THE LIBERTY WHEREWITH CHRIST MAKES FREE
LIBERTY is a grand word, yet it does not always spell true blessing and happiness. In the Second Psalmwe read of some who say, "Let us break their bands asunder" --let us be free. In Genesis we read of how Satan broke loose from the restraining hand of righteousness and made shipwreck of his eternal interests. We learn also of how he seduced Mother Eve and she persuaded Adam to break loose from the Divine restraints to eat of the forbidden fruit. The entire history of the Jewish nation is a narrative of rebellions against Divine regulations--temporary feelings of release and liberty and subsequent experiences of sorrow and repentance. Judas cut loose from bondage to his Master and the Divine providences represented in him. The thirty pieces of silver, the wage of his treachery, brought joy to his craven heart for but a little time. At last it ate as doth a canker and he wished it back and himself rid of the liberty into which he sold himself. St. Peter was unwillingly entrapped into denying his Master and asserting his liberty with oaths. But his loyal heart could find no rest in such liberty.
Should it surprise us that the Adversary still holds up the bait of liberty and leads the world into all kinds of excesses in the name of liberty? Should it surprise us that amongst God's people, too, he uses the same tactics --telling them that they are enslaved when they are obedient to the voice of God's Word and to the leadings of his providence? Is it surprising that he urges them to break the bands of the consecration and reassert their freedom? It is not strange! Nor is it peculiar that some, in leaving the Truth, are beginning a warfare against it--opposing the very harvest work which once they endorsed and co-operated with, betraying it, seeking to injure it, etc. When such boast of their new-found liberty we ask them, What liberty have you? The only answer can be that they feel relieved in being rid of their bonds of consecration to the Lord. Alas! they glory in their shame. What need we wonder if anger, malice, hatred, envy, strife, bitterness, back-biting, assassination, slander and murderous hatred take the place in their hearts and conduct, once filled by the spirit of brotherly kindness, meekness, gentleness, long-suffering?
Let all the children of the light, begotten of the holy Spirit, rejoice in the only liberty that is really a blessing, the liberty wherewith Christ makes free those who become his bond-servants. These are set free from the bondage of sin--envy, malice, strife, hatred and the murderous spirit. These are bound with cords of love to their Master and to the letter and spirit of his teachings-- bound to do good unto all men as they have opportunity, especially to the household of faith--bound to the altar of sacrifice with cords of devotion, strengthening as the days go by, even unto death; for such is the crown of life prepared.