Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Freedom #2: Bondage

Since the ’60’s man has been talking about the freedom of his “new morality”, but he has no idea that he is under the bondage of sin and Satan.  He prides himself on  his “free speech”, but unless he is a Spirit controlled Christian, the only freedom he has is to pour forth foolishness. Proverbs 12:23 “The heart of fools proclaims foolishness.”  He claims he is for “free love” when actually it is just a cloak for selfishness and lust. As the Israelites were described in Exodus 1:14 and 2:23 living in bitter bondage as slaves down in Egypt, so Jesus describes the lost in John 8:34 as being in bondage to sin. 

 

Man in the depths of his soul, knowing he is created by God and must one day face a holy God and be condemned for his sins, is incurably religious; as through fear of death he attempts to atone for his sins by the legalism of religious ceremony and good works. In Hebrews 2:14-15 we learn that Jesus, the Son of God, became flesh that He might die for our sins and deliver us from a lifetime of  the fear of death and the bondage of vain religion.    

 

THE BONDAGE OF THE CEREMONIAL LAW  

Though Israel was freed from Egypt, they soon found themselves in bondage to a tedious, difficult to keep, ceremonial law.  With its details about Sabbath keeping and animal sacrifices for sin and its many detailed laws and prohibitions, it became a heavy load for Israel to bear.  Peter in Acts 15:10 counseled the early church to avoid putting this heavy load upon the gentile converts. “Now therefore, why tempt ye God to put a yoke upon the necks of the disciples (the gentile converts) which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?”  

 

Old Testament saints, such as David, did not consider God’s laws as bondage. David said in Psalm 119:97  “Oh, how love I Thy Law. It is my meditation all the day.” What was he meditating on?  He was meditating on the promised Messiah and Saviour who would one day come as the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world. The ceremonial Law wonderfully pictured that promised Redeemer.  It was David’s faith in that promised Saviour that saved David and other Old Testament saints.   

 

So it is with Christians in this New Testament Church Age.  We who have trusted Christ for our righteousness love God’s moral law and desire to keep it, even though sometimes we fail and need to confess our sins and short-comings to God. I John 1 is a wonderful chapter to read and hide in our hearts. It shows us how to live a clean, pure life and what to do when we fail the Lord.  Thank God, that according to II Corinthians 5:21 even though we keep God’s Law imperfectly, God sees us clothed in the perfect  robe of Christ’s righteousness if we have put our trust in Him.  

 

Old Testament Israel was promised God’s blessing in Deuteronomy  28:1-14 if they would keep God’s Law.  They were also warned in Deuteronomy 28:15-68 and chapter 30  of God’s curse if they failed to keep it.   That bondage of the Mosaic Law continued until Jesus died on the cross and the veil in the Temple was supernaturally torn in two from top to bottom, signaling the end of the  Old Testament ceremonial system.   Christ is now the fulfillment of God’s Law of Righteousness and all who put their trust in Him are declared righteous through God’s act of justification fully explained in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans.   

 

For unbelieving Israel, as well as for every gentile who rejects Christ as Messiah and Saviour, the bondage of legalism continues, as Jesus explained in John 8:32-36. Those unbelieving Jews in Paul’s day were the Judaizers who followed him wherever he preached the Gospel. They insisted that the new converts needed to continue living under the Law of Moses, thus confusing the young Christians.  These were the enemies of the Gospel and the enemies of Paul who tried to destroy him and his influence over the people wherever he went.  You will read of Paul’s struggle with them, especially in Galatians and I and II Corinthians. They did everything they could to try to destroy Paul’s reputation and influence over the early Church.  They even stoned him on one occasion, leaving him for dead; but he recovered and continued his difficult ministry plagued by their opposition.   

 

THE BONDAGE OF CARNALITY  

To be carnal is to be controlled by our sinful flesh nature rather than by the Holy Spirit who indwells the believer. It is to quench and reject the conviction of the Spirit when we do wrong.  It is to say yes to Satan and no to God.  It is an extremely dangerous position for the Christian and he is subject to serious consequences in this life.  To be controlled by the flesh and Satan is to be in bondage to the world system, our flesh nature and Satan himself.  In  Galatians 1:4  Paul declares that he is writing his Epistle to deliver us from the oppression, domination and power of this present evil world system.  

 

The carnal Christian, though bought with the price of Christ’s blood, continues to live his life as though Christ did not matter.  He boasts of  “his freedom in Christ to do whatever he pleases” but he is actually attempting to live his life in freedom from Christ and from His Word, the Bible. He wants nothing to do with Bible preaching that cuts against his grain and he seeks preachers who give him what he wants to hear.  He hasn’t the foggiest idea of Christ’s deliverance from sin.  Preachers who preach this diluted, weak gospel are  described in II Peter 2. 

 

Is a carnal Christian saved?  No one but God knows for sure. Titus 1:16.  It is our responsiblity to so live for Christ that we give no one any reason for questioning our salvation.  Read II Peter 1:1-11 on this.

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September 10, 2007 - Posted by | Freedom

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