Tuesday, January 14, 2020 -
This morning, in contemplation of Matthew 16:19, where Jesus tells us that when we are loosed from the bondage of sin, it is clear He has already completed that task (see Jan. 12, 2020 journal entry), Satan is bound and no longer has control over us. Paul says, “Having been freed from sin, you become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:18). In all instances, I found where Christ or the epistles speak of our being loosed, or freed, from the power of sin, the tense of the verb indicates it is a one time action. Praise the Lord! Christ accomplished this at Calvary for all who deny themselves, take up the cross, and follow Christ (Matthew 16:24). It was finished once and for all at the cross of Calvary when the Lamb of God was sacrificed for our sin.
Note that when Jesus tells those Jews who had believed in Him that if they abide or continue in His Word, they shall be free (John 8:31). In verse 36 of the same chapter He tells them “if therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” Several things are of note here. In verse 34, Jesus says everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The word here for commit means to commit sin continuously, as a pattern of one’s life. But the freedom from sin was provided at the cross, and it becomes true for us once and for all when we make the decision to embrace through the repentance of sin and self-denial the freedom only Christ can provide. Paul says in 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.” Again, this was a one-time act of Christ, to set us free, to loose us from the power of sin and Satan.
Yet Jesus tells the new believers if they abide in His Word, then they are truly disciples of His, and shall know the truth, and the truth shall make them free (John 8:31-32). So the key to victory over the pattern of sin in our lives is first recognizing that it is only Christ’s redemption that frees us from the burden of sin. Freedom from sinful patterns in our life comes from nothing we can do or achieve through our own efforts. Christ has already done it for us on the cross! But we must abide in His Word in order to live a victorious life over sin, according to John 8:31. It was not until in my own life that I recognized the weakness of my own flesh – really complete helplessness, and I subsequently confessed it and turned it over to Christ, that He gave me victory over the pattern of sin in my life. In our transformative process (see Romans 12:2), which lasts a lifetime, the Holy Spirit may choose to deal with one sin at a time, but that’s what the maturity process is all about. This was a principle I knew to be true in my own heart, but today’s study provides me with a very clear Scriptural basis for it. What a blessing and joy it is to abide in Christ’s Word!