“Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace. The war has actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” March 23, 1775; A speech by Patrick Henry made at the Second Virginia Convention at St. Johns Church in Richmond, Virginia.
I remember learning of Patrick Henry in school. As a kid I often wondered what was special about liberty. I also often wondered why Patrick Henry chose not to use the term/idea of “freedom”. It honestly wasn’t until within the last few years that I revisited these ponderings, but with a new understanding from a biblical perspective. First, let’s define the two terms. Liberty—the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views. Freedom—the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
According to The Jefferson Perceptive: Commentary on Today’s Social and Political Issues
Based on the Writings of Thomas Jefferson (http://eyler.freeservers.com/JeffPers/jefpco26.htm) “One should distinguish between the terms ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty.’ Speaking generally, Freedom usually means to be free from something, whereas Liberty usually means to be free to do something, although both refer to the quality or state of being free. Jefferson’s use of the terms almost always reflected those meanings. Thus, he never spoke of freedom as a right, though liberty is listed in the Declaration as one of our inalienable rights.”
It seems to me that Liberty encompasses Freedom. Regarding scripture, both words/concepts are used in Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:18. Yes, Jesus is quoting the scroll of Isaiah in Luke 4, but Hebrew doesn’t always equal Greek, and English, well I’ll behave myself. We get a fuller understanding for what Christ did on the Cross for us in Romans 6:22, “But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.” We have been “freed” from sin, “freed” from bondage through the power of Christ on the Cross. With this freedom through Christ we can now approach God’s throne with “Liberty”! Encompassing the Christ relationship is a freedom to approach the Throne of Grace with Liberty, that is, without FEAR of judgment from God’s Wrath.
In conclusion, Jude vs24-25, “24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”