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Doctrine of Christian Liberty - Free Access to God

July 3, 2022 Series: Great Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Scripture: Galatians 3:6

Review - Galatians 3.6

Today, we are still working the introduction.

I hope you can see that we are going a long way to reprogram our silly 21st century minds that have gotten freedom all wrong

I hope we are using this study to bring us into more of a biblical understanding of liberty so that we might find ourselves content in the Lord.

Christian liberty is not about freedom from the law

  • that I can sin all I want
  • that I cad do whatever I want
  • that my conscience can dictate right from wrong

That is not freedom.

That is going back to bondage

We said one of the reasons we see people pressing their liberties when they are not really biblical liberties

  • is because they are somehow dissatisfied with the liberty that God has provided.

But we need to reprogram our minds and conform to the Word of God and not to ourselves/ anything else.

Read à  WCF Chapter 20, Article 1

  • Do you remember our study from last time?
    • we used the semicolons in this paragraph to mark off particular section
    • where the divines were grouping together certain thoughts
  • Freedom from the consequences of the broken covenant of works
    • freedom from the guilt of sin
    • the condemning wrath of God
    • the curse of the moral law.
  • Freedom the effects of the broken covenant of works
    • delivered from this present evil world
    • delivered from bondage to Satan
    • delivered from the dominion of sin
  • Freedom from the evil of afflictions
    • not afflictions themselves, but from the evil that afflictions do.
    • from the sting of death and the grave\
    • from everlasting damnation

Introduction- Free Access to God

What does free access to God mean?

  • It is an interesting thought, isn't it?
    • Because when we think of God, we need to understand who He is.
  • Who is God?
    • He is nothing short of the Creator, Owner, and Sustainer of everything
  • God spoke it.
    • because He spoke it, it came into existence.
    • because He sustains, it maintains existence.
  • That makes him pretty high up on the list of distinguished figures - at the top of the list.
  • At the top of the list in such a way that there is no king greater, no Governor better…

Therefore, we have free access to that kind of a being

  • We have free access to him
    • In His office as Creator
    • In His office as Sustainer
    • In His office as Savior, God Himself

Understanding Free Access

We might be tempted to respond something like this:

  • Yeah, I know that.
  • Sure, we have free access to God, what's next?

Well, let's just stop and think about that a second…

How would we respond to that kind of access with an earthly ruler or celebrity?

  • Would we expect that kind of act of access for any earthly ruler or celebrity?

Let's pretend that there are some that we would really want to meet with sit down and talk with.

Let's say Governor of Colorado comes to town.

  • What would it be like to have Governor Polis’ private cell number?
  • Would you expect that?
  • Would you expect to be able to have that so you could call him up?
  • We would not expect that all.

Now, consider the long history of great men and kings and theologians throughout the world.

  • Men like David, Solomon, Calvin, Gillespie
  • Would we expect free access to them?

Now, consider Christ when He was in His earthly estate

  • There were times when our Lord Jesus Christ, had people that wanted to approach Him
  • John 12.20 – there were some Greeks that wanted to see Jesus.
    • First, they went to Phillip
    • And Phillip went to Andrew
    • Then they both went to Jesus

When we try to put it in terms like that

  • hopefully, that will help us to understand access
  • It is a wonderful thing to have free access to God
  • And, hopefully, we will begin to have a greater respect for what Christ commands us to do
  • Greater respect for the gifts He has given us
    • the church –teaching, authority, discipline
    • the sacraments and ordinances
    • His Word

Disrespect and/ or neglect of any of these is the despising of riches of God (Romans 2.4)

Scripture – Free Access to God

John 16.22

  • Jesus is speaking to His disciples.
    • They were accustomed to having free access
    • But there will be a time when they would not

We have a freeness and access to him, through Christ

Psalm 6.8

We must understand:

  • That when we see these principles played out for us in the Psalter
    • That when we are singing these Psalms
    • That we are understanding them with one eye on Christ and one on David
  • We should understand that David is speaking here as a Christian
  • He is speaking as someone who understands this access to God through our mediator.

Notice In Verse 8

  • The Lord is in all caps
  • God has heard the voice of hi weeping
  • God has heard his supplication
  • God will receive his prayer.

These are great and encouraging things for us as God's people

  • to hear that we have this kind of access.

Notice that this is not like access to an earthly rule

  • An earthly rule, typically can do nothing without his legislature
  • But this is to the Lord of all.

Do not think that access to God, that prayer is such a common thing

  • Rather, think rightly, think biblically.
  • Think on the great blessing, this free access to God is

Psalm 28.6, Psalm 66.19, Psalm 116.1

  • Certainly, the psalmist understands the great import of being heard by God
  • This is clearly more than a “ok, great” attitude

Ephesians 3.11-12

The Apostle there tells us something that is beyond what we would expect.

  • Boldness
  • Access with confidence.

These are the kinds of words that the Bible uses regarding our access to God.

We are encouraged at all times to pray. (1 Thes 5.17)

  • in times of trouble & difficulty
  • in times of joy & happiness
  • in times of blessing & abounding
  • in times of being abased

It does not matter the situation, we are called on at all times, to pray. (Philippians 4.6-7)

We remember, in ourselves, we are not fit, not worthy to come into His presence

  • but it is in Christ Jesus that we come into His presence.

Remember, the Liberty which Christ has purchased for believers under the gospel?

  • And so it is under the gospel that we have this free access to God?
  • And this is what are Westminster divines call a part of our Christian liberty.

Not Everyone Has Access

Not everyone has access to God.

There are those who do not have such access to God.

They do not have their prayers heard.

Isaiah 1.15

Jeremiah 7.15-16, 11.14

Jeremiah 14.11-12

So, you see, there have been times in the history of redemption, when the Lord says,

Could there be more fearful words spoken than that?


Our Puritan forefathers said quite a bit about this blessing of being able to come to God.

John Trapp

A praying man can never be very miserable, whatever his condition be, for he has the ear of God the Spirit within to indict a friend and heaven to present and God Himself to receive his desires as a father. It is a mercy to pray, even though I never receive the mercy prayed for.

Free Access Through Means 

You might say,

  • I understand what you are saying about freeness of access to God.
  • I understand that it is a great blessing. I understand all of these things. And yes, I agree with you.

Ask God for a Better Heart

  • But there are times that I do not find it in my heart.
    • I do not find the appreciation I ought to have.
    • I get busy with other things
    • I get distracted
    • I do not avail myself of this freedom.
  • Let me ask you, is it at that time that you ask God for a better heart?
    • This is what freeness of access is.
  • For a son or daughter to not have a heart that is right for his father…
    • would it not be that appropriate for that son or that daughter, to ask their father?
  • So, do you need a change of heart? -> Ask for it
  • That is a part of the freeness of your access.

Ask God for a Better Spiritual Duties

  • Have you found your heart cold in your spiritual duties?
    • Ask God for a warm and beating heart, in your soul duties.
  • But even when you find your heart cold, free access to God means:
    • that even at such times you can go to your father and ask him for the warmth of heart
      • that you need
    • Do you find that when you get up in the morning and to sit down with God in His Word and sit down with him in prayer?
      • that it may be the last thing that you want

Then, Ask that it would be the first thing

Ask God for a Heart That is Not Selfish

  • Have you found that your heart is selfish?
    • Have you accessed his free and fatherly care?
    • Have you asked Him for a large and generous heart? If not, then Ask.

Ask God for a Stronger Faith

  • Have you found your faith weak and fearful and trembling?
  • Have you prayed as the man whose son was devil possessed?
    • Lord, I believe. Help thou, mine unbelief.
      • He knew where to go.
      • He knew what to ask for.
      • He understood access at that time.
    • Ignoring or misusing our free access to God is akin to the making of ourselves impoverished.

Brothers Sisters, it is especially at these times that the freeness of access to God comes to play a key role

  • We cannot expect to get to the end of the road without walking on the road.
  • We cannot expect to get the end without the means.

One of the means to having your heart warmed towards God is asking Him

  • the freeness of access toward God is especially important at that time.

These are the times when we need free access to God

  • Who else can give you a merry heart?
  • Who else can warm your heart to duty in Christ?
  • Who else can make you stand strong, in faith?

Free access to God is more valuable

  • than we often give it credit to me.

And this speaks to our shame.

Uses with Regard to Free Access

First - Pray for things acceptable to His will.

In other words, this access is not license.

  • This is freedom, not license.
  • And so, we must not come to God asking for things that are not agreeable to His will.

1 Thessalonians 4.3

This is the will of God for you, even your sanctification.

  • When you pray that God would make you holy
  • When you pray that God would help you to confess and forsake your sins.
  • You know that is a prayer God will answer according to his will -> He said so.

So, when we pray, let us pray them for things agreeable to his will according to his Word.

  • Let us pray for knowledge, the knowledge of Jesus Christ
  • Let us pray for understanding.
  • Let us pray for wisdom.
  • Remember what James says, if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God

Second - Labor in accord with our prayers.

What does that mean?

  • If you are on a sinking ship, and you are praying that the ship will not sink
    • you ought to be praying with a bucket in your hand.
Dr. Gurnall

We must join our endeavor, in the use of all means with our prayers, whether they be put up for spiritual or temporary blessings. We must pray with our hand at the pump, or the ship will sink in sight of our prayers. Is it temporal subsistence thou prayest for? Pray and work or pray and starve. Dost thou think to set God at work, while thou sitteth with thy hand in thy bosom?

This teaches us when we pray for holiness

  • That we ought to be found at the gates knocking where holiness can be found
  • That we should not pray for holiness and then do something that works decidedly against it
    • and then say, God must not have heard me must not have answered me.

Our works and our labors must be in accord with our free access to God.

  • If we are praying for holiness
  • if we are praying for patience
  • if we are praying to be a thankful people
  • if we are praying to be of service
    • We do not keep doing what we have always done
    • We do not keep following after our own desires and expect things to change

Are you praying for God’s church?

  • Then get involved and join a church
  • Then be committed and genuine in your prayers.

Third – Outcomes Belong to Him, the Means Belong to Us

Prayer is one of those means.

Godly labor is another one of those means.

If we pray for warm hearts

  • we ought not to do things that cool our hearts, like follow our own lusts.

If we pray for holiness

  • let us not do things that are profane.

If we pray for godliness

  • let us not do things that work against godliness.

Pray at all times, with an eye to Thy will be done

Even our Lord Jesus Christ in the days of his flesh, prayed in that way.

So, pray with bold access – Ephesians 3.12.

Fourth – Trust in the Lord’s Provision

Remember the good counsel of Philippians 4.6

  • Notice, what it says -> be careful for nothing.
  • This is an old English word.
    • it means anxious.
    • It means worry.
  • Worrying is expression of faithlessness.
  • It is an expression of that your Father's will may not be the same as yours, though you want it to be so

Notice the Apostle says do not worry about anything.

  • We are commanded to have a confidence of expectation with God.
  • That what God does, He does well in everything.
  • So do not be anxious.
  • But in everything through prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.


What topics are off limit here for prayer?

  • None, there are not any topics that are off limits for prayer.

Therefore, what can we expect?

Since prayer is one of the means?

  • Would we expect that we are going to have a better outcome with prayer or a worse outcome without it?

Then, if we desire that something would turn out for the better, rather than the worst, we apply prayer to it.

We would want to use prayer in free access to God

  • We want to take that full opportunity

Be careful for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication …

  • Prayer: simply means prayer to God
    • we might say prayer is the more worshipful and religious duty
    • the presenting of ourselves before the Lord
  • Supplication: means asking for the particulars of the prayer itself
    • making our requests known to God

Make your requests known to God, you have a free access to your father

  • Moreso than any earthy ruler

You have free access to the one who can do it all.

  • Make your requests known to God.

One of the freedoms that we enjoy as Christians, in Christ under the gospel, is free access to God.

  • You have been freed from the bondage of sin and from the old man
  • You now desire the things of the Spirt and the things of God
  • Do not let anyone denigrate the importance and the greatness of that freedom.

Put feet to your prayers, take advantage of your free access to God.

Because if we are not putting feet to those prayers

  • then we are squandering the free access
  • and we are working against the prayers that we are praying.

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