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The Blue Letter Bible

Baptist Confession of 1689: Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience

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Paragraph 1. The liberty which Christ has purchased for believers under the gospel, consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, the severity and curse of the law, (Gal 3:13); and in their being delivered from this present evil world, (Gal 1:4); bondage to Satan, (Act 26:18); and dominion of sin, (Rom 8:3); from the evil of afflictions, (Rom 8:28); the fear and sting of death, the victory of the grave, (1Co 15:54-57); and everlasting damnation (2Th 1:10): as also in their free access to God, and their yielding obedience unto Him, not out of slavish fear, (Rom 8:15); but a child-like love and willing mind, (Luk 1:73-75; 1 Jhn 4:18). All which were common also to believers under the law for the substance of them, (Gal 3:9, 14); but under the New Testament the liberty of Christians is further enlarged, in their freedom from the yoke of a 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, (Jhn 7:38, 39; Hbr 10:19-21).

Paragraph 2. God alone is Lord of the conscience, (Jam 4:12; Rom 14:4); and has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing contrary to his word, or not contained in it, (Act 4:19, 29; 1Co 7:23; Mat 15:9). So that to believe such doctrines, or obey such commands out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience, (Col 2:20, 22, 23); and the requiring of an implicit faith, an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience and reason also, (1Co 3:5; 2Co 1:24).

Paragraph 3. 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, (Rom 6:1-2); 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 righeousness before Him, all the days of our lives, (Gal 5:13; 2Pe 2:18, 21).

DISCLAIMER: Creeds, catechisms, and confessions do not replace Scripture, nor the authority of Scripture. The creeds, catechisms and confessions are included herein for purposes of reference. Blue Letter Bible aims to provide resources that cover a range of traditional, orthodox, conservative Christianity, for the benefit of all of our users. The inclusion of the creeds, catechisms, and confessions does not necessarily mean that the ministry agrees with each and every point in each, since some are coming from different Christian perspectives of faith, practice and worship. The user may find them useful as tools to assist in understanding or teaching the Scriptures, since they were drafted based upon Scripture. Used in their proper context, they can continue to aid us as much today as they did for our forefathers in centuries past.

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