It is important to tell others what has happened to us because of Jesus. He came to free us from the destructive compulsion of sin. Compulsions that were more than addictions confined to our bodies like drugs, alcohol, gluttony and sex. Compulsion to sin inhabited our spirit even to the corrupting of thoughts and emotions. We were compelled without the ability to resist and kept in bondage. When we were drawn to Christ, and found ourselves doing what we now hated, and were unable to stop, despair over whelmed us .
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? Paul, the apostle who followed Christ, experienced the reality of bondage. Thank God, for Paul continues…..
Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:21-25) Long ago the prophet Isaiah spoke of another, the promised Messiah, who would deliver God’s children from bondage.
“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) After reading these scriptures Jesus said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21)
Sin is anything contrary to God’s holy thoughts and ways. Without His intervention we would have remained disobedient. If we boasted of our will power overcoming some destructive behaviour, we would soon discover its return or another that would become apparent. Christ can proclaim freedom. And He will when we realize that we are helpless without Him. Only then do we ask to be set free.
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. We are also free to sin, and do when we fail to resist the Tempter. We are learning to walk in the power of the Spirit as forgiven children of God. When we stumble, the Spirit reminds us of our Fathers love. Encouraged we rise again to continue on with the author of our faith, Jesus, who prays for us. He is our assurance of victory over sin.
Jesus, only You can set our spirit free from the sin that so easily enslaves us. Some of us spent many years as a Christian before realizing what life in You is meant to be. We struggled in vain until pride gave way to humility. Then we acknowledged of our need for deliverance. When we cried out, You answered. My Lord and God, You are worthy of all praise. Thank You.
Father, may those in need soon understand the continuous ministry of Your Son, Jesus, our Deliverer. Amen
“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and glory forever. Amen. (Matthew 6:13)