Sunday, 07 December 2003 00:00

I Am Free

Galatians 5:1 (KJV)

Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

John 8:36 (KJV)

If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

I Peter 2:17 (KJV)

Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.

The opposite of freedom is bondage. Many Christians feel in bondage to:

SIN: Some Christians make excuses, rationalizations and justifications for sin.

  1. Parents
  2. Background
  3. Trauma, etc.

The truth is, Christians must take responsibility for their actions."For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin, because anyone who has died has been freed from sin" (Romans 6:6, 7).

SATAN: Some Christians have fallen into the old heretical trap called dualism - the belief that God and Satan are struggling for control of a soul.

The truth is, all men are in bondage to Satan, but God sets His people free."For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves" (Colossians 1:13). (Please see Luke 13:16, John 8:38-44, Acts 26:18, II Corinthians 4:4, Ephesians 2)

THE LAW: Many Christians feel God's blessings, love, goodness, and graces are given because of obedience to the law.

The truth is, all of God's blessings are in Christ and received through faith in Him. "For Christ is the end of the law of righteousness to everyone that believeth" (Romans 10:4). "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of the things to come, but the body is of Christ" (Colossians 2:16, 17).

THE GUILT: Many Christians, because of grace, know themselves to be capable of the grossest sins of heart and life, and as a result feel guilty before God.

The truth is, God sees no sin in His people.

GOD SEES NO SIN IN HIS PEOPLE

Dr. John Gill
Baptist Pastor, Theologian, Historian, and Linguist
London, England 1697-1771

FIRST, When it is asserted that God sees no sin in his people, the meaning is not, that there is not sin in believers, nor any committed by them, or that their sins are not sins, or that their sanctification is perfect in this life.

  1. Sin is in the best of saints; to say otherwise is contrary to scripture, and to all the experience of God's people; "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us," I John 1:8.
  2. Sin is not only in the best of saints, but is also committed by them: "There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth not," Romans 7:17, 20.
  3. The sins of believers are sins, as well as the sins of others; they are of the same kind and are equally transgressions of the law, as others are: murder and adultery, committed by David, were sins in him, as well as they are as committed by others; yea, oftentimes the sins of believers are attended with more aggravating circumstances than the sins of other men, being acted against light and knowledge, love, grace and mercy. Though believers are justified from all sin by Christ's righteousness, and have all their sins pardoned through Christ's blood, yet their sins do not hereby cease to be sins. Justification from sin by Christ's righteousness, and pardon of sin through Christ's blood, free them from obligation to punishment due to sin, but do not destroy the nature of sin.
  4. The work of sanctification is imperfect in this life: it is a good work begun, but not finished; there is something lacking in the faith of the greatest believer; love is not come to its full growth: and as for knowledge, it is but in part. There is a twofold sanctification; the one in Christ, that is complete and perfect; the other derived from Christ, and wrought in the soul by the Spirit of Christ; this at present is imperfect.

SECONDLY, God's seeing no sin in his people does not impeach his omniscience: nor is it to be considered as referring to the article of providence, but to the article of justification, as I shall show presently. God is omniscient, he knows and sees all persons and things; nothings is or can be hid from his all-seeing eye: "His eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings; there is no darkness nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves," Job 34:21,22. All the actions of men, whether good or bad, are known to him, with their secret springs and principles from whence they flow; he sees the sins of his own people, as well as the sins of others, both in their first motions, and in their open productions; "The Lord's throne is in heaven, his eyes behold, his eyelids try the children of men! The Lord trieth the righteous," Psalm 11:4,5. When, therefore, it is said that God sees no sin in his people, the meaning is not that he does not with his omniscient eye see and know sin to be in them; but he does not see any iniquity in them with his eye of justice or so as to punish them for their sins, or require satisfaction at their hands for them.

THIRDLY, Nor is the meaning of this proposition, that "God sees no sin in his people," that he takes no notice of them, nor resents them, nor chastises them, in a fatherly way, on the account of them. God does not, indeed, punish his people for their sins in a way of vindictive wrath and justice; for this is contrary to his justice, and must overthrow the satisfaction of Christ; for either Christ has perfectly satisfied for the sins of his people, or he has not; if he has not, they must satisfy for them themselves; if he has, it is contrary to the justice of God to punish for sin twice, or to require satisfaction, both of the surety and the sinner: but though God does not punish his people for their sins, yet he chastises them in a fatherly way.

FOURTHLY, Though God sees sin in his people, as being but in part sanctified, yet he sees no sin in them, as they are perfectly justified; though he sees sin in them with his eye of omniscience, yet not with his eye of revenging justice; though he sees them in respect of his providence, which reaches all things, yet not in respect of justification; though he takes notice of his people's sins so as to chastise them in a fatherly way, for their good; yet he does not see them, take notice of them, and observe them in a judicial way, so as to impute them to them, or require satisfaction for them. "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth: Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died," Romans 8:33,34. God will not require satisfaction at the hands of his people for their sins; he will not punish them on the account of them; they shall never enter into condemnation "for there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1.

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