The Doctrine of Christian Liberty | Ben Carlson

by | Dec 6, 2022 | Law, Practical Theology, Systematic Theology

Christian Liberty Defined (Para. 1)

1.) The Basis of Christian Liberty

The foundational basis of Christian liberty is what Christ did for us on the cross. Paragraph 1 begins by saying, “The liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the gospel,”. Chad Van Dixhoorn says, “Our liberties are not frivolous freedoms. They come to us because Jesus Christ suffered and died.”[1] Christ has purchased liberty for believers under the gospel. Christ made full and complete payment for our freedom.

  • He was prophesied to free us: Isaiah 61:1: “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor; He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;”
  • He said He would free us: John 8:36: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
  • He did free us: Revelation 1:5: “To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood”

When we think of Christian liberty, then, we should think of the cross. We should think of Christ paying the price for our freedom with His own precious blood.

2.) The Components of Christian Liberty

The Bible tells that at the cross Christ redeemed us, ransomed us, released us, rescued us, and set us free from all kinds of things. And these blood-bought freedoms are most glorious! The Confession lists 12 of them that all saints throughout human history have enjoyed. As we will see, they are not natural or political freedoms but spiritual and heavenly. Martin Luther remarks, “This freedom is far above all other external freedoms, as high as heaven is above the earth.”[2]

These freedoms are listed negatively (what we are freed from), then positively (what we are freed to).

a.) Described Negatively (what we are freed from)

i.) “consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin,”: Revelation 1:5: To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood

Matthew 1:21: She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.

Titus 2:14: who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness . . .

ii.) “the condemning wrath of God,”: Romans 8:1-2: 1There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

iii.) “the rigour and curse of the law,”: Romans 7:6: But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

Galatians 3:13: Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—

iv.) “and in their being delivered from this present evil world,”: Galatians 1:4: who gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,

v.) “bondage to Satan,”: Colossians 1:13-14: 13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

vi.) “and dominion of sin,”: Romans 6:12-14: 12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

vii.) “from the evil of afflictions,”: Romans 8:28: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.

We are not freed from afflictions in this life but from the evil of afflictions. The venom in afflictions has been sucked out and replaced with love. Trials are not rods to punish us for sin but medicine to cure us of sin. As Hebrews 12:10 says, “but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness.”

viii.) “the fear and sting of death,”: Hebrews 2:14-15: 14Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

ix.) “the victory of the grave,”: 1 Corinthians 15:54-57: 54When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

x.) “and ever- lasting damnation:”: 1 Thessalonians 1:10: and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

We will not only be raised from the dead; we will come out of our tombs to the resurrection of life and glory and not to the resurrection of judgment and death!

b.) Described Positively (what we are freed to)

Chad Van Dixhoorn points out that our liberty is not just in the realm of what we have been freed from but also what we have been freed to in these words: “Glorious as these realities are, we are not only emancipated from evil—we become fully franchised in the good.”[3]

The Confession goes on two list two positive freedoms that Christ has purchased for us on the cross:

xi.) “as also [consists] in their free access to God,”: Hebrews 10:19-20: 19Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20by the new and living way that He opened for us through the curtain, that is, through His flesh,

xii.) “and their yielding obedience unto Him, not out of slavish fear, but a child-like love and willing mind.”: Luke 1:74-75: 74that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, 75in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.

2 Corinthians 5:14: For the love of Christ controls us,

Samuel Bolton states, “As Christ by His blood redeemed us from being slaves, so by His obedience and Spirit He has redeemed us to be sons. Now we are drawn to service, not with cords of fear, but with the bands of love; not by compulsions of conscience, but by desires of nature. As the love of God to us was the spring of all His actions to us, so our love to God is the source of all our obedience to Him.”[4]

3.) The Recipients of Christian liberty

a.) All believers throughout human history in a general way receive them.

In the second half of paragraph 1, the Confession tells us that even believers under the law, i.e. OT saints, possessed these blessings of Christian liberty in these words: “All which were common also to believers under the law for the substance of them;”.

b.) NT believers in a special way receive them.

Although all believers throughout human history have drunk from the same well of Christian liberty, some drink deeper than others. The Confession tells us that believers under the gospel, i.e. NT saints, possess these liberties in an enlarged way compared to OT saints in these words: “but under the New Testament the liberty of Christians is further enlarged,”. Our spiritual freedom is enlarged under the New Covenant in three ways.

i.) The yoke of the ceremonial law is removed: “in their freedom from the yoke of a ceremonial law, to which the Jewish church was subjected,”

Acts 13:38-39: 38Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this Man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39and by Him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.

Acts 15:10: Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?

Galatians 4:3-5: 3In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 4But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

ii.) Greater boldness in prayer is given: “and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace,”

Romans 8:15: For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

John 16:23: Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He will give it to you.

Ephesians 3:12: in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in Him.

Hebrews 4:16: Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 10:19: Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,

iii.) A fuller supply of the Holy Spirit is poured out: “and in fuller communications of the free Spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinarily partake of.”

2 Corinthians 3:17: Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

John 7:39: Now this He said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

John 16:7: Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you.

In His specific identity as the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to us as . . .

  • The Spirit of wisdom and truth, who teaches us what Christ has set us free from (John 8:32; 14:16-17; 15:26).
  • The Spirit of freedom, who places on us the easy and light yoke of our gentle and lowly Savior (Matthew 11:30).
  • The Spirit of adoption, who assures us of our sonship (Romans 8:15-16; Galatians 4:6) and is the guarantee of our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5).
  • The Spirit of fellowship (2 Corinthians 13:14; Philippians 2:1), who pours out in our hearts the love of God the Father (Romans 5:5) and causes us to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:14-19).
  • The Spirit of prayer, who teaches us how to pray and even helps us when we pray (Romans 8:26-27).
  • The Spirit of power, who strengthens us to conquer and mortify our sins (Romans 8:13).
  • And the Spirit of grace, who works in us fruitful affections which invigorate our souls and bless others (Acts 9:31; Romans 14:17; 15:13; Galatians 5:22-23).

Applications

1.) Be amazed at the work of Jesus Christ for you!

William Gouge: “In that Christ saves from sin, He saves from the wrath of God, the curse of the Law, the venom of all outward crosses, the tyranny of Satan, the sting of death, the power of the grave, the torments of hell, and what not?”[5]

Martin Luther: “Therefore, who can comprehend the riches and glory of the Christian life? It can do all things and has all things and lacks nothing. It is lord of sin, death, and hell . . .”[6]

2.) Be assured of your freedom in Christ!

John 8:36: So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

3.) Be grateful to be a New Covenant saint!

John 8:56: Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see My day. He saw it and was glad.

Hebrews 11:39-40: 39And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

4.) Be committed to the service of Christ who has freed you to make you His own!

Titus 2:14: who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.

Christian Liberty Delineated (Para. 2)

Paragraph 2 switches from Christian Liberty to Liberty of Conscience. Why is that? Because it is intimately related to the freedom we have in Christ. Liberty of conscience is one of the blessings which come from Christian liberty. It is a natural consequence and result of the liberty which Christ has purchased for believers under the gospel. It flows from the cross.

Specifically, it belongs under the freedom we have from the opinions and convictions and traditions and commandments of men.

1 Corinthians 10:29: “For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience?”

And it is most important. Jim Renihan remarks, “This ‘liberty’ is the most basic freedom, for without it, no other is worthy of mention.”[7]

So, this paragraph enlarges upon the liberty we have in Christ Jesus and outlines what it looks like in our relationships with others, especially with those who are in authority over us. Here, I want to follow Sam Waldron’s outline of this paragraph in his book A Modern Exposition:

  • The foundational principle
  • The basic implications
  • The general requirements

1.) The Foundational Principle: “God alone is Lord of the conscience,”

We may have many masters of our flesh, but the Bible is clear that we only have one Master of our soul.

Isaiah 33:12: For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver; the LORD is our king; He will save us.

Matthew 23:8-10: 8But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. 9And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ.

Romans 14:4: Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

James 4:12: There is only one lawgiver and judge, He who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

2.) The Basic Implications: “and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing contrary to his word, or not contained in it.”

By the work of Christ, our consciences have been set free from slavishly submitting to the doctrines and commandments of men (i.e., things to believe and things to obey) which are against the Word of God or not found in the Word of God.

Samuel Bolton states, “. . . The believer is not only freed from Satan, from sin, and from the law; he is also freed from obedience to men. We have no lords over us; men are our brethren; and our Lord and Master is in heaven. . . . We are not to acknowledge any our supreme master, nor are we to give our faith and consciences, nor enthrall our judgments, to the sentences, definitions, or determinations of any man or men upon earth, because this would be to make men masters of our faith . . . It were high usurpation for any to require it; it is to trespass on Christ’s Royal Prerogative, and it were no less iniquity for us to render it.”[8]

3.) The General Requirements

a.) for followers/subordinates: “So that to believe such doctrines, or obey such commands out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience;”

b.) for leaders/superiors: “and the requiring of an implicit faith, an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience and reason also.”

Sam Waldron states, “‘Implicit faith’ is requiring someone to believe what we teach is the Word of God without proof from the Word. ‘Absolute and blind obedience’ is requiring someone to obey our commands as if they were the commands of God himself (absolutely), and without scriptural proof that they are (blindly).”[9]

When it comes to religious matters, all anti-biblical and extra-biblical teachings from men must not be submitted to!

Anti-biblical: “You are commanded to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up!” (Daniel 3).

Extra-biblical: “Walk according to the tradition of the elders and wash your hands when you eat!” (Matthew 15; Mark 7).

Instead, we must be Sola Scriptura Christians in our beliefs and practices! We must take every thought captive not to obey the fallible words of men but the infallible Word of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). We must be hearers and doers of the law of liberty (James 1:25; 2:12) and not the enslaving laws of men. As Martin Luther once said, “One thing and one thing alone is necessary for the Christian life, righteousness, and freedom, and that is the most holy word of God, the Gospel of Christ.”[10]

This doesn’t mean we neglect the teaching of our pastors or turn a blind eye to the progress of doctrine throughout church history or pay no regard to the ancient creeds and confessions of the faith. Although these are fallible documents and teachings, if they rightly explain and apply God’s Word, then we must submit to them. As the Second Helvetic Confession states, “The [right] preaching [and teaching] of the Word of God is the Word of God.”

But it does mean that the only infallible rule and standard of our beliefs and practice is the Word of God. If what we are being asked to believe or do is not rooted and grounded in the Holy Scriptures, if we are not being pointed back to the law and to the testimony, it is incumbent on us that we in no way submit! We must be good Bereans and examine everything we are told, even from men we highly respect, with the light of the Word of God (Acts 17:11).

R.C. Sproul makes this important observation concerning Martin Luther’s stance at the Diet of Worms: “Many of us are familiar with Martin Luther’s heroic statement at the Diet of Worms when called upon to recant his teaching. ‘Unless I am convinced by sacred Scripture, or by evident reason, I cannot recant, for my conscience is held captive by the word of God, and to act against conscience is neither right nor safe.’ . . . At the Diet of Worms, Luther did not say, ‘My conscience is held captive by my contemporary culture, by the latest Gallup poll, and by the latest survey that describes what everybody else is doing.’ Nor did he say, ‘My conscience is influenced by the word of God.’ In essence, he said, ‘I am in captivity to the Scriptures. That is why I cannot recant.’ Had his conscience not been captive to God’s word, he would have recanted immediately. So, he said, ‘To act against conscience is neither right nor safe.’”[11]

Christian Liberty Destroyed (Paras. 2-3)

The goal of Christian liberty is stated in the last phrase of Paragraph 3: “. . . the end of Christian liberty, which is, that being delivered out of the hands of all our enemies, we might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our lives.” This is almost a word-for-word quotation of Luke 1:74-75 which tells us the purpose of Christ’s coming into this world: “74That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life” (KJV).

But two errors threaten to erode and destroy Christian liberty. The first is legalism, which would lead us to serve men. The second is antinomianism, which would lead us to serve sin.

1.) Legalism

Implicit in paragraph 2 is a warning against legalism. Legalism can mean different things, but the kind of legalism pointed out here has to do with authorities requiring those underneath them to believe doctrines and obey commands which are not contained in the Word of God. These are things added or appendaged to the Bible. They can be things like traditions (“This is what we’ve always done”), suggestions (“I want you to do this”), commandments (“You must do this”), or even prophetic utterances (“The Lord says you must do this!”). If we follow them “out of conscience” with an “implicit faith” and “blind obedience”, we betray and destroy the liberty Christ has purchased for us and enslave ourselves to the arbitrary and unbiblical impositions of men.

Samuel Bolton warns, “Certainly it is the highest piece of slavery and vassalage in the world to yield up our consciences to the will of any man, or surrender our judgments to be wholly disposed by the sentences and determinations of others.”[12]

R.C. Sproul states, “The third type of legalism adds our own rules to God’s law and treats them as divine. It is the most common and deadly form of legalism. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees at this very point, saying ‘You teach human traditions as if they were the word of God.’ We have no right to heap up restrictions on people where He has no stated restriction. . . . Many people think that the essence of Christianity is following the right rules, even rules that are extrabiblical. For example, the Bible doesn’t say that we can’t play cards or have a glass of wine with dinner. We can’t make these matters the external test of authentic Christianity. That would be a deadly violation of the gospel because it would substitute human tradition for the real fruits of the Spirit. We come perilously close to blasphemy by misrepresenting Christ in this way. Where God has given liberty, we should never enslave people with man-made rules. We must be careful to fight this form of legalism.”[13]

This is why the Scriptures warn us of legalists:

Matthew 15:6-9: So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. 7You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: 8“‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me; 9in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

Matthew 23:4: They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.

Acts 15:10: Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?

Galatians 2:4: Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—

And this is why the Scriptures exhort us not to give in to legalists:

Romans 16:17-18: 17I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

1 Corinthians 7:23: You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.

2 Corinthians 11:20: For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face.

Galatians 5:1: For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Listen to John Owen’s instructions on how a church should deal with legalists: “A common repudiation, with all gospel opposition, of any person or thing which strives, against the word, and by whatever name, for power over the church; seeking to curtail any of its freedoms and privileges which Christ has won for it. To those who would bring us captive we should not submit for a moment.”[14]

2.) Antinomianism

The Roman Catholic Church objected to this teaching on Christian liberty because it thought it would lead to licentious, sinful living among professing Christians. Martin Luther summarizes the objection in these words: “They say, ‘If faith does all things and alone suffices for righteousness, why then are good works commanded? We will therefore be content with faith, take our ease and do no works.’”[15] In other words, “If Christians have this liberty by faith alone in Christ alone, they will become Libertines!”

Sadly, some have done this very thing. Instead of adding to the Word like legalists, they take away from the Word or utterly oppose the Word by living contrary to it. They pervert the grace of our God into sensuality (Jude 1:4).

But this is an abuse of the doctrine of Christian Liberty and not an implication from it. Paragraph 3 carefully guards the doctrine of Christian Liberty against any such forms of antinomianism in these words: “They who upon pretense of Christian liberty do practice any sin, or cherish any sinful lust, as they do thereby pervert the main design of the grace of the gospel to their own destruction, so they wholly destroy the end of Christian liberty, which is, that being delivered out of the hands of all our enemies, we might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our lives.”

Christian freedom is never to be used as an open door to sin but must always be seen as a wide avenue to service. Christ has set us free from slavery to impurity and corruption and sin and lawlessness in order to make us servants of God and servants of one another. He breaks off the yoke of sin from our necks in order to place upon us His yoke of service. We are never free to sin but always free to serve!

1 Samuel 12:10: But now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, that we may serve You.

Romans 6:1-2: 1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

Romans 6:18: and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

Romans 6:22: But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

1 Corinthians 7:22: For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave.

Titus 2:11-12: 11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,

1 Peter 2:16: Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.

Galatians 5:13: For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Listen to the words of Samuel Bolton, Jim Renihan, and Sam Waldron on how our liberty should lead not to lawlessness but to lawfulness:

Samuel Bolton: “To make religion, to make the truth of God, to make Christian liberty so dearly purchased, a cloak or pretext to sin, or to take occasion to sin by it, is a fearful sin.”[16]

Samuel Bolton: “He freed us from the bonds of misery that we might take upon us the engagements of duty.”[17]

Samuel Bolton: “The liberty of a believer lies not in exemption from service, but in service; and surely that man is yet in bondage who does not judge service to be his liberty.”[18]

Jim Renihan: “The doctrine of Christian liberty never allows believers to indulge sin at any time or place and in any form or fashion. The goal of life for Christ’s faithful people is always to please Him. Because they have been justified by faith and freely forgiven of their sins, they must live to honor their Redeemer. They do not obey in order to be saved, but rather because they have been saved, they gladly order their lives according to His word. Any time a professing follower of Jesus seeks to use Christian freedom as an excuse for sin, this is a perversion of ‘the main design of the grace of the gospel.’ The genuine goal of this doctrine is service to the Lord in ‘holiness and righteousness’ throughout all life.”[19]

Sam Waldron: “The folly and perversion of corrupting Christian liberty so that it becomes a nursery for our lusts is helpfully illustrated by the Exodus. The Exodus of Israel from Egypt was the Old Testament type of both redemption and liberation. Why did God liberate Israel from Egypt? The sole purpose was that they might serve him. Even so we are freed from the slavery of sin, Satan and men, that we might serve God without fear. Liberty is not the ultimate good. It is to be limited by higher values. There is a difference between Christian liberty and the cult of liberty. Liberty is not the right to do as I please. Liberty is the right to do as God pleases without fear.”[20]

So, as Christians who are freedmen of the Lord, we must not live by the Rolling Stones motto of “I’m free to do what I want any old time.” We are free, but free to do what Christ wants any old time. We are slaves and bondservants of Christ. He bought us and brought us out of slavery in order to serve Him. Instead, our motto must be that of the apostle Paul’s when he said, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).


[1] Chad Van Dixhoorn, Confessing the Faith, 260.

[2] Martin Luther, The Freedom of a Christian, 32, [para. 114].

[3] Chad Van Dixhoorn, Confessing the Faith, 261.

[4] Samuel Bolton, The True Bounds of Christian Freedom, 49.

[5] William Gouge, Of Domestical Duties, 24.

[6] Martin Luther, The Freedom of a Christian, 29, [para. 101].

[7] Jim Renihan, Baptist Symbolics Volume 1. For the Vindication of the Truth: A Brief Exposition of the First London Baptist Confession of Faith, Chapter 8.

[8] Samuel Bolton, The True Bounds of Christian Freedom, 45.

[9] Sam Waldron, Modern Exposition, 321.

[10] Martin Luther, The Freedom of a Christian, 11 [para. 26].

[11] R.C. Sproul, “Is Your Conscience Captive to God?”, https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/is-your-conscience-captive-to-god.

[12] Samuel Bolton, The True Bounds of Christian Freedom, 209.

[13] R.C. Sproul, How Can I Develop a Christian Conscience, https://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/3-types-legalism.

[14] John Owen, Duties of Christian Fellowship, 42.

[15] Martin Luther, The Freedom of a Christian, 22, [para. 70].

[16] Samuel Bolton, The True Bounds of Christian Freedom, 20.

[17] Ibid, 48.

[18] Ibid, 224.

[19] Jim Renihan, Reformation Today article entitled “Of Christian Liberty”.

[20] Sam Waldron, Modern Exposition, 323.

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Love of the Truth | Tom Nettles

Love of the Truth | Tom Nettles

“This view … could allow for the ‘man of lawlessness’ to be the Roman Catholic church in its exaltation of the Pope, the bishop of Rome, to the position of vicar of Christ, asserting his infallibility ex cathedra, his granting of dispensations, and proclaiming of the meritorious status of pilgrimages, the doctrine of transubstantiation and the continual sacrifice of Christ.”

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