Slipping Into Slavery

Pastor's Ponderings IllustrationBible Readings for the day: Psalm 108:6-13, Galatians 4:21-5:5, Isaiah 44:24-46:13
Meditational Reading: Galatians 5:1
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Paul exhorts the Galatians, and he exhorts us, to live the life of freedom in the gospel.  Christ has set us free!  Free from what?  Free from fearing that God is going to clobber us; free from trying our best to please God, yet failing to live up to his just law; free from not knowing whether or not God loves us.  By falling back into a law based life, a life that thinks that I can make God love me by the things I do for him, I fall out of freedom, the very freedom Christ gives me by his suffering, death, and resurrection.

But, as I consider my life, I also must consider the fact that Christ has set me free to live for him.  Unfortunately, I do not live for him the way I ought.  I fall too easily into sin; I not only fall into sin, but I run headlong into it!  Last week, for no known reason, I read Hebrews 10 and verses 26 and 27 jumped out at me:  “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”

  • How often have I gone on “sinning deliberately”?  Too often!
  • How often do I disregard God and his Word (yes, his Law)?  Too often!
  • How often do I take the good news of the free and full forgiveness of my sins and use it as an excuse for my deliberate sinning?  Too often!

    Taking an honest look at my life, I submit myself to the yoke of slavery, the yoke of slavery of sin, the yoke of slavery of deliberate sin.  I take Christ’s freedom and abuse it.  I take Christ’s freedom and use it as a license to sin.  I take Christ’s freedom and exchange it for slavery, slavery to sin.

    A prayer:  Lord Jesus, forgive me!  Thank you, Lord God Holy Spirit, for your Word, your Word which shows me my sin, your Word which shows me my Savior, your Word which pointedly convicts me and brings me back to the Cross and forgiveness and eternal life.  Lord Jesus, I don’t want to be a slave any longer.  I want to live with you and for you.  Lord God Holy Spirit, empower me, through your Word, to live that life.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

    Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 585 South St. (Route 75), Suffield CT 06078 USA

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