Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sin and Grace

Sin enslaves several ways. Let’s look at just two. First, sin enslaves us by producing compelling desires. The Bible declares, “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness” (Rom. 6:16).
Sin enslaves by making anything look more desirable than Jesus. That's what sin is: desiring something above Jesus and then acting on it. And the second way sin enslaves is that it eventually damns us. In Mark 9:46, Jesus Christ says about hell, “Where their worm does not die not, and the fire is not quenched.” Unless something intervenes, it leads to hell. I call this slavery because someone might say, “I'm fine with desiring things more than Jesus. Sounds free to me.” But you wouldn't say that if you saw clearly that the end of that road was destruction.

But thank God freedom comes in two forms. First, he frees us from the desire for sin by changing our nature through the new birth. Paul writes, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8) And the essence of it is that he gives us eyes to see that our Savior is more to be desired than anything in the world.  Second, He frees us from the damnation of sin by being condemned for us. Paul says, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13). When our sins are forgiven, and God's wrath is taken away, and we see Jesus as a greater Treasure than all the world, we are freed from both the desire and the damnation of sin. We are free indeed. By grace, that’s what Jesus holds out to you today.

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