If you will not let go of sin, sin will not let go of you. Jesus even said that sin will make you its slave: “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (John 8:34, NKJV). According to Christ, sin imprisons its perpetrators. Sin incarcerates the will so securely that you can’t help but obey its every order. It whips you with oppressive power, forcing you to toil in the field of wickedness and pick bitter grapes of disgrace among the thorns of corruption.
Worst of all, you will believe that you are actually free while serving sin. Sin convinces its bondservants that God’s holy commandments are stifling rather than saving—killjoys instead of guardrails intended to protect and preserve. Sin poisons the minds of its servants into thinking that the gospel is a poison to be evaded rather than a remedy to be embraced. Sin persuades its slaves with sophistry, making their prison cell appear to be a mansion. But sin’s deceptions are nothing more than make-believe—false fantasies of freedom.
True freedom is being liberated from captivity to sin by Jesus Christ, the Redeemer. Jesus alone wields the sword of redemption with which He cuts the chains of iniquity to set captives free. He will release you from the slave-house of evil and place you in the safe-house of grace. Christ will bail you out with His blood (1 Peter 1:18-19). And He does so when you hear and believe the truth of the gospel: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
If you have been set free from sin, you are not your own master. All those who are freed from slavery to sin become slaves of God:
“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 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, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:16-18).
And true freedom is slavery to God. Emancipation from the strangling cords of worldly pleasures is real liberation. Release from the power and penalty of sin is true deliverance. It’s no wonder that Jesus said, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed (John 8:36, emphasis mine).
“Make me a captive, Lord,
And then I shall be free.
Force me to render up my sword
And I shall conqueror be.
I sink in life’s alarms
When by myself I stand;
Imprison me within thine arms,
And strong shall be my hand.” — George Matheson (1842-1906), “Make Me a Captive, Lord.”
Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky.
Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).
For more devotional entries like this, check out Brandon’s latest book, Bible Gleanings Volume II, which features 100 daily devotionals gleaned from God’s word: