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Authority, Freedom and Responsibility

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Initial, Ongoing and Final Salvation

Authority, Freedom and Responsibility

David Gooding


This is a series of three talks about Authority, Freedom and Responsibility. The authority of Christ himself; the authority of the church; and the believer’s freedom and responsibility, in response to the Lord Jesus, in relation to the church, and with respect to each believer’s personal conscience.

In the first talk, Dr Gooding turns to the Gospel by Matthew, which presents our Lord Jesus as the one to whom all authority is given. In Section 1, he discusses the validity of our Lord’s authority and our response to it (7:28–10:42). In Section 2, our Lord’s authority set against the background of the problem of evil (11:1–14:12).

In the second talk, he continues with Section 3: the nature of the church’s authority (14:22–18:35), addressing some of Christendom’s false claims regarding initial salvation. He then points out some problems and solutions from First Corinthians, to ask if any of our practices detract from the unique glory of the Lord Jesus and from the basis of our salvation (chapters 1–6). In chapter 12 he talks about functioning as members in the Body of Christ and our ongoing salvation.

In the third talk, in Session 1, Dr Gooding asks what freedom and responsibility mean. First of all, collectively within the church, in receiving and understanding the gospel (Galatians); and in the propagation of the gospel (Acts 11). Then our personal responsibility and the importance of godliness within our local churches (1 Timothy). In Session 2, what is our freedom and responsibility personally? Are we free not to obey? In Acts, the apostles had to obey God rather than men, and diverge from Judaism. If necessary we must take a stand, and not slip back into a kind of Christianized Judaism. Finally, he discusses how sensitive we should be to protect each believer’s good conscience before God, in light of his judgment and not ours (Romans 14).

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