“For by grace you are saved through faith, and this not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)
One of the most debilitating effects of sin is our bondage to sin.
We don’t just commit acts of sin. We ARE sinners. We are under constant pressure to please our selves… do what we want… look to our own pleasures… feed our inner passions and desires.
This is because the Bible informs us that sin is in our very nature. Our default mode is to be self-centered. This makes our efforts at pleasing a righteous and holy God hard work. Sin is easy. Righteousness is hard.
So we find ourselves living out the description given by the apostle Paul in Romans 7:14-25. We have this desire within us to please God, that agrees with God’s Law, and that actually seeks to do what is right… but when it comes right down to it, we always seem to resort back to default mode. We don’t really want to sin… we just do it anyway.
Jesus told us why this is the case: “Truly, truly, I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34) Sin holds a power over us that makes us powerless to prevent it – because of our sinful nature we ARE slaves to sin.
We need not only to be forgiven our sins… we also need delivered from the mastery of sin over us.
This is exactly what we receive in salvation. Remember that our definition of salvation is “to rescue and deliver to a place or position of freedom and safety.”
This is also what Jesus came to do – to redeem us… to purchase our complete and unequivocal freedom. His work not only pays the price for our sins… His work purchases our freedom.
He tells us that is what He came to do: “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because… He has sent Me to proclaim deliverance to the captives and …to set at liberty those who are oppressed.” (from Luke 4:18) In Jesus is the fulfillment of this momentous promise. In Jesus is the deliverance and freedom we need.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Galatians 5:1) Jesus’ work set us free so that we could live in a state (a place and position) of freedom.
How is this accomplished?
Because faith in Jesus causes us to share in what Jesus did for us. The apostle declares that when Christ died for us, WE died with Him. “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin…” (Romans 6:6)
Our old self = who we were, mastered by our sin nature. Because we believe in Jesus, and in what He has done, that old self DIED with Him and “anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” (6:7)
Through the work of Jesus, the power of sin has been rendered powerless. We reap the benefits of His work – as our sin nature has been overpowered by a new nature we receive from our God. We ARE set free from the power of sin. We ARE delivered to a new kind of life and living.
Salvation includes the provision for our deliverance from sin… so we may rightly say: “For by grace you are delivered through faith, and this not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”