Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:34-36)
Sin enslaves. It promises joy and life but delivers only deeper and deeper levels of captivity. Freedom from sin and its ugly consequences seems like nothing more than a mirage or an empty promise when, time and time again, you present yourself to sin as its obedient slave. You hear yourself saying things like, “I just can’t help it” or “I tried but couldn’t do it.” The enemy will do everything in his power to convince you that you are enslaved to sin. He will do all he can to make you believe you are powerless to conquer it.
There once was a slave who was treated very badly by his master. From morning until night he would be yelled at, commanded to do this and that chore, chided for the smallest omission, harried at every point. The shouting and abuse disturbed the whole neighbourhood.
One day, the next-door neighbour of the slave-owner knocked on the front door and said, “I want to buy your slave. How much?” A price was agreed and the slave packed his meagre possessions and moved next door.
At sunrise the next morning, shouting and yelling was heard coming from the bedroom of the former slave owner. “Where’s my breakfast? Where is that lazy slave?” The slave heard the commotion and began running back next door, feeling guilty and scared. But before he could leave, his new master said, “Hey, you’re mine now. You don’t have to obey his commands anymore. He’ll yell and scream for a while, but you’ll get used to ignoring him. Go back to bed.”
If you are in Christ you have been set free from sin’s enslavement. You no longer have to live in your own strength—you can now live in the strength of another. The power of sin has been broken in your life. The Son has set you free from your slavery. And now he invites and commands you to live in the joy of that freedom. Be free!
Father, thank you for setting me free in Christ. I confess that far too many times I have presented myself as an obedient slave to sin. I have failed to take hold of the freedom Christ has won for me; I have crawled back into my prison cell and back into my chains. Yet I know and believe that sin is no longer my master. Convince my heart that I belong to you and that sin no longer owns me. Help me to live in the freedom that Christ has purchased for me.