1689 Baptist Confession: Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience

As a Christian you are free. Free to do many things, and free from sin. If you aren't a Christian, you are in bondage to sin and the law is your judge. Those who are in Christ Jesus will be judged by the law, but will be pardoned because they are clothed with Christ Jesus and His righteousness by grace through faith. Two great books I encourage you to read are "The Bondage of The Will" by Martin Luther, and "The Freedom of The Will" by Jonathan Edwards. For now, I encourage you to look into the wisdom of our Baptist fathers as they summed up the doctrine of Christian Liberty and the Liberty of Conscience. Be free and live!


21.1 The liberty which Christ has purchased for believers under the Gospel consists of their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, and the severity and curse of the [moral] law.1 It also includes their deliverance from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, the dominion of sin,2 the distress of afflictions, the fear and sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation.3 Furthermore, it includes their free access to God, and their ability to yield obedience to him, not out of slavish fear, but with childlike love, and willing minds.4
All these blessings were also shared in essence by believers under the [Old Testament] law;5 but, under the New Testament, the liberty of Christians is further enlarged in their freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law to which the Jews were subjected. We also have greater boldness of access to the throne of grace, and fuller provision of the free Spirit of God than believers under the law normally experienced.6
(1) Joh 3:36; Rom 8:33; Gal 3:13
(2) Gal 1:4; Eph 2:1-3; Col 1:13; Act 26:18; Rom 6:14-18; 8:3
(3) Rom 8:28; 1Co 15:54-57; 1Th 1:10; Heb 2:14-15
(4) Eph 2:18; 3:12; Rom 8:15; 1Jo 4:18
(5) Joh 8:32; Psa 19:7-9; 119:14,24,45,47,48,72,97; Rom 4:5-11; Gal 3:9; Heb 11:27,33-34
(6) Joh 1:17; Heb 1:1-2a; 7:19,22; 8:6; 9:23; 11:40; Gal 2:11-12; 4:1-3; Col 2:16-17; Heb 10:19-21; Joh 7:38-39
21.2 God alone is Lord of the conscience,1 and he has left it free from [obligations to] human doctrines and commandments which are in any way contrary to his Word or not contained in it.2 So to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commandments out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience.3 To require an implicit faith, or absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience and reason.4
(1) Jas 4:12; Rom 14:4; Gal 5:1
(2) Act 4:19; 5:29; 1Co 7:23; Mat 15:9
(3) Col 2:20,22-23; Gal 1:10; 2:3-5; 5:1
(4) Rom 10:17; 14:23; Act 17:11; Joh 4:22; 1Co 3:5; 2Co 1:24
21.3 Those who practice any sin or harbor any sinful desires on pretence of Christian liberty, pervert the main purpose of the grace of the Gospel to their own destruction.1 They completely destroy the purpose of Christian liberty, which is that we (having been delivered from all our [spiritual] enemies) might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our lives.2
(1) Rom 6:1-2
(2) Luk 1:74-75; Rom 14:9; Gal 5:13; 2Pe 2:18,21


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