“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” ~Jesus
What does it really mean to be a slave? Does it mean you’re bound up in shackles? Does it mean you are being forced to work, or something else you don’t want to do, for free?…What is slavery?
Jesus defined what true slavery is: sin slavery. He said, “You’re really only a slave if you are a slave to sin” (see John 8:34). What I didn’t understand for so long was how could sin make me a slave? After all, I’m in control of my own attitudes and actions, right? And further, the Bible says I’m dead to sin and alive in Christ (see Romans 6:11).
So if I do choose to sin, because I’m a new creation in Christ–at my spiritual core, He and I are one (see 1 Corinthians 6:17, 2 Corinthians 5:17)–then it’s not really even me who sins, but instead, it’s the power of sin. This is why Paul said:
“As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.” (Romans 7:17)
Yes, I know this is difficult to grasp, but this is the truth of the gospel which sets us free! We’ve had a supernatural DNA swap with Christ! Jesus has taken our sinful spirits and given us new, perfect spirits! Paul tells the Christians in Colossae what’s happened to them:
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:21-22)
This is hard teaching to understand because we’ve been taught that we’re dirty sinners–we’re not! We were dirty sinners, and now, by Christ’s physical body, we are holy, without blemish, and free from accusation! (See Colossians 1:22). It was Paul who began to teach this way–telling Christians who they really were inside. He calls it “the ministry of reconciliation” (see 2 Corinthians 5:18). This is coming from the self-proclaimed “best” former legalist ever! (See Philippians 3:4-6). Paul said sin has no control over who we are in the spiritual realm (see Romans 8:9). How is that even possible?
Peter said, “Paul’s letters contain some things that are hard to understand,” but he goes on to call Paul “a dear brother with the wisdom that God gave him” (see 2 Peter 3:15-16). So when I, Matt McMillen, write, “You are perfect in your spirit, so live that way,” this is the same teaching that rocked the early church!
If sin in me is simply an invisible leech–a parasite in my physical being–and I can’t get rid of my body on this side of heaven, what am I to do? Paul answers that exact question right after he calls sin a foreign object in the members of his own body:
“Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25).
Jesus is who sets us free from the slavery of sin! Not us! Instead, we die in spirit, by grace through faith—once—and we become alive with Christ, actually resurrected in His Spirit, while still in these bodies (see Romans 6:3-8, Galatians 2:20, Hebrews 10:10, Colossians 3:3, 1 Corinthians 6:19).
So now, as believers, we are all holy saints who “sometimes sin,” but make no mistake, sin does not define us in any way! We have to separate our who from our do, and then live up to our who–without effort (see Hebrews 4:11).
So today, my friends, know this: Sin has no power over you! You are not a slave to sin–if you’re a Christian! Not a Christian? Are you ready to break free? Simply ask Jesus to unchain you today, and He will!
A prayer for you: Father, thank you for making me spiritually perfect just like you. Through my faith in Jesus’ sacrifice, I know this is what I am in my spiritual core. Thank you for killing off my sinful spirit with Jesus, and thank you for raising me to eternal life with Him as well. Your Word says in Romans 6, that I have been set free from sin and I have become a slave to righteousness. Thank you for this gift! I am shackled forever! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. For those who are stuck in a particular sin pattern, as a Christian, drench them with your grace and help them to understand who they are inside. It could be an addiction, dishonesty, jealousy, pride, or an incorrect attitude of being extremely judgmental—any sin struggle—help them. And please let the unbeliever who is reading this begin to understand just how much power and freedom is found in Christ! Amen!
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 2. Get your copy here!