Freedom of the Christian

In re-reading the NT again and studying the freedom of Christian, I marvel at how my understanding of freedom had been shallow at times. Sure, theologically I had it nailed at seminary and in post-graduate school. But in my heart I had fallen into a superficial understanding, which then pushed me to reconsider even what I gained in seminary. Our last two seminary classes on the course Law and Gospel focused on this topic.

Gerhard Forde wrote (The Preached God: Proclamation in Word and Sacrament, edited by Mark C. Matte and Steven D. Paulson, Lutheran Quarterly Books, 2007, p. 257) Some crucial thoughts about our inability to grasp the freedom of our faith.

The problem we face is seduction of the spirit. That is to say, we are quite convinced by the arguments against freedom. But how then shall we escape the seducer? Christ is for Luther the only answer. Christ must simply defeat the tempter and drive the law our of the conscience. Christ is the end, that is both goal (telos) and cessation (finis) of the law to those who have faith (Rom. 10:4). The freedom that Luther championed was the freedom of faith, the freedom for which Christ has set us free (Gal. 5:1), liberation of the conscience from the power of the law, sin, death.

Much to consider, once again. In fact, how could we tire of such wonderful news.


Author: exegete77

disciple of Jesus Christ, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, teacher, and theologian