Back to Slavery?
Imagine a man who was born into slavery. He is raised as a slave, trained as a slave; all he knows is slavery. Now, imagine that one day this slave is sold at the slave auction. He is bought by a kind and generous man who immediately hands this slave papers that declare him to be free. Imagine that slave rejoicing in his freedom. He runs through the crowd waving those papers in the air and he shouts, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God I am free at last!” The man who brought him to the auction to sell him sees all this and starts to leave, and immediately his former slave falls in behind him. His past owner looks around and says, “Man, you’re free! You don’t have to work for me any longer!” The slave answers and says,
“I know the paper says that I am free, but all I know how to do, is to be a slave; so I am going to follow you and continue to work for you!” The former owner gladly accepts the offer, but the freed slave has done a foolish thing.
We hear a story like that and say, “That would never happen! Why,
a slave who was free would never return to slavery!” I want you to know that it happens all the time! You see, the Lord Jesus promised freedom to all those who would follow Him, John 8:32; 36. However, there are many who have received Jesus as their Saviour, who still live in the bondage and slavery of their sins. Like that slave in the story, they hold in their hands their emancipation papers,- Gods word that declares them free, but in their lives, they still live like they are slaves.
My Sermon today entitled “Back to Slavery” is for those who still feel like they are trapped in their sins, and I hope it will offer help. For Christians to be free from the power of sin, they need to understand a few fundamental truths. Turn again to that portion in Romans Chapter Six, which we read earlier in today’s service. Notice the word “knowing” in verse 6. This is from the Greek word, “Ginosko” which
means “to know absolutely, to know for sure.”
To be free, there are some things that we need to know for sure!
Many never learn them, and as a result, they live their entire Christian lives in a state of defeat and misery. I want you to know that this does not have to be true in your life! You have been set free by the Lord Jesus Christ! You have been eternally liberated from the power of sin! These verses tell us how to walk in that freedom, so that we may lift our voices unto the Lord who bought us and freed us and cry …
“Free at last! Free at last! Praise God Almighty, I am free at last.”
Let’s determine today never to go back to slavery, for we are Free at last!
Consider in the First place, what I am calling
THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR PAST
In Romans 6:6 I see The Reality Of Our Death – This verse tells us in no uncertain terms that we “are” crucified with Christ. That is, when Jesus died on the cross, my old man of sin died with Him! My old fleshly nature was forever put to death on the cross: This is a fact! The tense of the word “is” is one that implies an event that transpired at some point in the past. It is completed forever, but the results of that event continue on into the future. In other words, when Jesus died on the cross, God took our old, fallen, wicked natures and put them to death also. When Jesus died for sin on the cross, He dealt with EVERY aspect of sin completely. Every Christian needs to
know that they are DEAD!
There are two important things to note here.
1. The point of crucifixion is never to produce extreme suffering. Crucifixion only exists to produce death!
2. The person crucified cannot crucify himself! Crucifixion must always be inflicted by another. I cannot crucify
myself, but if I am saved, I am crucified with Christ.
Now the issue that must be dealt with is this:- If the old man of sin, the old nature, is dead, why does it feel so alive? Because so many believers do not do what verse 11 says. We do not “reckon our ourselves dead indeed to sin”!
When Christ died, the flesh died. It can only continue to live as I give it permission to live. If I will reckon it dead, then it is dead! I know that is easier said than done, but it can be done, and that is the point! The whole idea is, that believers need to live out what God has already told them was true.
Through 6 into verse 7, I notice: The Results Of Our Death – If we are indeed dead, then what are the results of this in our lives?
There are three mentioned here. Firstly …
That the body of sin might be destroyed – this means that the old sinful nature has been rendered “ineffective”. That is what the word “destroyed” in the Greek means. The idea is that through the new birth, the old man has died and is now unemployed, idle. – He has no longer any control over us.
Some may argue that it regularly doesn’t feel that way! I will agree, but that changes nothing! How many times have you had a bad night’s sleep and when you awoke in the morning you said, “It sure doesn’t feel like 6 o’clock!” Well, whether or not it feels like it, the position of the sun, planetary rotation and other fixed truths make it so nonetheless. So it is in the spiritual realm! Even if you do not feel like your old nature
is dead, God says it is, – and so it is!
These verses also add That we should not serve sin –
The result of this death of the old nature is that we are free from its wicked influence in our lives. The old nature lived for one thing: To serve sin – Eph. 2:1-3.
Thank God that in Jesus, we have been given freedom from the evil influence of our nature. Basically stated, we do not have to live like that any longer! We are no longer under the slavery
to sin! Will the Christian sin? Yes! (1 John 1:8-10)
Does he have to? No! (1 Cor. 10:13).
Verse 7 affirms That we should experience true spiritual freedom – Again, Paul used the analogy of death to illustrate the truth that we are dead to sin. A dead man wants nothing! He is not tempted by tricks and trinkets, by sexual impropriety, by money or greed, by drugs or by anything else that might normally tempt the flesh. When a man dies, he is free from the temptation to sin. For the Christian, when we can reach the place where we are able to “reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin”, then we can experience that same freedom from temptation. Typically, our problem is not that God hasn’t given us all we need to avoid these evils, our problem usually is that we like them, or love them too much – to stop doing them!
This then is The Truth About Our Past.
Now let us consider
THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR POSITION
Verse 8, shows us Our Placement In Christ – We need to understand that we who died with Jesus at Calvary, also arose with Him from the tomb. When He died, we died! When He arose, we arose! We are in Him! What affected Him has affected us!
It stands to reason then that if the believer is identified with Jesus in His death, we are also identified with Him in His resurrection. When He died, we died. When He arose, we arose! And, just as He was altered after the resurrection, so too, believers are changed by being allowed to partake of His life right now! The idea here is not of life in Heaven, but of everyday life now; the life abundant. John 10:10. Just as Jesus came forth out of death to live a new life, so too the believer is raised from the deadness of sin to walk in new life by the power of His resurrection. This is the essence of 2 Cor. 5:17
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”.
Then Romans 6 verses 9-10 reveal Our Pattern In Christ –
Just as Jesus enjoys permanent victory over the grave, Heb. 7:25, the believer also enjoys permanent victory over sin! We have been given the privilege of living a victorious life by the power of His resurrection.
I am aware that for many of you, your daily experience is often different than what I am telling you today. You may be a person who has tried repeatedly to live for God and has failed miserably again and again. If that is true, let me just encourage you to continue!
It may not seem like the old man is dead, but God said he was!
Since he is, we need only learn to “reckon” consider him so.
When we can learn to see our flesh as being dead, then we are on
the road to permanent victory!
I remember as a child being told by a neighbour of the “Leprechaun“. These were supposedly some sort of tiny vicious wild men, who for some reason, loved to live behind the garden sheds, or hide in bushes at the bottom of the garden on dark nights. I was told that being outside at night was especially dangerous. Why, many boys had been carried away screaming into the forests never to be seen again. Now, on an intellectual level, I knew there was no such thing. I mean, we tried to find a picture of those “little people” in the encyclopaedias, but there was none. I knew there was no such thing as a “Leprechaun” yet a noise in the dark in the general direction of those old shrubs would send me, and all the other children into the house.
Then, there came the night when this fear had to be dealt with.
I remember playing hide and seek out there and having nowhere else to hide, I decided to hide behind one of those sheds. On one level, my stomach was knotted with fear as I made my way in the sunset to the backside of that old barn. My heart was screaming in fear, while my mind reminded my heart that “Leprechauns” are not real. Well, I stepped around that shed, my heart in my mouth, and guess what I found: Nothing! That’s right, what I knew to be true was true!
I have been able, from that moment to this, to reckon “Leprechauns” to be fiction. Even now, when I am outside at night and hear the rustle of something in the bushes, my childhood fears try to resurrect themselves and persuade me that “the little people” might just be real: But, now I know better! Therefore, I can reckon, consider them to be non-existent!
Do you see the parallel? We must come to the place where we are willing to accept the word of God as our reality, regardless of what we think or feel. God says that we “Know” (v. 6) that the old man is crucified with Christ! We also “Know” (v. 9) that we are living a new life in Him. Therefore, we must strive to walk in this reality.
This is the only road that leads to victory!
So then we have examined …
The Truth About Our Past
and The Truth About Our Position
let us then look at THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR POTENTIAL
In Paul’s letter to the Romans Chapter 6 at Verse 11,
He Speaks Of A Reckoning – If it is true that I died with Jesus, then I must recon or “account” myself to be dead to sin. I will remind you that this is an accounting term. It means to add up all the facts and come to a proper summary. The only way the facts add up is that you and I, that is we who are saved, are dead to sin!
If I also arose with Jesus, then, by the same reasoning, I am alive to God! The old man is dead! The new man is alive!
While I am to be dead to the works of sin, the flesh and the devil,
I am to be alive to the things of God: His Word, His Work, His Worship, His Will, His Ways, and so on.
The whole idea is, that we who are in Jesus are to follow after the things that speak of our position in Jesus Christ. He, and not the old self and selfish nature, is to be the motivation for all we do in life!
In verses 12&13 He Speaks Of A Relinquishing – These verses tell us that we are to be actively involved in determining what these bodies will and will not do. Instead of allowing the flesh to have its way all the time, we are to yield control of our lives to the Lord Jesus. We are to allow Him to reign in these bodies so that we might be instruments of glory in His hands. This is the idea behind
Romans 12:1-2. We are to present these bodies to the Lord
as His instruments for His use.
While this old fleshly nature is dead, and must be treated so, these bodies can be used for the glory of the Lord. However, to accomplish this, we must yield total control, or Lordship to Jesus Christ!
But remember, Satan will fight you for your Body as well as for
your Mind, … how we need the Grace and power of God.
Finally in this context at verse 14 He Speaks Of A Releasing –
By virtue of the fact that we are dead and risen with Jesus, we have been forever released from the dominion of sin. We are not its slaves any longer, and sin should not be our Master! The flesh, the world and the devil have no control over the child of God. We are free in Christ. Free to live for Christ! We are free! Free from the Law and its penalties! Free by the power of God’s grace! Free to live for God, and free to say no to sin!
Why does it seem that so many Christians struggle with sin? I think the answer lies in the fact that they have failed to see themselves as they
really are. They have never grasped the truth that they are dead to sin, and alive to God. They have never faced the fact that when sin and temptations come along, they do not just have to give in and go along with them.
They are free to say no and to live for Jesus!
If we learn nothing else from the book Romans, let us learn the fact that we are dead to sin, because we were crucified with Jesus! Let us learn that what happened to Him has happened to us. When He died to sin,
we died to sin! When He arose in victory, we arose in victory.
We are no longer slaves, but we are free!
My dear listening Friends, the devil knows that if you are saved, you do not any longer belong to him. However, if you choose to continue to live for him and to do his will, he won’t turn you away. He can’t have you, but he will for sure, keep you in spiritual bondage and imprisonment –
unless you can grasp this truth that in Jesus you have been set free …
so why would you go back to slavery?
NOW THIS FINAL WORD
Dr Griffith Thomas once said:
“One reason many have never realized their bondage to sin may seem
very paradoxical, but it is, nevertheless, very true.
It is because they have never tried to get free.
Imagine a yard where a dog is heavily chained. The dog, however, is fast asleep, and so he does not realize his bondage. Later on we may even notice the dog eating his food, still chained, but as the food is close to the kennel
and his chain is not heavy, he is still unconscious of his bondage.
But soon comes the owner of the dog, who, forgetting the chain,
calls the dog. The animal springs up, eager to reach his master.
What happens then? All his efforts are in vain, and now for the
first time he feels the irksomeness and restraint of his fetters.
It is exactly the same with sin.
Try to get free, and you feel your chains, you will feel its hold”
Your Past … You have been crucified with Christ
Your Position … You have been resurrected to Life Abundant in Christ
Your Potential … You can be more than a conqueror in Christ
None of us should ever want to go back, back to the Slavery of Sin,
or the Mastery of Satan?
May God keep you and me in His will and His way.