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Archive for the ‘Bolton, Samuel’ Category

Introduction

May he guide us in the ways of faith and obedience, enable us to serve Him while we live, smile upon us when we die, and after death take us to himself. AMEN

Freedom

Christ freed us from the wrath of God, from the devil’s power, by purchase. By a strong hand He delivers us from Satan, just as He delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt by a strong hand.

We are freed from sin, by which I mean the guilt, the defilement and the dominion of sin. … It would not be righteous of God to require payment from Christ, nay, to receive the full satisfaction of Christ, and to require anything from you. AMEN (Both eternal and temporal judgments are removed by the cross although God may still afflict those he pardons but in fatherly discipline not in divine wrath.)

Christ has also freed the believer from the dominion of sin … that dominion was a voluntary, a willing, a free subjection and resignation of ourselves to the motions and services of sin. Then we went down stream, wind, and tide. There was both the power of lust, and lustful inclinations, to carry us: this was the tide, the other was the wind.

We still have the presence of sin, nay, the stirrings and workings of corruptions. These make us to have many a sad heart and wet eye. AMEN Yet Christ has thus far freed us from sin; it shall not have dominion. There may be the turbulence, but not the prevalence of sin.

The Law

Comment: Samuel Bolton argues that obedience to the Law cannot be viewed as part of our bondage. Our bondage was not to obedience and conformity to the Law but rather to the covenant accusations and curses. In fact the Law is part of our freedom and glory and therefore cannot be part of our bondage.

(The Papists) preach obedience as a means to justification; we preach justification as a means to obedience.

The law is subservient to the Gospel. Its purpose is to convince and humble us, and the Gospel is to enable us to fulfil the obedience of the law. The law sends us to the Gospel for our justification; the Gospel sends us to the law to frame our way of life. Our obedience to the law is nothing else but the expression of our thankfulness to God who has freely justified us, that ‘being redeemed, we might serve Him without fear’ (Luke 1.74).

The ends (of the Law) before were for justification and life; now they are for other ends – to glorify God, to dignify the Gospel, to declare our sincerity, to express our thankfulness.

Chastisement of Believers

That which the believer suffers for sin is not penal, arising from vindictive justice, but medicinal, arising from a fatherly love. It is his medicine, not his punishment; his chastisement, not his sentence; his correction, not his condemnation.

God chastises (his people) to make them partakers of his holiness here and of his glory hereafter; and, indeed, to sweeten heaven and glory to them. AMEN

Performance of Duty

But for the godly, God says he will write his laws on the tables of the heart; he will transplant them into the soul; they become the believer’s nature. And then obedience becomes a natural thing, arising from a law within the heart, the godly man’s very nature. From this source springs that abundance of delight in the law which we see throughout Psalm 119. Delight in obedience to God in his law becomes the nature of the man, and so far as that new nature acts, it acts with delight. AMEN AND AMEN

source: Samuel Bolton (c.1645), The True Bounds of Christian Freedom.

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