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By Nelson Thomas Mumbai

Every 15th August is a time for us as a nation, to celebrate our freedom and remember those who sacrificed their life for it. It was on this day 70 years ago, India got independence from the rule of Great Britain. As we look around the world, definitely we can say that our political leaders could uphold this freedom and the related values so far successfully.

    This writer takes this opportunity to salute all the great leaders of the past and respectfully pray for the present leadership, that God Almighty may grant the needed wisdom, to sustain these values in spite of the different voices being heard.

Are we free indeed?
Even as we celebrate our political freedom, let us examine for a while, are we freed indeed? Even a casual look around us would tell us that, not all really experience true freedom in their life! So many kinds of bondages can be seen. Certain kinds of bondages are even part of the society. For example many are still bound by casteism, prejudice, ignorance, superstition etc. The repercussions of these kinds of bondages in the society are alarming.

     Now consider the personal lives. Even as we walk around freely and engaged in our activities without any fear, yet are we free indeed? In the innermost part of our being, do we really experience the joy of liberty?

    What is the reason why we fight easily even for silly things? What is the reason why we fail to rejoice or sympathize? How is it that still we still fail to come out of personal bindings like prejudice, superstition, and ignorance etc. The answer is we are still under bondage, within our heart. Something is holding on to us that we are not able to come out and look at life in a different perspective. We fail to do what we ought to do and we do that which we hate to do!

    How to experience true freedom in our innermost being? How to escape those things that bind us individually and keep on oppressing us? Consider the following six things.

1. Knowledge of the truth. John 8:32
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.". These are the words of the blessed Lord Jesus Christ. (John 8: 32).

Knowledge helps us to be free! Ignorance binds us, but information liberates us. No wonder some hate free information and propagation of the truth! They know once man is enlightened with the truth….he will find liberty and come out of darkness and slavery.
    What is the knowledge the Lord Jesus Christ referred here? Any knowledge is good, but the truth Christ speaks about in this context is the eternal, abiding truth that only God Almighty can reveal. We need to know who our creator God is and His desire for us. The knowledge of God’s qualities, standard, demands and judgments will equip and enlighten our heart to live with purpose.

Bondage of sin
One of the profound truths that Jesus Christ makes known here is, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.” John 8:34.

    Any one practicing evil is under the dominion of a sin nature. This is the basic reason for all the kinds of problems man face today. But alas, modern man does not want to admit this realty. At certain times he will accept that we have a ‘bad nature’, ‘beastly nature’ etc. But he does not like the label ‘sin’!

    Whatever term we use….no one can deny the fact that man is a slave to sin….evil….he does things that he hates, he fails to do what he loves to do. The reason is not just lack education or bad environment. It is sin nature dwelling in man.

    Look at the crime statistics; we can notice people from all walks of life have committed crime one way or other. Education and better environment only help a criminal to commit evil in a more planned and sophisticated manner. Actually most misdeeds go undetected. Many only cherish wickedness inside their mind only. Even among those who break the law not all are caught or convicted.

    Nonetheless, in the sight of God who knows every secrets of man, nothing is hidden. Man knows it well. That’s why with guilty conscience he sets out to find solution for his sins. He does all kinds of religious activities to find peace of mind and forgiveness to his evil deeds. Even after doing the same rituals year after year, can we notice any change in man….can anyone say I am free from wickedness? His answer would be ‘I am still trying’!

    Another aspect of this slavery to sin is found in Titus 3:3. “….. Foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.”

    What the writer says in this verse is very much true about anyone who is living under the control of sin. They are addicted to passions and pleasures. Their only aim in life is to enjoy and satisfy their cravings. In order to find this pleasure they become disobedient, envious and hating one another. They are being captured by this urge…..that life becomes difficult at some stage. That is the terrible life of living under the bondage of sin.

Bondage of Satan
What is the reason why sin / evil got such power over our life? Another Bible portion gives us the answer. “They may recover themselves out of the devil’s snare, having been taken captive by him to his will.” 2Timothy 2: 26.

    Devil has taken captive of man. No one will be happy to hear this statement! But this is exactly what the Lord Jesus Christ told the Jews when they claimed to be free and following the path of their forefather Abraham. Cf. John 8:41, 44.

You are doing the works your father did……You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

    Whether we like or not, the truth is, every individual by birth is enslaved by Satan and that’s why he/she is addicted to evil works. That is the reason behind all the miseries man is facing today. This is the fundamental truth one needs to know before we can enjoy real freedom within us.

Slavery in many ways

Because of the oppression / domination of devil over our life we are under bondage various other things. Bondage of self, guilty conscience, bad habits, fears, past failures, tradition, man etc. Even the addiction for drugs, smart phone, internet etc also can be traced back to our bondage to sin and Satan.

     Finally, there is another kind of bondage some are facing, strange it may look like, and they are addicted to the abuse of freedom! They want to be free in such a way that they dislike any boundary, restrictions or law. They want to live as they want, wear dress as they like, behave as they like. No one should question them…they cannot bear with another point of view…for a moment…so they rebel, fight and do not hesitate to destroy people and property in the name of upholding their liberty…..this is in fact the worst kind of bondage – slave to self; self-ideology. This is abusing the idea of freedom.

Truth bitter!
    Dear friend, even though truth is bitter, it is wise to face it and find a way out. Just examine your own heart, can you notice a burden, something binding within, disturbing you…no full satisfaction….unexpected failure…mistakes….sudden anger….uttering bad words…..scheming wrong things against the law or others…………rebellious attitude….. Not able to forget the past…..fear of future……..not able to talk to or even look at people freely…………all these and much more are evidences of a serious issue….bondage to self, sin and Satan.
 If you understand this reality well, you are on the way to true freedom!

2. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. John 8: 36, 45.
In the same passage the Lord Jesus says further, “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36, 45. Tree freedom from sin and Satan is possible by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ. What does it mean?

Read Hebrews 2:14, 15: “Since then the children have shared in flesh and blood, he also himself in the same way partook of the same, that through death he might bring to nothing him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might deliver all of them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

Deliverance by death
Here we have the explanation for the above question. God took the form of a man in Jesus Christ to deliver them from the bondage of sin and Satan. In order to do that He died as a sacrifice, thus providing atonement for our sins and thereby Satan who enslaved man was defeated. Because of the sufferings of Christ man needs not suffer again. He died in our place. Christ took our penalty. Sin problem solved judicially.

    So, God is free to forgive and cleanse all who acknowledge and confess their sins. Cf. Romans 3: 25 – 26. The moment one trusts the risen Lord Jesus Christ as his deliverer; he will experience this freedom in his life. But unconditional faith is necessary.

3. Obedience to the truth. Romans 6:17
Another step in enjoying true freedom is our obedience to the truth that we understand. Mere knowledge has no value. We ought to practically experience the truth that God teaches us. When we realize the reality of bondage by sin and Satan, make the further effort to be free from it. When we come to know that the by trusting Christ deliverance is possible….come to Him…and try.

    That’s what Paul writes in Romans 6:17, “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed.”

    The more we know and obey God’s will for us the more we will enjoy true freedom in spiritual life.

4. Surrender to God. Romans 6:18, 22
In our steps to enjoy true freedom in a very personal experience we ought to submit ourselves to God as His slaves. “Having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness……….and have become slaves of God.” Romans 6:18, 22.

    No man can stay neutral! Each one is either a slave to God for righteousness or a slave to Satan for sin. We cannot stay otherwise. If we refuse to come under God to live a holy and pure life; we naturally go under Satan live an unholy and evil life. We may not easily feel it or even acknowledge it, but that is the truth slowly we will come to realize.

    Being a 'slave' to God is the best option for then we have true freedom; but under the bondage of Satan, only oppression. The Lord empowers and strengthens us as we yield to Him, but Satan deceives and traps us in evil.

     Remember, freedom is not absence of law. It is the opportunity to fulfill our responsibilities and enjoy our rights without any fear. Consciously and purposefully we should yield to God and His so that we keep on enjoying true freedom in Christ.

5. Consider dead. Romans 6:11
In our further pursuit to enjoy true spiritual freedom in Christ we cannot neglect a vital truth Apostle Paul expounds in his writings. The power of sin nature in man is so strong that we will keep on feeling it as the days go by. In spite of the best ‘efforts’ and determination one may come across the symptoms of the sin nature within. That’s why one needs to acknowledge and experience another reality: our death with Christ on the cross. Cf.
     Romans 6:11, 12:- “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.”
     2Corinthians 5:14, 16:- “….that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him….”.
    When we identify ourselves with Christ in His death on the cross we come to realize that sin nature has no dominion over us. Once the sin as a master controlled us but now dead to sin….thus this master has no authority over us. Similarly devil too as a master kept man under him, but through the death of Christ, devil lost his dominion over man.cf. Hebrews 2:14, 15.

    True, not all can easily understand this aspect of deliverance. But once the Lord opens our eyes to this reality we will realize that there is no other spiritual truth precious than our death with Christ on the cross that liberates us from bondage of sin and Satan.

6. Live in Spirit. 2Corinthians 3:17
Finally, our deliverance from evil and all other related issues are made possible by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.

    2Corinthinas 3:17: - “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” When we trust the Lord Jesus Christ as savour and Lord, we receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. As we allow the Spirit of God to control our day to day life, we are able to see life becomes easy, we are free….no need to put effort to live a joyful and pure life. Spirit of God empowers, leads and guides us. Cf. Romans 8:2, 15

Man is trying so many methods to forget their burden and hardships to enjoy true freedom. Drugs, alcohol, tobacco, entertainment programs etc may give a relief for a while but we end up in to more bondage. Lasting freedom in all true sense can be achieved only by experiencing deliverance from the bondage of sin and Satan.

     God alone can do that. That is possible through the Lord Jesus Christ who defeated Satan by His own death and resurrection. Come to Him, trust in His work. Confess your present state to Him by faith. Then experience the change…every day……Praise be to God….

  • Colossians 1:13, 14: “God has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of the Son whom he loves, through whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (ISV)
  • Galatians 5:1:- “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (ESV)
Related topics: Freedom of a Bond Slave  /  True Freedom: Enjoy it  /  Rights, Freedom and Christian Obligation  / The need of Salvation - sin nature within  / 
August 15, 2016


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