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Edward O’Hara Fri 3/6/2020 3:47 PM…
What do you think of when you read Jesus or Paul teaching about a man being a slave to sin? Do you think this means that because Adam’s sin was imputed to you that you are a slave to it? Or does that mean to you that this person who is a slave to sin must be doing something consistently bad that gives it control over him so that he is made a slave to it? If it is either of these then you have missed the point both Jesus and Paul were making when they spoke of the slavery of sin.
In John8 Jesus was speaking to Israelites about believing in Him. He said to those Israelites which believed on him, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house forever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”Jesus was telling them that as Israelites under the law, even having the covenant with God from Abraham and Moses, they must believe in Him to be truly free, while also keeping the law. And that only in this way could they be truly made free from sin. Because as long as they only believed in the law and rejected Jesus they only had the law for righteousness. Which is the sin Jesus was telling them they were slaves too? Because the law can make no one righteous with the righteousness that leads to life. So says Paul in Gal.3:21. This is why Paul said the strength of sin is the law in 1Cor.15:56. Because only under the law can sin enslave mankind.
So Paul was also speaking to those who believed that the righteousness God requires for eternal life comes by keeping the law when he said that “The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law”. Think about what Paul said here. Really think about it. The strength of sin is the law. Does sin have strength when you are not under the law? Paul says no. And are you under the law if you are under grace? Again Paul says no when he writes “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” in Rom.6:14. So if you are not under the law then does sin have strength to enslave you? Again Paul says no.
But, what if as some belief, part of the law was reinstated in the New Covenant? Wouldn’t this mean that since Paul said sin derives it’s strength from the law then sin has strength from that law to once again enslave you to it? Yes, that’s exactly what it means. This means that you do not have the liberty in Christ if you are accountable to keep any of the law. Because what you are doing when you believe that any part of the law was reinstated in the New Covenant is giving sin the power to enslave you.This is why Paul said “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” in Rom.6:1-4.
Paul is telling them that since they are dead to the Old Covenant sin no longer has any power over them.
Because sin derives all of its strength from the law. Paul was not talking about being a slave to sins you might do that are bad behavior any more than Jesus was. It had nothing to do with works. Paul was saying that an Israelite is a slave to sin when they do not believe in Jesus, but only in the law. Because only under the law does sin have the strength to enslave you to it. Paul called the law the “ministration of death” and “the ministration of condemnation” in 2Cor.3. Also saying things like “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.” Gal.3:10-12.
Can you see now what Paul is saying to us when he says these things? He is saying that to be under the law is to be a slave to sin. Not just when the person who is under the law is doing bad things that the law prohibited. But, just by being under the law. Because under the law any thoughts of God are always accompanied by the need to keep the law by avoiding sin. With this mindset, the person is not able to think of anything other than law-keeping for righteousness. And this is what makes him a slave to sin. Because every choice he makes is based on the mindset that he must not violate the law. So that the thought of sin occupies his every waking moment. And none are given to a loving personal relationship with Jesus. Because the law is impersonal. This is what it means to be a slave to sin.
This is why in the verse cited above Paul says the law is not of faith. Because the law only allows one to think in terms of works. He can think no other. But, in faith man thinks only of his loving relationship with God. And how in that relationship love is supreme for eternal life. He never thinks in terms of works for eternal life. But, under law obedience to it for eternal life is supreme. Instead of the obedience of faith which is love for the God who gave them the law. Because in their mind when they kept it they earned the reward of eternal life.
This is why Paul said, “The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law” in 1Cor.15:56. He was telling us that the only way a person can be enslaved by sin is when a person is under the law. Because the law is where sin derives its strength to enslave you. For without the law sin is powerless to enslave. This is also confirmed in Paul’s statement in Rom.5:13 says “For until the law sin was in the world but sin is not imputed when there is no law”.
This is why Jesus’ death was necessary for Israel because only by death does a covenant have power. And Heb.9:15 tells us that His death was for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the law. To redeem them the covenant that had power, the Old Covenant, had to be done away or they would remain slaves to sin. So His death abolished the law because in His death the law was nailed to the cross with Him according to Col.2:14 where Paul teaches “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross”. The Gentile has never been a part of that covenant however as Paul says in Eph.2:12. So the only way they would ever need the deliverance from the law that Israelites need is if they put themselves there by believing the Old Covenant, or parts of the law, are still to be kept. So when you are told that you must keep the law to be pleasing to God or something like that, tell them that you will not allow the law into your relationship with God because you will not allow it to give sin strength to enslave you. And that you will never give up the freedom and liberty that is in Christ that you have because you have always been free from the law so that sin has no power to enslave you.
Have you believed in Jesus? Have you been born of the Spirit so you too can inherit eternal life? So that you too can be led by the Spirit of God? If you are reading this God is calling you. He loves you and wants you to know Him. Because knowing Him is eternal life.John17:3. So if you do not know Him, but now would really want to, then please take the time right now to pray and confess Jesus as Lord of your life. And believe that He has raised from the dead. If you do believe in Him then pray something like this and you will be saved: Dear Jesus, I believe you. Thank you for joining with me in death so that by conquering death by your resurrection I could join with you in life. Thank you that you raised from the dead so that I could raise from the dead too by trusting in, clinging to, and relying solely on you. Thank you for giving me a new spirit now Lord so that I can live with you in heaven forever. In Jesus’ name, amen.
By praying a prayer similar to this one and really meaning it from your heart you will be saved from death to life. From sin to righteousness. And from wrath to peace with God. Now when you begin reading the Bible and believing what it plainly says it will begin to change the way you think and believe. Because when you trust in Jesus you leave the old life behind where you were only able to relate to and trust in what has been made. And now will be equipped for heaven because you are no longer only natural flesh and blood, but are made a spiritual being ready to inherit God’s spiritual kingdom called heaven. It is because of Jesus’ resurrection that He is the only WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. Because only Jesus has broken through the wall of death that the flesh and blood natural body can never get through. Only by the new birth are we made ready to receive the spiritual body that can go through the wall of death as Jesus’ did first.
This message can also be heard at https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=zY19VDdllg0
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