@ReadingSpurgeon: 2 Corinthians 3:17 – Spiritual Liberty (NPSP1S9)
The implication of the text of C. H. Spurgeon’s sermon – 2 Corinthians 3:17 – “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” – is that there was a time when we did not have spiritual liberty.
Once “all of us who now are free in Christ Jesus, were slaves of the devil, we were led captives at his will… we were slaves to our lusts and passions – slaves to sin.” But now “we are freed from sin, we are delivered from our tyrant… and we are free.”
What are we free from? Spurgeon gives us 6 things.
I. The Bondage of Sin
There is no slavery more horrible than the bondage of sin, because when this burden is on his shoulder, he has “a burden too heavy for his soul to bear – a burden which will sink him forever in the depths of everlasting torment, unless he does escape from it.”
But the Christian is free and can say my “sin is washed away, my spirit is no more guilty, it is pure, it is holy, there no longer rests the frown of God upon me, but my Father smiles, I see His eyes – they are glancing love, I hear His voice – it is full of sweetness. I am forgiven. I am forgiven. I am forgiven!”
II. The Penalty of Sin
“Eternal death – torment forever – that is the sad penalty of sin… There are some of you here who know right well that if you die hell is your portion… You cannot put yourselves among believers. You are still without Christ.”
But the Christian, “you are free from the penalty of sin… Talk of the punishment of a believer! there is not such a thing.”
“Jesus has suffered the punishment in my stead, and God would be unjust if He were to punish me again. Christ has suffered once, and satisfied justice forever. When conscience tells me I am a sinner, I tell conscience I stand in Christ’s place, and Christ stands in mine.”
III. The Guilt of Sin
“The Christian is positively not guilty any longer the moment he believes.”
“He is a sinner as considered in himself, but in the person of Christ… he is made whiter than snow.” For Christ comes for his salvation and says, “I will stand where you are, I will be your substitute, I will be the sinner, all your guilt is to be imputed to Me. I will die for it, I will suffer for it, I will have your sins.” Then stripping Himself of His robes, He says, “There, put them on, you shall be considered as if you were Christ, you shall be the righteous one. I will take your place, you take Mine.”
IV. The Dominion of Sin
The Christian is no longer a slave to sin. “He does not sin because he is born of God, he does not live in uncleanness because he is an heir of immortality.”
V. A Slavish Fear of Law
A Christian does not feel forced, like a slave, to do the works of the law.
“The greatest happiness of a Christian is to be holy. It is no slavery to him.” But how I wish I could live as I liked, because if I could, “I would, always live holily.”
VI. The Fear of Death
“Sudden death is sudden glory.”
Having shown what the believer is freed from, Spurgeon is closing points to some glorious things we are free to.
We are free to heaven’s charter (the Bible) – “there is not a promise, not a word in it, that is not yours.”
We are free to the throne of grace – “it is the privilege of a believer that he can always send a petition to the throne of God.”
We are free to enter into the city (to be baptised and approach the Lord’s Table) – “don’t remain outside the church any longer, for you have a right to come in.”
We are free to heaven – “when a Christian dies, he knows the open sesame that can open the gates of heaven.”