Summary: Jesus sets us free from the curse of the Law, from the guilt of sin, and from the kingdom of Satan.
John 8. I want us to consider a question together this morning. The question is this: what is the main mission of the Messiah? Why did Jesus Christ come to this earth? Well we get some help from Jesus very first sermon where He reads from Isaiah 61 saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 ” He came to bring freedom. That’s the main mission of the Messiah. Today we are going to notice how He does it.
We’re in John chapter 8, vs 36 says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” We can see that Jesus is referring to freedom from 2 specific things. In verses 34-38 He is speaking of freedom from sin: freedom from lifestyles that we, ourselves cannot overcome. The world calls this “addiction”, and Jesus calls it slavery, you can see that in verse 34, “anyone who sins is a slave of sin.” But secondly, the freedom referred to is a freedom from Satan’s kingdom, you can see that in verses 42-47. Freedom from sin and freedom from Satan’s kingdom is what Jesus has in mind here.
Today I want us to see 3 truths about our condition by birth so that we might understand why we are slaves to sin and to Satan, and so that we can see how Jesus frees us. These 3 things are true of every person ever born. 1. All human beings are born under a curse. 2. All human beings are born under the guilt of sin. 3. All human beings are born into Satan’s kingdom. The devil is the god of this world, and we are all born into this world, into his kingdom. Now that’s the problem, we’re born cursed, guilty and captive to Satan. Let’s notice these one by one, so that we can see how Jesus frees us.
First, look with me at Genesis chapter 3. In Genesis 3 we have the record of the serpent tempting Adam and Eve, and then they ate from the forbidden tree, and sin now entered into the world. And with sin came a curse. And I want us to notice this curse by noting some of the new words that came with sin. These are words that were not in the Bible before sin entered the world. Notice them with me:
Pain. Vs. 16. God says to Eve “with pain you will give birth to children.” The word “pain” is new, there was no pain before there was sin. Pain is part of the curse. He says it again, this time to Adam, in verse 17 when He says “through painful toil you will eat of the ground.” The curse that sin brought included pain: pain for women giving birth and pain for men working. Next, look at verse 18: thorns and thistles. As a result of sin the ground would now produce thorns and thistles. There were no thorns before sin entered this world, thorns are a result of the curse. Notice vs. 19. Sweat is a new word. Adam would work hard and would sweat. And again in vs. 19: death. God tells Adam he would return to the ground. He would die. Then notice vs. 23 the word “banished”, that’s a new word. Part of the curse is that Adam and Eve were banished from paradise. And finally in vs. 24 you have a new word “sword”. That’s a new word. Angels were given a sword to keep Adam and Eve out of paradise. So this is the curse that we are all born into. We have pain and hard work and thorns and thistles, we work by the sweat of our brow, then we die and are banished from God’s presence.
This curse is further highlighted at the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai. The Law said “all who do not continue to do everything written in the book of the Law are under a curse.” So now we are cursed because of Adam’s sin and we are cursed because of our own sin. Now certainly no human being can be free who is under a curse.
Problem is that the majority of people do not know they are under the curse. I remember reading a fable about an old witch, who would brew up a curse in her cauldron, and she would pronounce this curse on people but they would not know anything about it. They would go about their day as usual, until one by one they started dropping dead. Well that’s an old fable, but listen, in a very real way, you and I are under a curse like that. We go about our day as usual but we are all going to drop dead, one by one, as proof of the curse we are all under. Noone can be free who is cursed.