The Philadelphia Confession, 1742
Of Christian Liberty and Liberty
The liberty which Christ hath purchased
for believers under the gospel, consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the
condemning wrath of God, and rigour and curse of the law,1 and
in their being delivered from this present evil world,2 bondage
to Satan,3 and dominion of sin,4
from the evil of afflictions,5 the fear and sting of death, the
victory of the grave,6 and everlasting damnation;7 as also in their free access to God, and their yielding
obedience unto Him, not out of slavish fear,8 but a child-like
love, and willing mind.9 All which were common also to
believers under the law for the substance of them;10 but under
the New Testament the liberty of Christians is further enlarged in their freedom from the
yoke of the ceremonial law, to which the Jewish church was subjected, and in greater
boldness of access to the throne of grace, and in fuller communications of the free Spirit
of God, than believers under the law did ordinarily partake of.11
God alone is Lord of the conscience,12 and hath justify it free from the doctrines and commandments
of men which are in any thing contrary to His Word, or not contained in it.13 So that to believe such doctrines, or obey such commands out
of conscience, it to betray true liberty of conscience;14 and
the requiring of an implicit faith, and absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy
liberty of conscience and reason also.15
They who upon pretence 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,16 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.17
1. Gal 3:13.
2. Gal 1:4.
3. Ac 26:18.
4. Ro 8:3.
5. Ro 8:28.
6. 1Co 15:54-57.
7. 2Th 1:10.
8. Ro 8:15.
9. Lk 1:73-75; 1Jn 4:18.
10. Gal 3:9,14.
11. Jn 7:38-39; Heb 10:19-21.
12. Jas 4:12; Ro 14:4.
13. Ac 4:19,29; 1Co 7:23; Mt 15:9.
14. Col 2:20,22-23.
15. 1Co 3:5; 2Co 1:24.
16. Ro 6:1-2.
17. Gal 5:13; 2Pe 2:18,21.
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