What Does It Mean To Be Freed From Sin?

Students of history who have studied the Civil War know that it was fought over whether to maintain or free the slaves. Once the war was over congress adopted the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. On December 18, 1865 slavery was officially abolished. All slaves were released from slavery. What was unexpected, most slaves continued to work as if nothing had happened. Their lives remained unchanged. Why had freed slaves stayed as slaves to cruel owners? In most cases they had no place to go. There were no alternatives. How would they have supported themselves?

Paul’s letter to the Romans tells us that all were born into bondage and are slaves to sin. (Romans 6:6 – “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.”) Some Christians, once saved, continue to allow “sin” to be their master. There could be a number of reasons. They feel unworthy, they continue to be negative, pessimistic and they live without hope. They have allowed Satan to steel their independence and remain as slaves to sin.

God knew the problem new Christians would face. Therefore, it was by His grace that He gave to us His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, to help us break free from Satan and the grip that sin held over us. However, some Christians were like the slaves the Civil War was fought over. They were not interested in being freed. They were unwilling to surrender to the old way of living and stayed—so to speak, as slaves to the world. To break from the world required taking a risk. It required greater faith than they had. They needed more trust but did not have the Biblical knowledge to trust God’s promises. God, through Jesus, did everything to free them. They just couldn’t break loose from Satan’s grip.

A war continues in their hearts as they want to live a holy life. The Holy Spirit is doing everything to help them break free. But they continue to hold on to the world trying to develop the faith necessary to take the risk required to surrender their old self. God gives to us a free moral will to make choices. We must decide who it is we are going to serve. Some are just unwilling to make a choice and escape their comfort zone. Many are unwilling or do not take time to study the Bible in order to believe they can become free. Hence, slavery to the world’s ways continues even though they could have been set free.

I often wondered why it appears so many Christians seemed to struggle in life. Everyone has problems to some degree. Some appear not to let problems bother them and others panic, can’t sleep and live in fear. I have come to believe that many were just unwilling to surrender and give their lives to Christ and trust Him. I understand it is harder for some than others because of our temperaments. Yet, if Christ says He will meet my needs, I know He will because He said He would.

Paul writes in Romans 6:12 – “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.”

Isn’t that what many Christians are doing trying to keep up with the world’s ways? We must overcome our emotions and feelings and realize living by Christ’s example takes a lot of stress and pressure off of our lives. We must learn to surrender our old self and our old ways. We must allow the Holy Spirit to give us the mind of Christ. He will change us entirely if we just listen and not ignore Him. But it must be done by reading our Bible and through our study the Holy Spirit will emphasize what kind of a life we must live.

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