It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
Is it possible for a Christian to be held captive by sin? Paul’s letter to the Galatians is a reminder of how quickly sin can produce confusion and relational division in a community of believers. A recent news poll reports 83% of people in America identify themselves as Christians, but it only takes a few minutes of listening to a daily news report to realize our country has serious problems. Paul said, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Claiming to be a Christian is meaningless if we do not love our neighbor.
Knowing and believing God, finding satisfaction in Him, experiencing His peace, and loving others are ways we can be certain we are experiencing His freedom.
In contrast, frequent feelings of anxiety, jealousy, anger, or despair are all possible signs of bondage to sin. Making excuses such as “This is how I’ve always been,” “This is who I am,” “I can’t help it,” and blaming others for our bad behavior are also characteristics of unconfessed sin.
In John 8: 31-33 Jesus told the Jewish leaders, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” The men remarked, “We are Abrahams’s descendants and have NEVER been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
They must have forgotten the suffering their ancestors endured at the hands of the Egyptians and Babylonians. The god of this world had blinded their minds.
Their response is shocking, but it alerts us to a predictable strategy of our enemy. Often, his subtle attacks begin with our thoughts. In his craftiness, he aims his arrow and targets our mind with, “You deserve more,” “You can do this on your own,” or “Do what makes you happy,” and so on. Once we realize our weakness, we can block his lies with God’s truth, but first it’s necessary to admit and repent. By the power of His Spirit, God will reveal any oppression or hidden sin in our life if we ask, because He longs for us to be free.
The psalmist surely understood the snare of sin when he prayed “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139: 23-24)
Luke 4: 16-21 describes the amazement of everyone in the synagogue as Jesus began to read the words of the prophet Isaiah. “The spirit of the Lord has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.” When Jesus finished speaking, he rolled up the scroll, gave it to the attendant, and sat down. The crowd continued to stare in awe, their eyes fixed on Jesus.
Then He said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
As he made this last statement, I imagine the resolute, almost somber look in His eyes, His safe, steady posture, His soft, humble voice, and it makes me love Him even more because HE KNEW my freedom and your freedom would come from the rejection of His own people, and ultimately the sacrifice of His life.
“Unmask to me sin’s deformity, that I may hate it, abhor it, flee from it…”
“Let me never forget that the heinousness of sin lies not so much in the nature of the sin committed, as in the greatness of the person sinned against.” The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
Because you are what God says that you are! You are enough!
Make Breath on Paper a part of your daily devotion as we begin this new series on what God says about us , I AM – what God says that I am. (unsubscribe at anytime)
Thank you for helping us get the word out. We love it when you share Breath on Paper on social media.
Inspiring others to place their hope in Jesus is Jill Jessen‘s desire as she writes. Having received inspiration from daily devotionals for years, she appreciates writers who have shared their life with her. She believes we learn from living and that everyone has a story to tell. Jill and her husband Greg have three children and are now entering in to the “empty nest” phase of life. The birth of their first grandchild this year was a sweet reminder of Gods perfect gifts.