Liberty Not License

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

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The fact that we are given perfect liberty in Christ does not mean that we should spend our lives in gratifying our own fleshly desires. Just the opposite is the case. Believers have been delivered from the bondage of childhood and given the liberty of full-grown sons in Christ (Gal.3:24; 4:1-7), and this advance from infancy to maturity in itself implies the acquisition of a sense of responsibility.

The doctrine of our liberty in Christ does not support, it rather refutes, the false theory that those who are under grace may do anything they please. Paul was “slanderously reported” in this connection (Rom.3:8), but there were carnal believers then, as there are now, who actually did use their liberty as license to gratify their own desires. To turn from liberty to license in this way is fully as serious an error as to turn from liberty to law.

Many a believer, motivated only by his own fleshly desires and not at all by love for Christ or others, has indulged in pleasures of the flesh and of the world, justifying himself on the ground that he is under grace and has liberty in Christ. Taking others down with him in his spiritual declension he complains of any who would help him, 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”:

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

“Looking for that blessed hope, 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).

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.

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