Bible study Freedom in Christ
by Ministry of Hope
using Gill's commentary

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17 may 2005

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Freedom in Christ


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Delivered from the sting of death
Free from the curse of the law
Free from the law through faith and love
Free from the law of sin and death
Grace verses Law
Free from sin, to everlasting life
Set free from the power of darkness
Free from tithing
Don not use your freedom to sin again

This study is for finding the tremendous freedom Christ has wrought for us on the cross, by His death and resurrection, all the bondages are the results of sin (disobedience), sin being the cause of our lost condition, all the illnesses of society as we know it today derive from the world's lost condition. A world without God.

A life without God and Christ will result in deception, for the god of this world will efficaciously exercise his power to deceive and manipulate men in their lost condition according to his will, and entangle mankind through sin and lies into bondage and destruction, for he is the father of it. And in is so doing he will keep mankind from seeing the truth by "blinding the eyes of men". 

But God send a Savior, a Redeemer, One that was able to break the power of sin and death and free us from the power of Satan, by defeating him on the cross and made an acquittal for our sins and an acquittance from our burdens, He set us free, to be Christ's free-men for ever.

This study will show that as a regenerated child of God, we are "called to freedom", but also a moral responsibility to God to walk worthy in our freedom.

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Delivered from the sting of death. and the strength of the law.
(see also God's Ten Commandments)

1 Corinthians 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
Death has a sting, and which was originally in it, and that is sin, sin is the cause of death. It is what has given rise and being to it; it entered into the world by it, and is supported in its empire through it; it gives it its resistless power, which reaches to all sorts of persons, young and old, rich and poor, high and low, bond and free. It gives it all its bitterness, agonies, and miseries; and it is by that it does all the hurt and mischief it does; and it may fitly be compared to a sting, for its poisonous and venomous nature, and so there is all the reason for worship and praise to the One who delivered us from such an agony, as we will see in the following passages.

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law.
Whatever is a transgression of the law is sin, the law requires a conformity of nature and actions to it, and where there is a want of either, it is a breach of it; it is concerned with the will and affections, the inclinations and desires of the mind, as well as the outward actions of life. But all that live according to the Spirit are delivered out of the old nature with its sinful desires, as we put on Christ we have been given the victory (the power) over sin and all its agony, with other words we have been given the power over temptation that we do not sin. In the next view verses we will explain the freedom which comes from the truth and all the foregoing is confined in the truth of the Gospel .

John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
The truth of the Gospel, the truth as it is in Jesus; meaning, so that we should have a larger knowledge of it, while others are ever learning, and never come to the knowledge of the truth. But the spirit of truth is leading us into all truth, and causes us to grow and increase in Gospel-Light and knowledge. And also Jesus himself, who is the way, the truth, and the life. The sense is, that we should know more of him, of the dignity of his person, and of the nature and usefulness of his offices, and of the efficacy of his blood, and the excellence of his righteousness, and the fullness of his grace, to be known for our self.

John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed
Men are home born slaves, and the chosen people of God are such by nature, we are born in sin, and are the servants of it. But Christ the Son makes us free; and then we are no more foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.

This suggests, that true freedom is by Jesus Christ, the Son of God; see # Ga 5:1. He it is, that makes the saints free from sin, not from the being of it in this life, but from the bondage and servitude of it, from its power and dominion, and from its guilt and liableness to punishment for it,  And this by procuring the pardon of our sins through His blood, and justifying our persons by his righteousness, He also makes us free, or delivers us from the captivity of Satan, by ransoming us out of his hands, and taking the prey from the mighty, binding the strong man armed, and delivering us from him, and from the power of darkness, and putting us into his own kingdom.

He does not indeed free us altogether from Satan's temptations, but he preserves us by his power from being hurt and destroyed by him: He likewise makes his people free from the law, not only the ceremonial law, which is abolished by him, but from the moral law, not from obedience to it, as it is in his hands, and a rule of walk and conversation to them.

But as in the hands of Moses, and as a covenant of works, and from the rigorous exaction of it, and from seeking justification and life by it, and from its curse and condemnation, and he gives us freedom of access to God, as our Father, through His blood and by His Spirit; and admits us to all the privileges and immunities of the church below; and gives us a right to, faith in, and an expectation of the glorious liberty of the children of God hereafter; and such are truly Christís freemen:

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Free from the curse of the law (through faith)

Gal 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached beforehand the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, "In thee shall all nations be blessed."
9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written: "Cursed is every one who continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them."
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith."
12 And the law is not of faith, but "The man who doeth them shall live in them."
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is every one who hangeth on a tree"),

He was made a curse for us, not only that he was like an accursed person, looked upon as such by the men of that wicked generation, who hid and turned away their faces from as an abominable executable person, calling him a sinner, a Samaritan, and a devil; but was even accursed by the law; becoming the surety of his people.

He was made under the law, stood in our legal place and stead and having the sins of us all imputed to him, and answerable for our sins, the law finding our sins on him, charges him with our sins, and curses him for our sins.

He was treated as such by the justice of God, even by his Father, who spared him not, awoke the sword of justice against him, and gave him up into his hands. Delivered him up to death, even the accursed death of the cross, whereby it appeared that he was made a curse: "made", by the will, counsel, and determination of God, and not without His own will and free consent; for he freely laid down his life, and gave himself, and made his soul an offering for sin.

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Free from the law through faith and love
James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend on one point, he is guilty of all.
Adam, in a state of innocence, was able to keep the whole law, but by sin he lost that power, nor can any of his posterity now keep it perfectly: they are all transgressors of it, and liable to its penalty

Galatians 2:16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, That is, Peter, Paul, Barnabas, and other believing Jews knew this, and that from the law itself, which requires perfect and sinless obedience, and accuses, holds guilty, and adjudges to condemnation and death for the least failure.

Galatians 5:14
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
Not the ceremonial law, to which acts of mercy, kindness, and love are opposed, and from which they are distinguished; but the law given to Moses on Mount Sinai, and by him to the people of the Jews

The "neighbor", signifies not only, as there the Jews explain it, those of their own people, or proselytes to their religion, but all sorts of men, whether in a natural, civil, or spiritual relation, and whether those that do us good or do us ill, friends or enemies: the measure or rule of love is, "as thyself", (that is, to do the same kind acts of love to others, one would choose to have done to ourselves:)
and this is the fulfilling of the law; that is, so far as a man loves aright, so far he fulfils the law; not that he does it perfectly, for man in his fallen state is unable to do that.  Acts of love will not and cannot justify a person, since we are not capable of loving perfectly, but it will justify our works.

(Love is said to be the fulfilling of the Law, yet imperfect; because there can be no justification by works of charity, nor by any services of men, which at best are imperfect; nor are they done in their own strength, and without the grace of God, neither is there any that can be said to have fulfilled the law perfectly but Christ, and to him must we look for a justifying righteousness. )

Galatians 5:18 But if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
This act of leading supposes life in the persons led, for dead men cannot be led; the Spirit is first a Spirit of life from Christ before he is a leader; and also it supposes some strength, though a good deal of weakness. Were there no spiritual strength derived from Christ, they could not be led, and if there was no weakness, there would be no need of leading.

It is an instance of powerful and effective grace upon us, yet not contrary to our wills, though we are led, we are not forced, we go freely, being led, because there is good reason for it; for the Spirit of God always leads for our profit and advantage, and for the spiritual delight, pleasure, and comfort of our souls. He leads us out of the ways of sin, and out of and destruction.

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Free from the law of sin and death ( who live according to the Spirit )

Rom 8:1 ∂ There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh,
4 that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace,
7 because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so it be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.

Here we see the solid ground and foundation we have of spiritual peace and joy, which arise from our justification and adoption, the purposes and decrees of God, and particularly the everlasting and unchangeable love of God in Christ.
The source, spring, and security, of all the blessings of grace. The chapter begins with a most comfortable account of the safety of believers in Christ; the apostle does not say there is nothing condemnable in us as believers, for sin is in us and is condemnable, and we are condemned by them; and is hurtful to our spiritual joy and comfort, though it cannot bring us into condemnation, because of our being in Christ

The inhabitation of the Spirit is a distinguishing character of a regenerate man, which is to be understood not of His omnipresence, nor of a participation of his gifts, whether ordinary or extraordinary, neither does the Spirit of God only dwell in his people by his graces, but in person as in office, and in a way of special favor; as a spirit of illumination, regeneration, sanctification, and faith, as a comforter, a spirit of adoption, an intercessor, and as a pledge and seal of happiness, and this inhabitation is personal in every born-again believer.

Also it is not a matter of His gifts, but of His graces, to be possessed of Him as oneís own, to have communion with Him, and to have him dwelling in us, but those that have not the Spirit of Christ are non of His. 

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Grace verses Law

Eph 2:8 For it is by free grace (God's unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment {and} made partakers of Christ's salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;
Eph 2:9 Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law's demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]

Through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; salvation is through faith, not as a cause or condition of salvation, or as what adds anything to the blessing itself; but it is the way, or means, or instrument, which God has appointed, for the receiving and enjoying it, that so it might appear to be all of grace. This faith is not the produce of manís free will and power, but it is the free gift of God, salvation is not of ourselves; it is not of our desiring nor of our deserving, nor of our performing, but is of the free grace of God.

It is not of works of any kind, moral or ceremonial, before or after conversion, done without faith or in it, nor of these in any sense are neither the moving causes, nor the procuring causes, nor the helping causes, nor "causa sine qua non", or conditions of salvation.

The best works that are done by men, are not done of themselves, but by the grace of God, and therefore can never merit (performance and achievement) at men's hand that salvation is put upon such a foot.

The reason;  lest any man should boast of his works before God, and unto men. it because of this that He has denied works any place in justification and salvation, in order to exclude all boasting in man, and has fixed it in a way of grace, and has chosen and called poor sinful worthless creatures to enjoy it, that whoever glories, may glory in the Lord.

Rom 5:1
∂ Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Romans 5:2 by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Not that faith is at the first of our justification; for that is a sentence which passed in the mind of God from all eternity, and which passed on Christ, and on all the elect considered in him, when he rose from the dead.

Faith; it is not the moving cause of our justification, but that is the free grace of God. Faith it is not the matter of it, but that is the righteousness of Christ. We are not justified by faith in the sense that our faith has justified us, neither as Godís work in us, for, as such, it would be a part of sanctification, nor is it anything of our own doing, as exercised by us, for then we should be justified by works, by something of our own, and would have something to boast about.

But we are justified by faith objectively and relatively, as that relates to the object Christ, and His righteousness, Therefore as a means of our knowledge, and perception of our justification by Christís righteousness, and of our enjoying the comfort of it; we come to have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom 6:1 ∂ What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid! How shall we, who are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3 Know you not that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?
4 Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, so we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,6 knowing this: that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7. For he that is dead is freed from sin.

What then? shall we sin, Does this mean that we can live it up? And we are free to sin, and go on and continue in it, ??
Because we are not under the law, but under grace? This is the other side of the coin, if the Satan cannot get you because of sin, he will try to make us abuse our freedom and so fall into the hands of chastisement

Satan would argue, that if you are not under the law, and are free from all obligation to it, then you may live as you please; without being chargeable with sin, since where there is no law, there is no transgression, and sin is not imputed where there is no law; and if we are under grace, or in the love and favor of God, from which there is no separation, then we cannot be damned, whatever we do.

But this interpretation of this scripture is mistaken, the phrase, "under the law"; for believers, as we are not under the law as the ministry of Moses, we are under it, as it is in the hands of Christ; and as we are not under its curse, yet under obligation to obey it, from principles of love and grace.

Breaking the law is sin in us, as in others; and is noticed by God, and will lead to stripes in a fatherly way, though his loving kindness is not removed.

If you want to argue from the point of; " God’s grace cannot be changed" , as encouraging licentiousness, is greatly abusing the grace of God, and shows that such a person is to be ignorant of the consequences for doing so and its influence, because nothing is more powerful to engage to a love for holiness, and a hatred of sin; wherefore the apostle, answers to this objection in his usual way,

God forbid; signifying his abhorrence of everything of this kind.

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Free from sin, to everlasting life

Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid!
18 Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness.

Romans 6:22 But now, being made free from sin and having become servants of God, ye have your fruit unto holiness and the end, everlasting life.

Fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life: holiness is a fruit of freedom from the bondage of sin, and of serving God; holiness begun in regeneration (rebirth), calling, and conversion, is a fruit of the Spirit.

A course of living righteously is a fruit of holiness, as a principle implanted; a gradual increase in holiness is carried on by the Spirit of God in a course of righteousness.

And a course of righteousness, from a principle of grace, issues in perfect holiness; "without which no man shall see the Lord" ( Heb 12:14):

Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord,

Here it seems to design, that holiness is fruit, or that which is gain and profit to persons, in opposition to sin, ( in which there is no profit for salvation, it is not indeed profitable to God in point of merit (achievement and performance).Yet holiness, as a principle of grace, is profitable to the saints in point of glory (on the day we stand before Jesus),

But holiness, as it shows an external course of life,
is useful and profitable on many accounts, hereby God is glorified, the doctrine of Christ is adorned, religion is honored and recommended, our own credit, reputation, and peace, are preserved, and our neighbor's good promoted.

And the end is everlasting life: sin issues in, 'if grace prevent not', everlasting death, holiness issues in eternal life, not by way of merit (achievement and performance), but of a free gift of God.

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Set free from the power of darkness

Colossians 1:13 He hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son,

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, That is, from the power of Satan; see Acts 26:18, who, though once an angel of light, is now darkness itself, and is reserved in chains of darkness; he is a ruler of the darkness of this world; his kingdom is a kingdom of darkness; and he blinds the minds of them that believe not, keeps them in darkness, and increases the natural darkness of their minds; he delights in works of darkness, and tempts men to them, and his everlasting state and portion will be blackness of darkness. His (satan's) power over men, in a state of unregenerate, which he usurps, and is suffered to exercise, is very great; he works effectually in them, and leads them captive at his will; and nothing less than the power of God, who is stronger than the strong man armed, can deliver out of his hands; and which is at least one part of the mercy for which thanks are here given;

This deliverance is wrought out for us in the effectual calling, when we are internally called, and powerfully brought out of this darkness, by introducing light into us, revealing Christ in us, causing the prince of darkness to flee from us, and the scales of darkness and blindness to fall from our eyes, and which is both an instance or the wonderful grace of God, and of his almighty power.

Colossians 1:14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.

In whom we have redemption, Which is an excellent and wonderful blessing of grace saints have in and by Christ; and lies in a deliverance from sin, all sin, original and actual, under which we are held captive, in a state of nature, and by which we are made subject to the punishment of death.

But through the sacrifice of Christ it is taken, and put away, finished, and made an end of; and we are freed from the damning power of it, or any obligation to punishment for it; and in consequence of this are delivered from the enslaving governing power of it by his grace and Spirit

For through the ransom price paid by Christ we are ransomed out of the hands of him that was stronger than us, the prey is taken from the mighty, and the lawful captive delivered by him that has led captivity captive.

In short, this redemption is a deliverance out of the hands of all our enemies, and from all evils and misery, the effects of sin, from death, and hell, and wrath to come.

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Free from tithing

So many people have been taught, that every child of God should tithe ( and so give to the kingdom) to receive God's blessings, and in particular financial blessings.

As a child of God we want to bless and help others, to glorify God.

Since God knows our situation faith and circumstances, He will help us to grow in giving and Paul writes to the Corinthians, that every man purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly or out of compulsion; for God loveth the cheerful giver.

In the following verses we see something amazing, tithing is the same as temple tax, here in Holland the reformed churches charge the congregation a (church tax) from the gross income, usually 3% - 5% from the annual gross income.

Look what Jesus had to say about that, while Peter already had told them that they would pay, but Jesus prevented him, but instead decided to pay, not as an obligation, but to prevent the collectors the opportunity to judge them falsely.

Matt 17:24 When they arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the half shekel [the temple tax] went up to Peter and said, Does not your Teacher pay the half shekel?
Matt 17:25 He answered, Yes. And when he came home, Jesus spoke to him [about it] first, saying, What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly rulers collect duties {or} tribute--from their own sons or from others not of their own family?
Matt 17:26 And when Peter said, From other people not of their own family, Jesus said to him, Then the sons are exempt.
Matt 17:27
However, in order not to give offense {and} cause them to stumble [that is, to cause them to judge unfavorably and unjustly] go down to the sea and throw in a hook. Take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find there a shekel. Take it and give it to them to pay the temple tax for Me and for yourself.

Jesus said unto him, then are the children free; from paying custom, tribute, and taxes, and leaves Peter to make the application; and which he suggested might be made, either thus: supposing it was a civil tax, that since he was the son of David, king of Israel, was of his house and family, and heir apparent to his throne and kingdom; according to this rule, he must be exempt from such tribute,  or, thus; taking it to have respect to the half shekel, paid on a religious account, for the service of the temple worship, that since he was the Son of the King of kings, for the support of whose worship and service that money was collected; and was also the Lord and proprietor of the temple, and greater than that, he might well be excused the payment of it.

And so it is to those that attend church and are by membership in agreement to pay tithes and offerings, but not under obligation of the law, nor in any obligation to gain God's favor, for such we have seen is fully in the son-ship through Christ in which we are blessed with every spiritual blessing.

But he who sows sparingly will reap sparingly.

2Corinth 9 :6 ∂ But this I say: He who soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly, and he who soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
7 As every man purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly or out of compulsion; for God loveth the cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound in every good work.
9 As it is written: "He hath dispersed abroad, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness remaineth for ever."
10 Now may He that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness,

There is a good deal of likeness between sowing the seed in the earth, and doing of alms, or acts of beneficence. The seed that is sown is what is selected and reserved out of the stock expended or sold off, which if not done, there would be no provision for futurity; so that which a man gives for the relief of the necessitous, is what he lays by him in store of what God has prospered him with, in doing which he may hope for a fruitful harvest, whereas otherwise he could expect none,

As seed is cast from, and scattered about by the sower all over the field, so what is given to the poor, it is parted with unto them, and spread among them, everyone has a portion; and it looks like a diminution of a manís substance, and as if it would never return with any advantage; though it does, as in a natural, so in a metaphorical sense.

The sower casts and scatters his seed with an open hand; was he to gripe it in his fist, or only let go a grain of corn or wheat here and there, he would have but a poor harvest; so the cheerful giver opens his hand wide, and bountifully supplies the wants of the needy; who, as the sower casts his seed on the empty field, so he bestows his bounty on indigent persons, on all men in want, especially the household of faith.

As when he has done, he harrows the ground, and covers the seed under the earth, where it lies hid, and is very unpromising for a while, and yet be exercises faith, hope, and patience, with respect to an harvest; so the generous benefactor does what he does in as private a manner as may be; and though for a time his good deeds may seem to be attended with little prospect of reward, yet in the end they certainly shall; for as a man sows, so shall he reap: if he sows, that is, gives nothing, he shall reap nothing; if he sows but little, he shall reap little; and if he sows much, he shall reap much; and that of the selfsame kind which he sows; as he is liberal in things temporal, so shall he prosper and succeed in the same; see # Pr 3:9,10, 11:24,25, Isa 32:8, Ga 6:7-10.

He has given with wisdom and prudence, (He hath dispersed abroad, he hath given to the poor) and yet largely and liberally, according to his ability. Just as the sower scatters his seed here, and there, and in every place, with an open and wide hand, to the good man distributes to all in necessity, and makes them all partakers of his bounty; he gives not only to one, but to many, and not to all without distinction he meets with, whether necessitous or not:

He hath given to the poor. This explains the former phrase, and points out the persons, the objects of the good manís bounty and compassion:

His righteousness remaineth for ever. This is not to be understood of his justifying righteousness, as if that consisted of, and was established upon his works of bounty and charity to the poor; nor of his fame among men on account of his liberality; nor of any reward in another world, but of his beneficence itself, it being common with the Jews to call, "righteousness": and the sense is, that what such a man bestows in charity on the poor shall not be lost, but shall be like the seed cast into the earth, shall spring up again, and bring forth fruit with increase, according to what follows.

And so all this contains a promise of a divine blessing, encouraging to liberality with cheerfulness, by strengthening their faith in the providence of God; who as he multiplies, not the seed expended in the family, or sold at market, or as in the barn, or laid up for a better price, but the seed sown in the field, so he will multiply the substance of men.

Not what they lay out on themselves and families, or lay up in their coffers, but what they give away, or bestow on Christís poor and all effects which follow acts of liberality, and which are here designed by "fruits of righteousness", such as a good name among men, blessing, praise, thanksgiving, and prosperity in things temporal and spiritual, these God will abundantly increase; some of which are mentioned in the following verses; Ps 37:26, Ho 10:12

He that  "sows" righteousness or alms, its end shall be for a blessing, or in the end he shall be blessed

see also: "The Lie of the Tithe"

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A Word of caution!

Don not use your freedom to sin again (by abusing God's grace)
For in this freedom and grace, there is danger of letting the flesh grow into dominion, to our hurt and others, (to live the easy way) for the war of the flesh and spirit are always evident in our lives and therefore to be on our guard.

Gal 5:13 For you, brethren, were [indeed] called to freedom; only [do not let your] freedom be an incentive to your flesh {and} an opportunity {or} excuse [for selfishness], but through love you should serve one another.
Gal 5:14 For the whole Law [concerning human relationships] is complied with in the one precept, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.
Gal 5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye not be consumed one by another
Gal 5:16 This I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

1 Peter 2:16 as free, and not using your liberty as a cloak for maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

Here Peter writes to these converted Jews that they might value themselves on their freedom, partly as the descendants of Abraham, and so freeborn, and not to be brought into bondage to other people; and chiefly because of their liberty which they had in and by Christ Jews. The apostle allows that they were freemen, that they were Christís freemen, were free from sin, its damning and domineering power, and from the curses and condemnation of the law, and had freedom of access to God, and a right to all the privileges and immunities of the house of God. But then they were not free to sin, and to live in the contempt of the laws of God and men, to despise government, speak evil of dignities, and break in upon the rules of civil society.

For they that are free are the servants of God and Christ, and show themselves to be so by submitting to and obeying those that are under them, and ordained by them; and which is no ways inconsistent with, and contrary to their Christian liberty, which never was designed to thwart and subvert the principles of natural religion, laws of a moral nature, or the rules of civil government; some instances of which are next mentioned.

To whom honor is due, according to the place, station, and circumstances in which we are, the gifts of providence and grace bestowed on us, and the usefulness of them, whether they be Jews or Gentiles, rich or poor, believers or unbelievers, all are allegeable to receive proper honor at the time and place.

Love the brotherhood; or "your brethren",  the whole company of the brethren in Christ, who are born of God, are members of Christ, and of the same body, and have the same spirit, belong to the same family, and are of the household of faith, let them be of whatsoever nation, or in whatsoever circumstances of life. The Jews had not that good opinion of, nor that affection for the Gentiles, but were ready to treat them with indifference, neglect, and contempt; and not only those that knew not God, but even believing Gentiles themselves; and which is the reason of these exhortations, that they should despise no man, but honor all; and especially should express their love, both by words and deeds, to those that were in the same spiritual relation with them, and that without any difference, on account of their being of another nation:

Fear God; not with a servile or obsequiousness (demanded submission), but a filial (childlike) fear.

The new covenant grace of filial fear, which springs from the goodness of God, has this fear for its object, and is increased by the fresh instances and discoveries of it.  Filial fear shows itself in a reverential affection for God, a strict regard to his worship and ordinances, and a carefulness of offending him. This is placed between what goes before, and follows after, to show the influence it has on each of us. For where the fear of God is, there will be due respect shown to all men, more or less, and an hearty and affectionate love to all the saints, as brethren, and a proper regard to those that are set in high places of dignity and power.

Honor the king; Caesar, the Roman emperor, though a wicked, and a persecuting Nero, and so any other king or governor; who, so far as he acts the part of a civil magistrate, preserves the peace, the property, and liberty of his subjects, he is a terror to evil works, and an encourager of good ones, and rules according to the laws of God, and civil society, Such a person is deserving great honor and esteem from men, which is to be shown by speaking well of him, and by a cheerful subjection to him and by an observance of the laws, and by payment of tribute, and doing everything to make his task easy, and honorable in his government:

In so doing we are truly practicing our freedom with responsibility, not for reason of selfish design, but to honor those and walk in ways worthy as a child of the most high God, bringing Him honor and glory by our conduct of affairs.
As we now have a proper understanding as how to safeguard our freedom in Christ in honoring God , we can wrap it up in the following statement.

ďfear God, honor parents, revere friends, and obey the laws.Ē

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