ENSLAVEMENT COMES IN MANY WAYS, BUT THERE *IS* A WAY TO BE FREE
John 8.32, 34, 36: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free… Verily, verily, I say unto you, ‘Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.’… If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
MOST AMERICANS UNDERSTAND AND KNOW THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JULY 4th, 1776. Even a brief survey of the history of the United States can show a person the meaning of this important date. As well, many French can also tell you the reason for July 14th, 1789. Both of these dates are important for one word, and one reason: Freedom. When one reads the Bible, it isn’t very long before the word “free” is encountered:
“And God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat…’” (Genesis 2.16)
When we see the word “freedom”, especially as we do in the key verses above, what does that freedom mean? From what are people supposed to be freed or given freedom? Also, what does Jesus mean by his words, saying that He can set people free?
EVERYONE IS A SLAVE TO SIN! Everyone is a slave to one thing from birth: sin. And it takes many different forms. Sin, basically, is rebellion against God (i.e. saying “No” when God says “Yes”, or saying “Yes” when God says “No”). Because of the sin of the first two people, Adam and Eve, their descendants – the people of the world today – have inherited sin and the nature of sin.
We are basically born slaves to sin from the very beginning. Again, this sin may, and often does, take different and various forms later on. But the basic heart of sin, the nature of sin, is always there, and there is nothing anyone can do to break that enslavement. In fact, the more people sin and do the things they do that are against God, the deeper into enslavement they fall.
THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO IN AND OF OURSELVES TO BREAK FREE FROM THE ENSLAVEMENT TO SIN! People try all sorts of things to try and break addictions. We try twelve-step programs, education, abstinence, self-help books, and even quitting “cold turkey.” But all of these attempts are useless without recognizing the fact of being enslaved to sin and understanding the fact of being powerless to do anything to break free from that enslavement.
Any attempt to break free from sin usually results in a return to the same thing again later, or falling into something worse. The book of the Proverbs and the gospels speak directly to this (Proverbs 26.11, John 5.14). We can do nothing to change ourselves from the slavery of sin. Even religion cannot free people from sin. Religion has been defined as “man’s attempt to reach God.” Despite the valiant efforts of the world’s different religions, the only thing they truly offer is more rules, and further enslavement. Nothing man-made can set people free from the enslavement of sin.
WE KEEP OURSELVES IN SLAVERY — TO SIN! The sad fact, the tragic truth of this matter is that we keep ourselves enslaved, and enslaved to sin…
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6.16)
When we don’t have Christ Jesus in our lives, we give in to sin, and are enslaved to it and the Devil. We are under the Devil’s control without Jesus Christ (there is no such thing as a Spiritual Vacuum). Here is what Jesus the Messiah says about sin and being a servant to it…
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, ‘Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.’ And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.” (John 8.34–35)
Giving in to sin means we become the servants, the slaves of sin. The Apostle Peter states this clearly…
“These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” (2nd Peter 2.17–19)
We see how people are enslaved to sin, and continually return to sin time and time again…
“As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.” (Proverbs 26.11)
The Apostle Peter, again, describes this…
“But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, ‘The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.’” (2nd Peter 2.22)
And without Christ and his salvation, the cycle, the pattern, the repetition continues…but there is a way out!
ONLY JESUS CHRIST CAN SET PEOPLE FREE FROM SIN! The key Scripture above says something that no religious leader, no holy man ever said. Jesus promises freedom and eternal life to those who choose place trust in him. Jesus spoke directly about this freedom and how it can be gained throughout the gospels, particularly in the Gospel of John.
As stated earlier, everyone is a slave to sin, but Jesus Christ can and will set free anyone who comes to him. It is through his shed blood on the cross of Calvary, and the empty tomb that people can be washed away from their sins, and be set free to truly and really live. And not only does Jesus set people free, but he also remains with each and every one of his followers through the Holy Ghost, to help his people remain free and walk freely.
THE BOTTOM LINE: WITHOUT JESUS CHRIST, YOU ARE STILL A SLAVE! Friends, this is the simple, unadulterated Truth: without Jesus Christ, you are still a slave. You are still a slave to your desires. You are still a slave to your wants. You are still a slave to sin. You are still a slave to the Devil! Look at this incredible passage…
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2nd Corinthians 4.3–7)
What this passage states is that without Christ to enlighten and light up the Gospel, it is hidden because the devil — called the “prince of this world” by Jesus Christ Himself — has blinded those who are lost. Look at what happens here…
“Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2nd Corinthians 3.12–18)
Again, Paul the Apostle uses the word “Blinded” with regards to those who’ve not been liberated through the salvation and redemption that only comes through Jesus Christ. Friend, you cannot be free — truly free — without Jesus Christ. Look at these amazing words spoken by Jesus the Messiah…
“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14.6)
Friends, this is the simple remedy to enslavement to sin: the freedom given only by Jesus the Christ. And this freedom isn’t a feeble, barely existing freedom…
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10.9–10)
Do you want that more abundant life? You can have it if you receive the forgiveness and freedom only given by Jesus the Christ!
CONCLUSION: DO YOU WISH TO BE FREE? Yeshua Ha’Mashiach, Jesus Christ the Messiah and Savior, asked a simple, yet poignant, question to a man who’d been an invalid for thirty-eight years…
“Wilt thou be made whole?” (John 5.6)
What about you: would you be made whole? Would you be free? Would you be redeemed form the hand of the Tempter, the ultimate slave trader? What enslaves you? What do your thoughts and desires dwell upon the most? What have you placed as number one in your life? The Bible states clearly that anything and everything we place ahead of or equal to God is a vicious taskmaster, demanding more and more, and giving less and less. This is why there is so much addiction to so many different things in the world today.
The sad fact of these addictions and enslavements are that the people who follow them can be free, and be set free, but many choose not to take that freedom. This writer knows of the enslavement of sin. For years, he loved playing football and lifting weights. This writer, ahead of God, placed these two sports and activities, and, as a result, when the time came that they were both lost, this writer was shattered and broken.
Because of this addiction to weights and sports, this writer suffered under two knee operations – one reconstructive – a broken leg, a car accident, and crutches for the better part of a year. But when he turned and came back to Jesus Christ, things turned for him, and now, though physical scars and bad memories remain, the past is clean, clear, and forgiven, and the enslavement has turned to freedom.
What about you? Are you free? Does a substance, a habit, or a lifestyle trap you? Are you enslaved by sin and by the Devil? You can be free today, if you will accept the freedom that Jesus Christ offers. Take a look at this incredible passage…
“But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6.22–23)
You can be free from sin! Jesus Christ can make you FREE!
Prayer — Father, we pray today for those who read this. We pray that they may come to know you and the freedom you bring. Help us all, LORD, to be wary of the snares and enslavement of sin, and to know that there is complete freedom. We pray this in Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.
THE LAST WORD — “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (James 1.25)
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