Here is my view: God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between good and evil. When he chooses to do evil, he does not thereby countervail the sovereign will of God but fulfills it, inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which choice the man should make that he should be free to make it. If in His absolute freedom God has willed to give man limited freedom, who is there to stay His hand or say, “What does though?” Man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so.
– A.W.Tozer; Knowledge of the Holy; Kindle Version; Page 89
To grasp the idea of unqualified freedom requires a vigorous effort of the mind. We are not psychologically conditioned to understand freedom except in its imperfect forms. Our concepts of it have been shaped in a world where no absolute freedom exists. Here each natural object is dependent upon many other objects, and that dependence limits its freedom.
– A.W.Tozer; Knowledge of the Holy; Kindle Version; Page 87
When you finally surrender all that you have and all that you are, you will discover the strangest thing. It’s only by becoming a slave to Jesus that we ever truly find freedom.
– Idleman, Kyle; Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus; Zondervan; copyright 2011; Grand Rapids, MI; Kindle Edition; page 153
Indeed, I had to learn the hard way (the only way?) that the gospel alone can free us from our addiction to being liked – that Jesus measured up for us so that we wouldn’t have to live under the enslaving pressure of measuring up for others – including ourselves. I finally understood what Paul meant in Romans 10:4 when he wrote that Christ is the “end of the law.” Because of Jesus’ finished work for me, I already had the justification, approval, acceptance, security, freedom, affection, cleansing, new beginning, righteousness, and rescue I longed for.
– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 134
Reformed theology indeed insists that a real measure of freedom has been assigned to man by the Creator. But that freedom is not absolute and man is not autonomous. Our freedom is always and everywhere limited by God’s sovereignty. God is free and we are free. But God is more free than we are.
Sproul, R.C.; Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 1997; p. 32
The truth is, of course, we all do get “hurt” to some degree daily because we all sin every day. That is why we need to come back to the gospel of God’s grace in Christ. The gospel of God’s forgiveness of our sins through Christ’s death frees us to face those sins honestly and bring them to the Cross and Jesus’ cleansing blood. The freedom and joy that then comes from a cleansed conscience creates the desire and gives us the right motive to deal with those sins. We cannot effectively pursue holiness without going back again and again to the gospel The gospel is the only foundation upon which we can build the disciplines necessary to pursue holiness. Grace and discipline cannot be separated.
– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 216
The difference between living for God and living for anything else is that when we live for anything else we do so to gain acceptance, but when we live for God we do so because we are already accepted. Real freedom (the freedom that only the gospel grants) is living for something because we already have favor instead of living for something in order to gain favor.
– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 156