Maintaining Christian Liberty

The True Bounds of Christian Freedom (Puritan Paperbacks) Near the end of his excellent exposition of Christian liberty, Samuel Bolton (d. 1654) explained how Christians are to stand fast in the liberty which Christ has won for us (cf. Gal. 5:1).  Here’s one helpful paragraph from that section.  I suggest reading it more than once!

“Maintain your liberty in Christ by refusing to look any more to the law for justification, and by refusing to fear its words of condemnation. You are to live, in respect of your practice and obedience, as men who can neither be condemned by the law nor justified by it. It is a hard lesson to live above the law, and yet to walk according to the law. But this is the lesson a Christian has to learn, to walk in the law in respect of duty, but to live above it in respect of comfort, neither expecting favor from the law in respect of his obedience nor fearing harsh treatment from the law in respect of his failings.”

Let the law come in to remind you of sin if you fall into sin, but you are not to suffer [allow] it to arrest you and drag you into the court to be tried and judged for your sins. This would be to make void Christ and grace. Indeed Christians too much live as though they were to expect life by works, and not by grace. We are too big in ourselves when we do well, and too little in Christ in our failings. O that we could learn to be nothing in ourselves in our strength, and to be all in Christ in our weakness!”

“In a word, let us learn to walk in the law as a rule of sanctification, and yet to live upon Christ and the promises in respect of justification.”

Samuel Bolton, The True Bounds of Christian Freedom (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2010), 219.

rev shane lems
covenant presbyterian church (OPC)
hammond, wi

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