…The law is divine and holy. Let the law have his glory, but yet no law, be it never so divine and holy, ought to teach me that I am justified, and shall live through it. I grant it may teach me that I ought to love God and my neighbor; also to live in chastity, soberness, patience, etc., but it ought not to show me, how I should be delivered from sin, the devil, death, and hell.
 
Here I must take counsel of the gospel. I must hearken to the gospel, which teacheth me, not what I ought to do, (for that is the proper office of the law,) but what Jesus Christ the Son of God hath done for me : to wit, that He suffered and died to deliver me from sin and death. The gospel willeth me to receive this, and to believe it. And this is the truth of the gospel. It is also the principal article of all Christian doctrine, wherein the knowledge of all godliness consisteth.
 
Most necessary it is, therefore, that we should know this article well, teach it unto others, and beat it into their heads continually.  ~Martin Luther  
    
Some time ago now, my pastor was sharing on the wondrous Book of Romans over the course of a couple year span and still didn’t manage to exhaust all the gems of truth throughout Paul’s ground-breaking letter.  On this particular Sunday my pastor was explaining in detail the nature of our bondage to sin while at the same time making a case for the freedom from that same power of sin that faith in Jesus affords each of us the very split-second we come to a place of conversion.  As he began to speak and walk around the lectern it became obvious to all of us in attendance that our pastor was sporting more than his usual striped conservative tie and white shirt under-neath his black robe he’d wear during the colder winter months.  He was being followed by a rusted iron sort of thick link chain that had been attached to his ankle—as it also had been affixed to a post of some sort in the middle of the stage area.  Every time he would get so far as he meandered about, he would be forced to stop.  The chain—symbolically sin—was holding him back or captive and it was doing a good job in limiting him as to how far he could go.
  
The point became crystal clear that sin ruled and he had no freedom to go beyond it’s death hold on him.
 
 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed?  For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.   (Romans 6:21-23, ESV)
 
The following week Dr. Alberta had the same chain with him.   However, there was one exception—it wasn’t attached to him any longer.  The chain was laying there cut off and all by it’s lonesome.  He had been set free and was free to go wherever he wanted—but there was a problem.  A big problem.  Whenever he would get to the area where the chain had previously restricted him the week before—he’d all-of-a-sudden get caught up and find it difficult to go any further than he’d gone before he was set free—just as if the chain were still attached to his ankle.  It was almost as if he had been conditioned to believe that he could only go so far.  Sound familiar?  It does to me.  It explains a struggle I have found myself tangled up in on more occasions than I could count on of all our fingers combined.
 
Have you been set free from the bondage of sin? 
 
Are you living like you remember—or are you living like you have forgotten?

 

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