From a teaching series on Worship, this lesson explored the notions of Sphere Sovereignty and the limits of authority that God has placed upon certain institutions. It then explored the notion of Liberty of Conscience and how it affects our understanding of corporate Worship.
The lesson notes can be downloaded here: Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience
Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XX
Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience
I. 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, the curse of the moral law; and, in their being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan, and dominion of sin; from the evil of afflictions, the sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation; as also, in their free access to God, and their yielding obedience unto him, not out of slavish fear, but a childlike love and willing mind. All which were common also to believers under the law. 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.
1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
2Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. 5For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
7 You were running well.
I picked out one of the posts from the PuritanBoard to discuss an issue with respect to liberty. bfrank writes:
A few years ago I was sitting outside on a patio enjoying a pint with a buddy, having theological and personal discussions…there was absolutely no problem in my conscience or faith about the issue. I knew the Scriptures did not condemn alcohol, but drunkeness. One thing we both gleaned from the afternoon was that if Jesus Christ Himself walked into the place we would have no problem whatsoever. However, if some of the members from church walked in it would be a very uncomfortable situation. Of course this caused further study on my part so that I was certain I wasn't using my liberty for license and that I was on solid biblical ground.