13 October 2013 by Published in: William Gadsby, Sermons No comments yet

“If the Son make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”—John 8:36

A Sermon Preached By William Gadsby, In 1842.

Much we talk of freedom in our day; much is our mind perplexed about it; but how little is said, and how little we think of the freedom in the text. Freedom in this life concerning temporal matters will benefit us little compared with the freedom which the Son of God gives to his children. The former endureth only a little while, but the latter endureth for ever. O may this freedom be made manifest unto us, through God’s dear Son.

We understand, in consideration of this subject,

1. Freedom signifies a prior bondage.
2. What is this freedom?
3. God’s Son makes us free.

1. All men, by nature, are in bondage. Hence, whosoever sinneth is the servant of sin. We groan under this bondage every day, except when in the enjoyment of the freedom in our text. And such a deplorable state of slavery was never known, nor ever would have been known;—we should never have known of vice, famine, and distress, but for sin. Youth would not have been in danger of falling into the temptations which continually await them, but for sin; the child would not have cause to weep over a dying parent but for sin; or a mother anxiously watching over the pains and struggles of her suffering babe, but for sin.

Sin is a baneful curse, and has spread its awful contagion over all the world; and so alluring is its nature to ours, and so fond are we of it, by nature, we would not let it go, were it not for the mercy of God in sending his invincible power into our souls. We are under bondage to Satan. He is the first transgressor, the father of lies, indeed of all wickedness. God is not, nor can he be, the author of sin. When made free, then do we find that the devils are subject to us; but rejoice not in this, but rather that your names are written in heaven.

By nature, we are in bondage to the world. Its charms, its pleasures, its wickedness, and deceit, carry us like a flood from the ways of God, and truth. We are in bondage to the law. The law, when given to Adam, was in perfect accordance with his nature. It was holy, just, and good; and so was Adam. But Adam, having the management of it himself, broke its commands. But the law remained the same; God determined it should not be sullied; it must be fulfilled in every point. And here are we, the sons of Adam, bound to produce a perfect obedience to a perfect law. The child of God is made to feel all this and groan under it.

2. What is this freedom? Sometimes God is pleased to grant a manifestation of pardon at once, but oftener gradually. The first token of freedom is, to feel that we are in bondage, that we are sinners; for though all men are alike sinners in the sight of God, all are not blessed with freedom to know it, and to cry out for mercy in consequence thereof. We never cry for mercy, feelingly so, till we enjoy a little of this freedom. Then we pant for the water of life, and at last we are enabled to rejoice in a precious Redeemer.

3. The Son makes us free, and not ourselves. Suppose we were in debt and had naught to pay the debt, and a kind friend were to come and pay it for us, we should justly be free. And so it is with Christ. He paid our enormous debt and set us free. “He is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” And thus is the law magnified more than if Adam had fully obeyed its commands, inasmuch as it has the obedience of God and man. By faith we realize this great truth, and are made free. God grant us the enjoyment of this freedom, and we shall then be free indeed.



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