Welcome back heroes! I know it has been a long time; but, I was needed in sector 3412 to help quell the rising tide of the Red Lanterns in that sector. Sadly….Guy Gardner survived the fighting and is still around to annoy the rest of the Coprs; but, thems the breaks. Anyway, I am back and hopefully I have something meaningful and life impacting to say in my little blog. Well, most likely not; but, at least it should be mildly entertaining.
That being said, have you ever just stopped and thought about bondage? No, not that kind of bondage! Get your mind out of the gutter and throw out your copy of 50 Shades of Grey. What I am talking about when I mention the word bondage are the shackles that we all allow in our lives that keep us bound up and chained.
Wait Mr. Kiefer did you just imply that I am bound because I allow myself to be bound? Whoa now Nelly, calm down and find your happy place before you burst that bulging artery in your neck; because, yes…yes I did. I am going to assume that a majority of you fine readers out there in the inter-web are Christians and this is why you have chosen to peruse my humble little blog here; and if that is indeed the case, then you have one distinct advantage over those who are not, and that is that you have already been set free.
The Bible says in John 8:31-36:
“31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
It moreover states in II Peter 1:3-4:
“3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
In both the passages of scripture I just referenced, the author-who is the Holy Spirit by the way just to clarify-clearly states that if one comes into contact with Jesus and is transformed into a new creation; then, you are no longer bound but instead have been set free. Now that being said, let me clarify a bit.
In both scriptures there are contingencies that must be met in order for one to truly walk out the freedom that has been given to them. For instance, Jesus states in the first passage that only by “abiding in My word” will you be his disciples and that that word will make you free.
Now the term “to make” signifies that a process is being started in the person who, if they continue in it, will be made free. If continuing in Jesus Word makes one free; then one can likewise assume, that if a person makes the decision to discontinue abiding in the Word, then they will then stop being in a state of freedom, and will then be back in a state of bondage.
Moreover, in the second passage of scripture we are informed that by the power of God we have been given exceedingly great and precious promises; and through them, we have the power to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. Moreover, we are likewise told that we have been given all things that pertain to life and godliness.
So, if we have already been given the power to overcome the world and to live life in a godly manor; then as the passage states, we will escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. Or in a different term, we will no longer be slaves to lust and sin; but rather, we will be a people who walk in freedom.
So, if both passages are to be taken as truth and believed; then, we can make the deduction that if we are still slaves to our old sin natures, then it is because we are allowing it to be so. Put those pitchforks down and put the pyre out and let me finish before you burn me at the stake!
Honestly, I wish I could blame the devil, my circumstances, Hilary Clinton and just about anything else other than myself for all of the times I have allowed sin to continue in my life; but as I went to the word in order to study up on freedom, I found that 99.9 percent of the time it was my fault and mine alone. Peter talks quite candidly about this subject in II Peter 2:19-22 when he says:
“19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,”[e] and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
You see, Jesus already paid the price for my freedom when he went to the cross and resurrected from the dead. He already took back the keys of death and hell, and then through his love, grace and power transformed me into a miniature version of Himself. God Himself removed me from the place of servitude and slavery and restored me to my natural and designed place as a son and joint heir with Jesus Christ; and if this is the case, then if I then return to a place of slavery and bondage it is because I have chosen to.
Now, that is not to say that without Jesus it is at all possible for me or you to walk in freedom; but what I am saying rather, is that He has already done the work and given us the power to walk in that work. Yes, we all fall and we all struggle; but, as we allow the Word to do its work in us and make us free, then we should find that sin reigns in us less and less and freedom more and more. We often talk about grace and how through it we can have forgiveness of sins, and this is very true; but Paul lets us know in no uncertain terms in Romans 6:1-4 that grace is not an excuse to continue to live as a slave to sin when he states:
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
Again we see in this passage of scripture the idea that we can and should walk in freedom; or as Paul put it, newness of life. In fact, Paul talks even more about the freedom we have through Jesus further down in Romans 6 when he states:
“For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Here Paul in no uncertain terms that we should see ourselves as dead to sin but alive through Christ Jesus. In other words, my old man is dead and buried with Jesus and just as He was raised from the dead and death and sin has no hold over Him; it no longer has any power over me because, I have been raised with Him and have that same power of freedom working in me.
Moreover, he goes on to state further down that it is our choice to walk in this freedom or not when he states:
“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Paul clearly states in this passage that it is our choice to walk in the freedom Jesus has given us or not. You see, what we give our lives to is what we become a slave to. In other words, if I continue to give my mind over to thoughts of sin; then, I will continue to be a slave to sin.
On the other hand, if I give myself over to Jesus and to the word then I will instead walk in freedom and newness of life. After all, Jesus has already done the work and it is simply my job to walk in what He has already done. So then, if I am still a slave even though Jesus has done the work for me; then I can make the deduction, that it is because I am still choosing to be a slave.
Warriors and heroes we have been given freedom and salvation and it is now our duty to go out into this world of slaves and bring them the same freedom we have been given; but we cannot do that, if we are still walking around as slaves ourselves. Ours is a message of hope, restoration and freedom, not one of bondage to sin. We offer more than just forgiveness and love, but freedom and salvation as well.
After all, if all our God has to offer is doctrine and theology, then what are we doing here? Thankfully, He is far more than just words on a page or a religious concept. No He is the All Powerful God who crated heaven and earth. He is the God who came down to earth in the likeness of a created man and paid the price for our sin. He is the God who raised Himself up from the grave and overcame death and hell; and He is the God, that has the power to back up all He said he will do for us and in us. You see heroes, He is the God that backs up our message of hope with the power that makes it more than just hope, but truth.