Freedom From Sin Jn 8: 33-36 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
When people get saved, some experience an immediate deliverance from sins, like drugs and alcohol, and some experience a hard fought victory over sins. Why the difference?
When you are saved, you are indeed free from sin – Jn 8:33-36 – Jesus freed you from the bondage of sin. At salvation our old man is crucified with Christ and we are freed from sin [Rom 6:6-7]. For some people, this freedom from sin manifests itself in an immediate deliverance from certain obvious sins, comparable to the deliverance the man in the Gadarenes experienced [Mk 5:15]. For others, this freedom from sin manifests itself through resisting and striving against sin [Heb 12:4].
Some men are delivered but must be careful to “sin no more” – Jn 5:8-14 – that is, men who have been delivered at salvation from the power of certain sins over them must be careful not to go back to those sins. You see, quitting those sins didn’t require a “fight.” Their freedom was just handed to them. In such a case, it is very easy for someone to go back to their sins. Its “easy come, easy go.” Its like the different attitudes toward the assets of a company between the founder of a business who sweat and toiled, long and hard, to build the business and the son who had the, now successful, business handed to him. The son is going to, generally, be much more careless with the assets than the man who built the business.
I know a number of men and women who were delivered from tobacco or drugs or alcohol, and then went back to those sins afterwards. They got really backslidden and found it harder to quit those sins later than before. They didn’t appreciate what God had done for them and now they have a real fight on their hands. Though 2 Pet 2:19-21 is in a chapter dealing with false teachers and preachers [2 Pet 2:1] and with dogs and sows [2 Pet 2:22] rather than with children of God and sheep, there is truth in the statement “their end is worse with them than the beginning.” Some go back to their old sins and never quit. They keep doing those things till they die. They can’t seem to ever get the victory.
Some men must resist and strive against their sins until they finally get the victory – 2 Cor 10:3-6 – that is, they are freed from sin but to experience that freedom they must war with the weapons of their warfare until they pull down the strongholds. It seems they are in a constant fight. Sins like pornography, wicked imaginations, and certain drugs are just a few of the sins that can be very difficult to shake because they are embedded deep in their heart and mind.
However, the fellow who has to fight his way to freedom by God’s grace has put some sweat in the battle to gain his freedom. He is strengthened by the Lord, no doubt, but he has to fight the good fight of faith [1 Tim 6:12] with the whole armor of God [Eph 6:10-18] and work out his own salvation with fear and trembling while God is working inside of him [Phil 2:12-13].
Because of the “effort” this fellow has put into the battle, he is more reluctant to give up the ground he has gained than the fellow who has been “delivered” from sin. He knows what it took to get through the trials and temptations and he is not willing to give up all that ground to go back to his old life. The price is just too high.
If you haven’t been delivered, don’t wait to be delivered to deal with your sins – Rom 8:13 – God has given you everything you need to enjoy the freedom from sin that Jesus has given you [Jn 8:32]. But some people never find that freedom because they wait to be delivered. Two smokers that I knew used to ask for prayer that God would deliver them from smoking. I counseled them to quit and trust the grace of God to give them the strength to resist the temptation to smoke [2 Cor 12:9-10]. I told them to put off the old man and put on the new man [Eph 4:22-24]. But they wouldn’t. They wanted God to deliver them. When they were each on their death beds with terminal lung cancer, they testified to me that God had finally delivered them from smoking and that they now had the victory. Doesn’t that seem strange to you that God would wait to deliver them until their sin had all but killed them? I don’t believe it. I believe their death was a price too high and convinced them that now they had to quit.
Conclusion: don’t you see that this is the reason the Lord doesn’t “deliver” most of us from our sins when we get saved. He wants us to learn how to use what he has given us in the Bible to turn away from sin and start living for him. So, if you have felt envious toward a friend who professes to have been delivered, don’t envy him or her. Instead, walk in the Spirit [Gal 5:16] and let the Lord show you how to enjoy the freedom from sin you have in Christ. Walk moment by moment in the light of his word and in dependence upon him and he will guide you away from sin and into his love. That’s where the victory is [Rom 7:24-25].