Summary: Oh, that we would never let our Christianity become nothing more than a set of rituals and laws! Christ has set us free from sin not to enslave us to a new set of laws! If we are to live free from sin we have to allow our hearts to be filled with the grac
Christ the Liberator, John 8:31-36
You and I – we – are born into this lives wearing slaves shackles. They aren’t visible. We can’t see them because they are the shackles of sin. The Bible teaches us that all of us have received a sinful nature from our parents.
Our parents received it from their parents and they received it from theirs. Psalms 51:5 says, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.” (NKJV)
Sin is not only about the actual act of committing a wrong act. It is also about having a disposition toward committing sin. Sin is not primarily of a problem of the hands which commit the acts, it is a first and foremost a problem of the heart.
We do not simply do the wrong things, our hearts are bent toward sin from birth and we spend all of our life wading through the consequences of sin in our lives.
How does a worm get inside an apple? Perhaps you think the worm burrows in from the outside. No, scientists have discovered that the worm comes from the inside. But, how does he get in there?
Simple; an insect lays an egg in the apple blossom. Sometime later the worm hatches in the heart of the apple, then eats his way out.
Sin, like the worm, begins in the heart and works out through the person’s thoughts, word and actions. For this reason, David once wrote, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.”
Sin is not an easy word for a Pastor to say. It makes all of us feel uncomfortable to talk about our sin. But avoiding the topic won’t make it go away will it? There is an ancient proverb which says, “A scab is a scab, even if you smear honey on it.”
Sin is not an easy subject, be we aren’t afraid to deal with tough subjects are we? If we are to grow, we must deal with the tough subjects of the Christian life.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (NKJV) Today, let us engage the truth free from fear and as we do, let us grow in the grace of God in our lives.
John 8:31-36 says, “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (NKJV)
Have you ever seen a young boy learning to use a hammer and nails? My 2 year old son Sebastian loves to help me whenever I am working around the parsonage.
He even has his own little plastic hammer that he uses as I use the real one.
Sometimes I will let him try to hit the nail with his plastic hammer. He will put everything he has into hitting the nail. He will grunt and huff and puff. He gets really serious about hitting as hard as he can!
When Sebastian hits the nail with his plastic hammer though, very little happens. In fact, he is more likely to hurt himself or his hammer than he is to actually cause any real work to be done!
So it is with us as well. All of our efforts to change our own hearts, all of our efforts to get free from the things that hold us captive, are just like a little boy hitting a nail with a plastic hammer.
In our own strength we do not have the power to drive the nails of this life. We hit the nails of addiction with our plastic hammers and nothing changes. We hit the nails of bitterness and nothing happens.
We hit the nails of our sin and our strength is simply not enough to have a visible affect. We scar our plastic hammers, our well intentioned efforts prove futile.
It is not so with the word of God! The word of God is the real hammer for this life. The word of God has the power to drive the nails of this life. When we apply the word of God to the bondages in our lives, we find the strength to overcome them.
When we apply the word of God to the things in our lives which keep us shackled, we find freedom. In John 10:10 Jesus says, “have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (NKJV)