It is important to tell others what has happened to us because of Jesus. Our praise and gratitude will never cease. He came to free us from the destructive compulsion of sin. Compulsions are more than addictions confined to our bodies like drugs, alcohol, gluttony and sex. Compulsion to sin inhabits our spirit. To be compelled is to not have the ability to resist. You are kept in bondage. When you find yourself doing that which you have grown to hate and are unable to stop despair overwhelms you.
The apostle Paul describes the problem this way, “Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:21-25)
Long ago the prophet Isaiah was given words from God. They foretold of the promised messiah who would save His people Israel and provide a glorious future.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lords favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for all who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for a display of His splendor.” (Isaiah 61:1-4) This is the passage Jesus read in a synagogue which ended with His words, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21)
Jesus came to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, those who are held captive by and compelled to sin.
It doesn’t matter what the compulsion is that rules our thoughts and actions. Sin is anything that is contrary to our desire to live in obedience to His holy law. Without God’s intervention we are slaves unable to free ourselves. If we boast of will power overcoming a habit we will discover another that is stronger. Only Christ can proclaim freedom. And He will when we grow to hate our condition and realize that we are helpless without Him. Only then will we ask to be set free from the bondage of compulsion. Jesus came to set our spirit free so that we could joyfully praise God. He came so that we might be strengthened in holiness “for a display of His splendor”.
Just to be clear, it does not mean temptation ceases because we are free from compulsion. But, if we stumble and fall we will rise again because we are forgiven. Our love for our Father, and Jesus who prays for us, is our assurance of victory over sin.