Liberty Not License

“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” {Romans 6:14 (KJV)
“And if by grace, then is it  no more of works [for salvation]: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” (Romans 11:6 (KJV)

The verses above are good new facts of Paul’s “gospel of the grace of God” The fact that we are given perfect liberty, 100% grace, “in Christ.” This does not mean that we should spend our lives in gratifying our ‘self’ and our own ‘fleshly desires.’ Just the opposite is the case. Believers have been delivered from the bondage of childhood and given Father God’s trust in the liberty of full-grown sons of God “in Christ (Gal.3:24; 4:1-7), and this from infancy to maturity in itself implies the acquisition of an inner sense of responsibility… our proper trust would be our response to His ability to live His righteous life through us.

But ignorance of Paul’s gospel, including the scope and breadth of Christ work on our behalf, is fodder for the “lies of the [sin-laden] flesh” we yet live in. The doctrine of our liberty in Christ does not support fleshly living, it rather refutes, the false theory that those who are under grace may do anything they please. Paul himself was “slanderously reported” in this connection (Rom.3:8), but there were carnal [fleshly] lying believers then, as there are now, who actually did misuse their liberty as license to gratify their own self-desires. To turn from liberty to license in this way is fully as serious an error as to turn from liberty to law.

So, what is our motivation to live righteous lives? We are motivated by reciprocal Love.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (KJV)

“For the love of Christ constraineth [impels] us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15  And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

Many a believer, who does not yet really know the love of God as seen in the Cross-work of Christ, is still motivated only by his own fleshly desires and not at all by love for Christ or others. He indulges in pleasures of the flesh and of the world, justifying himself on the misused ground that he is under grace and has liberty in Christ. He often takes others down with him in his spiritual decline, then complaining of any who would help him, saying that, “They are trying to put me under the law.”

Such are actually guilty of departing from grace, for “the grace of God…hath appeared”:

Paul warns; “Christ is become of no effect [benefit] unto you, whosoever of you [think you] are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. (Galatians 5:4)

Paul teaches us;

Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world;

“Looking for that blessed hope [ of the Rapture], and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Tit.2:11-14).

  • As Adapted from Cornelius R. Stam -

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