What freedom? Not the freedom given us by the emperor, but that with which Christ has made us free – freedom from God’s everlasting wrath. And where is this done? In the conscience. Our freedom stays there and goes no further, for Christ has made us free, not civilly, not physically, but divinely; that is to say, we are made free in such a way that our conscience is free and quiet, not fearing God’s future wrath. This is true and inestimable freedom, and if we compare its majesty with the other sorts, those others are like one drop of water compared with the whole sea. Who can describe our state when we are assured in our heart that God neither is nor will be angry with us, but will forever be a merciful and loving Father to us for Christ’s sake.
Martin Luther, Galatians. The Crossway Classic Commentaries (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1998), 241.