Posts Tagged bondage

No More Condemnation

Romans 8: 1 – 2

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

Isaiah 61: 1 is Jesus’ commission. It is the passage he read which marked the launch of his public ministry. Let’s see what that means to this passage from Paul to the Romans. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners.” The Tree of Life version says that Jesus’ job was to free “those who are bound.” Bondage is, therefore, no more to those who are in Christ.

The prisoners are set free because Jesus set us free from the law of sin and death. This is the very essence of Jesus’ proclamation of liberty to the captives and freedom to prisoners. We are no longer under the condemnation of the law because we have been set free.

This is a difficult passage in one way. Although it is great news, we can find it difficult in application because it touches on sin, judgment and forgiveness, all of which are very full and challenging topics. Here is what we all need to understand, though. Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and death. Where Jesus exists there is life, light and liberty. Therefore, if you feel under condemnation, I would have you approach Jesus directly because he did not leave his blood on a cross so that you should live under condemnation.

This is not a license to sin. Who in their right mind thinks such a thing? We are to live our lives honorably to the Lord, our lives being our worship. “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me,” (Galatians 2: 20). Surely that is an intense statement of purpose. That is the only law worthy of our conversation, that we live our lives to Christ who willingly died for us. But doesn’t that statement also call us up to higher ground? I want you to live a life which honors Jesus’ sacrifice. That does not mean dead works. It means purposeful worship through your work, your daily workout, your diet, and even your driving practices. It means living with Jesus beside you every step of your day. It explicitly does not mean that you should feel condemned because you do or don’t do some of the things your church buddies think you ought. You better be able to take all you are and all you do into the very presence of the Almighty. If you cannot, then deal with that issue, but don’t let the law, or other people’s version of it put you under condemnation.

I believe this is a very freeing verse, but I also think it is saturated with personal responsibility to the Lord Jesus. I will not make his blood of no consequence nor shall I take his and the Father’s sacrifice for granted. At the same time, I will not let another use Jesus’ martyrdom as an opportunity to imprison the beloved. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery,” (Galatians 5: 1).

Happy Days are Here

Psalm 30: 5

For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.

Some people spend their whole lives in bondage of guilt and torment because they fear God’s anger is against them. This seems to be true even of people who are Christians. It should not be. God is love (1 John 4: 16). He sees you with favor. In other words, when He looks at you, He looks upon you with fondness. Anger is not the emotion that wells up in Him when He looks at you. We are His children and dear to Him. While we certainly do things which can provoke His anger, His disappointment in us and with us is always overcome by His great love and affection for us. We are His people. He made the choice. He knew what He was getting when He chose us. We did not choose Him, He chose us. His love burns like an eternal flame; it cannot be quenched. I figure that is His problem. He is the almighty. He knew I was flawed when He chose me but His great grace is working in me and in all of us to transform us into the image of His dear son. I am willing to give myself to Him to allow Him to work Himself out in me. You will have a very difficult time doing that though if you think your relationship with the Lord is based on His anger towards you. While we all may deserve His anger, His grace has given us favor. Bask in your favor and be grateful that we are not getting what we would have deserved if it had been up to us to earn anything. Praise God for His love and Jesus’ blood and let the favor of God completely envelope you. After all, the weeping was for last night or last year. It is a new day so shout.

Free Indeed

Galatians 5: 1

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.


The spirit of Christ has set us free from every type of bondage. Is it possible that you are in bondage to something? Fear, a bad habit, anger? Is there something that keeps you down? Well, Jesus is the good news of the gospel! His accomplishments on this earth and beyond have now provided everything you need in order to be free of every kind of torment. When Jesus purchased our freedom, he meant that we might be free from every sort of bondage. The price He paid was complete and so, too, should be your freedom. If there is anything that dominates you, pray to the Lord about it. Tell Him that you give it to Him and that you receive your freedom. Then, never be subjected again to the yoke of slavery. Shake it off. Every time that same old thing tries to get you down, claim your victory in Christ Jesus and call upon Him for your continued salvation from that torment.

Redeemed From Fear

Psalm 56: 3 – 4

When I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee, in God, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?

Who among us is not faced with fear at some time? It is a common human reaction to challenges in life. The first mention of fear appears in Genesis 3. It didn’t take long for mankind to find fear. However, they only became afraid after succumbing to the devil. Before Adam and Eve followed Satan and ate the forbidden fruit they knew not fear. Interesting. Since that time people have been plagued by fear. However, there is good news. God has provided a remedy for everything which plagues mankind, including fear. His remedy for fear is trust.

When I am afraid,” the psalmist writes, “I will put my trust in thee.” He doesn’t deny that he was afraid. He just determines not to let fear have him. We are not to abide in fear. We are to run into the arms of our loving father and envelope ourselves in an abiding, overcoming trust. Trusting Him is the solution for every fear. It seems, then, that overcoming fear requires a decision from us. It also requires action on our part. We must intentionally shift our minds and hearts from fear to trust in the Lord. That means you take your eyes off of that which frightens you and put them on the Lord of your salvation. Look upon Jesus and decide to believe Him and to believe in the Father’s love rather than to believe in that which frightens you.

Fear is slavery and Jesus has set us free from all of the shackles of bondage. If we allow fear to remain in our lives then we are effectively rejecting the gift of Christ. It is making his sacrifice of no effect. This is no place for Christians. Galatians 5: 1 reads, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” That seems pretty clear to me. It is a shout, a command that we should not allow ourselves to be victims of fear. We must stand firm against fear. Jesus came to give us abundant life, not a life shackled by fear.

The psalmist, David, gave praise to the word of God. It occurs to me that was another of his weapons against fear. He looked to the word and encouraged himself so that he could pronounce his faith in God’s saving ability. David trusted God and stood on God’s word. He determinedly put his trust in God and God’s promises and time after time God pulled him from certain defeat. Now David teaches us these valuable lessons. Let us declare as he did, “In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid.”

Another Great Exodus

Judges 6: 8 – 9

“Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘It was I who brought you up from Egypt, and brought you out from the house of slavery. And I delivered you from the hands of the Egyptians and from the hands of all your oppressors, and dispossessed them before you and gave you their land.'”

All through the Old Testament we keep hearing the forefathers talk about God leading the people out of the bondage of Egypt. They constantly reminded each other that their God was He who led them out of bondage and into a life of abundance and blessing. Finally I was reading in the Old Testament and it dawned on me. Nothing has actually changed in that regard. God is still doing the same thing today, liberating people from bondage.

You see, the God that freed the Israelites from the cruelties of Pharaoh is still on the throne today and wants to give you your own personal exodus. He wants you to experience complete freedom. You can be free from financial worries, physical limitations and anything else that limits your life. Your heart can be completely healed, your life redeemed and your end can be far greater than your beginning. God really does have super huge plans for you but you have to partner with Him. Do you remember the exodus story? Remember how much difficulty Moses had persuading the slaves to leave their slavery and follow God into a life of freedom in a land flowing with milk and honey? We actually do the same thing today. We are so comfortable in our prisons, some of which are self-made, that it is easier to remain in bondage than to take a step of faith. It is hard to put your reputation and your heart on the line and actually stand with God. It is sometimes hard to hope. But God is calling to you to come out. He wants you to live a life without man imposed limits. Jesus removed all the limits, all of the ties which bind. He has given you wings with which you can soar.

Do you think this is just rhetoric? Look around. Some Christians are actually flying with Jesus. They are living that abundant life that Jesus promised all of us in John 10: 10. What makes them so special? I think it is just that they believe and we don’t. What if we could mend our believers and jump off the end of the pier like they do? What if we could really trust God with our hopes and dreams? Is He a god who is deaf or uncaring?  

I believe that we can all attain to great heights. We have only to open our hearts and let God speak to us there. We must abandon the rules of this world and all its negative reports and believe in the depths of our spirits that God really does want to work great things in our lives. There is nothing to stop us from having the very best year of our lives this year. This can be the year of bounty. Be still and hear what the voice of God is saying to you. Take time to listen to the whisper of your heart. There are great things on the wind for you. God is calling to you. Listen. Grab the truth and refuse to let go. Let the world go its way and follow dear Jesus to the land of milk and honey. It is just around the bend. Agree that this is your year. Set your heart in agreement with God. There is freedom for the captives; a great exodus. Where will you go?

Freedom in Christ

Galatians 5: 1

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

As we celebrate this Independence Day holiday we think of the many men and women who sacrificed their lives and fortunes to secure our liberty. Yet freedom is not won once for all. The call of freedom is one of vigilance. We must constantly be on the alert for those who would steal or limit our liberty.

There is no one who gave more than Jesus in the continuous fight for freedom. His calling was to set the captives free (Isaiah 61: 1). When all of humanity was in bondage he bore in his body the price of our freedom. Even as we think of the brave patriots who fought and died for a better way of life let us remember that without Jesus’ victory there would have been no liberty for us to pursue. He bought our personal freedom with which we were able to dream of political and religious freedom. Paul warns us, though, that liberty gained is transient if we do not stand firm resisting the yoke of slavery.

I cringe when I see all of the personal liberties we relinquish these days in favor of convenience, security, etc. Americans are giving away their liberty hand over fist. The single greatest reason seems to be fear but why should we fear? Are we not all children of the most high? People even argue today that individuals have no right to personal privacy. Not so many years ago that would have sounded completely ludicrous. It still does to me. But then look how we have subjected ourselves to bondage even though Jesus did set us free.  Sometimes it is better to die than to pay the price of slavery.

We have made ourselves slaves to all sorts of substances, habits, television, leisure and so on. We have relaxed our guard even though Paul warned us not to and have become slaves again to sin and the fear of death. We have become prisoners of vain philosophies when the Word of God is the sword of freedom. We have allowed the lies of the enemy to imprison us in dungeons of sickness, poverty, brokenness and every imaginable impediment to liberty.

But Jesus stands at the threshold. He stands ever ready to show us the way to loose the shackles that bind us, he having already broken them. There is no shackle, no prison that has power over us. Jesus has set the captives free. Although prison doors have been splintered before the mighty arm of the Lord, they retain all the power we give them for if we do not arise and walk through the open doorway then we are every bit a prisoner as if the bars remained. We are only enslaved to the degree of our acceptance because the battle has been fought and won. 

This 4th of July renew yourself to the freedom won for you by those who have gone before. Refuse to allow your personal liberties to be trod upon and give no quarter to the enemy who seeks to enslave you again to the yoke from which Jesus freed you. Renew your stance, standing firm against those who would trade liberty for convenience or governmental assistance. Determine that you will guard your personal liberties even as you stand with and for your neighbor. Freedom is precious but it is always under attack. Stand firm therefore.