commands. The opposite of liberty is bondage, and the only bondage that the Christian is called to be enslaved to is the yoke of Christ (Matt.11:28-30). Therefore, anything that does not “yoke” us to Christ in His present and effectual grace is not liberty.
There are only two kingdoms that the Bible speaks of: the kingdom of Satan or darkness and the kingdom of Christ or Light (Col.1:13); therefore, every person is a slave of either Satan or Christ. From birth, every child of Adam is born a slave to sin and Satan (Rom.5:10ff). However, through the new birth, we are made slaves of righteousness and Christ. With this general definition in mind, we immediately discover that the unbeliever cannot enjoy this freedom or liberty for he is a slave to sin and Satan (John 8:34; Rom.6:16-22; 2 Tim.2:26).
However, the Christian is free from five spiritual enemies:
- The wrath of God (Rom.5:9, 8:1; John 3:36; Eph.2:3)
- The curse of the Law (Gal.3:10, 13; Rom.6:14)
- The bondage of sin (Rom.3:9; 6:6, 11, 18, 22)
- The terror of death (Rom.5:14ff; 1 Cor.15:55-57; Heb.2:15)
- The captivity of Satan (2 Tim.2:26; 1 John 5:19)
The Christian is free for or to do five spiritual privileges:
- To enjoy the liberty of sonship (Gal.4:1-7)
- To experience the liberty of Truth (John 8:32)
- To enter the liberty of approaching God (Heb.10:19-22; 4:16)
- To express the liberty of service to others (Gal.5:13)
- To experience growth in the grace and knowledge of Christ (2 Pet.3:18)
The means of this liberty is the liberating Spirit given in response to justifying faith.
Galatians 5:5—“For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.”
2 Corinthians 3:17—“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”