Signs of Spiritual Liberty
2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Wheresoever the Spirit of God is, there is —

I. A LIBERTY OF HOLINESS, TO FREE US FROM THE DOMINION OF SIN (Luke 1:75). As children can give a bird leave to fly so it be in a string to pull it back again, so Satan hath men in a string if they live in sin. The beast that runs away with a cord about him is catched by the cord again; so, having Satan's cords about us, he can pull us in when he lists. From this we are freed by the Spirit.

II. A BLESSED FREEDOM AND AN ENLARGEMENT OF HEART TO DUTIES, God's people are a voluntary people. Those that are under grace are "anointed by the Spirit" (Psalm 89:20), and that spiritual anointment makes them nimble. Otherwise spiritual duties are as opposite to flesh and blood as fire and water. When we are drawn, therefore, to duties, as a bear to a stake, for fear, or out of custom, with extrinsical motives, and not from a new nature, this is not from. the Spirit. For the liberty of the Spirit is when actions come off naturally, without any extrinsical motive. A child needs not extrinsical motives to please his father. So there is a new nature in those that have the Spirit of God to stir them up to duty, though God's motives may help as the sweet encouragements and rewards. But the principle is to do things naturally. Artificial things move from a principle without them, therefore they are artificial. Clocks and such things have weights that stir all the wheels they go by, and that move them; so it is with an artificial Christian. He moves with weights without him; he hath not an inward principle of the Spirit to make things natural to him.

III. COURAGE AGAINST ALL OPPOSITION WHATSOEVER, JOINED WITH LIGHT AND STRENGTH OF FAITH, BREAKING THROUGH ALL OPPOSITIONS. Opposition to a spiritual man adds but courage and strength to him to resist. In Acts 4:23, seq., when they had the Spirit of God, they encountered opposition; and the more they were opposed, the more they grew. They were cast in prison, and rejoiced; and the more they were imprisoned, the more courageous they were still. There is no setting against this wind, no quenching of this fire, by any human power. See how the Spirit triumphed in the martyrs. The Spirit of God is a victorious Spirit (Romans 8:33, 34; Acts 6:10, 15).

IV. BOLDNESS WITH GOD HIMSELF, otherwise a "consuming fire?" For the Spirit of Christ goes through the mediation of Christ to God. That familiar boldness whereby we cry, "Abba, Father," comes from sons. This comes from the Spirit. If we be sons, then we have the Spirit, whereby we cry, "Abba, Father."

(R. Sibbes, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

WEB: Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Liberty of the Spiritual Life
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