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"The Liberty of Glory and Grace" (posted July 16, 2020)
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. ... the glorious liberty of the children of God.
- Romans 8:18, 21
We may sit down, with our open Bibles, and learn from Romans 6 how we are made free from sin; from Romans 7, free from the law; in Romans 8, from the law of sin and death; and, farther in the same golden chapter, we await "the liberty of glory," which we shall gladly share with a now fettered, groaning, travailing, pained creation, and it with us.
"The liberty of the glory of the children of God" (as the words should be read) thrill the soul. The liberty of grace is unspeakably sweet, now that we have the Spirit, and can cry: "Abba, Father" in all the holy delight of this precious relationship, but that of the glory! No tear, no sorrow, no death, no war, no bereavement, no penury-- but God the Father, Son, and Spirit, and our souls and bodies fitted for the glory.
How glorious is the prospect! That will be sweeter and it will be eternal. "You have been called unto liberty" (Galatians 5:13). What a calling! It is one of grace today and of glory tomorrow. It is a holy and spiritual liberty outside the range of material forces and the clash of arms.
It has been secured for us, in view of the supremely despotic and superhuman powers of sin and death and Satan, by the atoning death and glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose grateful debtors we are, and whom now we love in return for the infinite love which He has first shown to us.
Sin, the despot, is vanquished by Him, on behalf of all His people. They are free! But may not their present enjoyment of this liberty be marred? It may.
See how (in Galatians) the Spirit of God warns against legality whereby the cry of "Abba, Father" gives place to a sense of servitude. But the situation of a "hired servant" ill becomes the relationship of a son, once lost, but now found, kissed, clothed, and feasted. Or again see (in 1 Corinthians) how liberty had been treated as licence; and grace turned into lasciviousness (as in Jude), and how such perversions incurred the sternest rebuke of the Holy Spirit of God, for God is not mocked.
Hence the command to "stand fast in the liberty with which Christ has made us free" (Galatians 5:13). A firm, determined stand for this blood-bought liberty is the duty and privilege of every child of God.
J. Wilson Smith