What Are You A Slave To?

“For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.”- 2 Peter 2:19b (ESV)

What does it mean to be addicted to something? Often we use the word to describe that we really like a particular food, hobby, or television show. But having an addiction goes beyond mere attraction and desire, having more sinister connotations. When we inwardly feel compelled to do something even though we do not want to, that is what addiction truly is. We may know that our sinful habits our destructive. We may know that no good ever comes out of them. Yet like one who has stepped into quicksand, it drags us against our will. If we give even an inch to sin, it will become a brutal taskmaster; demanding that we satisfy it with our wickedness even though we want escape.

But if we have grown weary to this addiction to sin, there is hope! God knows our torment when we are slaves to our depravity. He knows that this was never meant to be and He mourns the damage sin is doing to His creation and to us in particular who bear His image. That is why He wants to deliver us so that we may be restored and dwell in relationship with Him. He has given us this hope through His Son, Jesus Christ. When we have allowed Him to enter our hearts and submit every area of our lives to His redemptive work, He will break the chains that bind us to our sinful nature. By binding ourselves to Christ, He will allow His love and righteousness to consume us; overflowing from our hearts so that all may see the work which He is doing in us. To be slaves to sin is a slavery that will only bring us misery and grief. But to be a slave to Christ means that His goodness will overcome us; bringing us life, and a joy that we will be able to find in all circumstances and that will never be taken away.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Revering Christ Through Service

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” –Ephesians 5:21 (NIV)

Human tendency is to argue and fight. Our sinful nature dictates that we should always have our way no matter the cost. If for some reason we do not get what we want, we will resort to whatever means necessary to have our desires met. But this worship of the self only leads to destruction. Not only will it taint and shatter our relationships with others, it will also degrade ourselves. The obsession to satisfy our wants will make us say things we would not usually say and do things that we would not usually do; even if it is at the expense of those around us. In the end, though we may think that we are expressing our freedom through such behaviour, we have actually become slaves to our own depravity.

Pride and selfishness is what characterizes our corrupt nature. Therefore, according to this nature, acting in loving submission to others is regarded as a sign of weakness. However it is anything but. To serve does not imply a passive timidity, but a strength that comes from knowing that in Christ we find our worth and security. When we have allowed Christ to enter our hearts and carry out His redemptive work in our lives, He gives a new nature; one that is characterized by His humility and selfless love. By submitting ourselves to Christ, He will break the power that sin has over us to reveal the freedom and joy which comes by serving Him. If we seek to solely gratify ourselves, misery will be our only companion. But when we allow the love of Christ to overflow from within us, we will see how His love restores our lives and the lives of others. When we see people through the eyes of Christ, we will see them as precious individuals created in the image of God. With this in mind we will love and serve others by Christ’s enabling knowing that in doing so we respect and revere their Creator.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

The Way Has Been Provided

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin.” –Hebrews 4:15 (NIV)

Sin is a destructive parasite. While it may promise us fulfilment, bliss, and confidence, it does everything but. Once we have allowed it to enter our lives, it feasts on us; robbing us of our joy and dignity. We then find ourselves at the point where our sin makes us feel filthy and depraved. Knowing that we cannot live like this we seek to overcome our sin. But despite our most earnest of efforts to combat wickedness in our lives, the temptations that entice us into sin continue to plague us. One of the greatest lies that we could ever succumb to is that no one understands the temptations we face. Believing this lie we see no hope of deliverance. Thus we become paralyzed in a vicious cycle that continues to bind us to our sin.

The truth however, is that there is someone who understands! Christ knows the temptations we face. While He was on Earth, Christ became acquainted with the weaknesses that we are subject to as a result of our fallen bodies. But though He knew what we as fallible human beings must face, He was without sin; blameless and pure. He was God Incarnate, and therefore He cannot tolerate sin. Yet the whole reason for why He came down to Earth to experience what we experience was so that through His death and resurrection we may be free from sin. Christ, by what He has done for us, has provided us a way out; a single path through which we may enjoy the freedom which He has to offer. The cross of Christ bears testimony to the fact that God knows the struggles we face with our corrupt nature and in His love He has given us the hope and promise of being delivered from it. When we allow Christ to enter our hearts and submit ourselves to His redemptive work in our lives, He will break the chains which bind us to our sin; enabling us to rest in the joy of being restored through Him.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.