Hope for the Bound

Jesus came to preach deliverance to the captives and He is still proclaiming forgiveness and pardon to all who are bound and chained.¬† Not all are free.¬† Many are bound by the chains of harmful habits, hurts, and hang-ups.¬†¬†¬† Not all of us chose these chains – in many cases, they chose us.¬† But we don’t have to be captive any longer.¬† The gospel has power to set us free!

The top four types of bondage that the church faces today: debt, porn, over-eating, and prescription drugs.  These are very different fights than our fathers fought against just one generation ago (tobacco & booze).  Many find themselves shamefully dependent and devoted to a destructive behavior.  Hating self but unable to stop. Like a parasite, the addiction holds on its host for dear life, yet killing it at the same time.

A man takes a drink.
The drink takes a drink.
The drink takes a man.


Sinful labels do not define believers.¬† If you have been saved and have a relationship with Jesus, then sin does not condemn you any longer.¬† Satan has no more dominion over you.¬† Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 6:9-12 , Paul reminds the church of what they used to be and what they have become in Jesus.¬† They had been bound and captive by their sin and sinful habits.¬† That’s what happens to people who live without Christ – they become labeled and defined by their sins.¬† But not you – not believers!¬† I love what he says in verse 11… “and such were some of you.”¬† Wow! I’m happy that what I was doesn’t still determine who I am!¬† It’s true that without Jesus, what you do determines who you are.¬† But, in Him, who He is and what He’s done determines who you are!

Jesus Forgives

Notice the three words in verse 11: washed, sanctified, and justified.¬† First order of business is purging of sin, guilt, and stain (1 Jn 1:9).¬† He cleanses out the wound – ridding it of all infection that might spread and make things worse.¬† This isn’t always a pleasant experience, but it’s best.¬† Next, He sets us up for growth (sanctification).¬† He makes us a holy saint – not instantly – but through a process of continual growth.¬† The progress of healing.¬† But not only that, He declares it finished.¬† He renders us completely righteous and restored to innocence.¬† He sees our lives from beginning to end and honors the end because of grace.

It’s a powerful thing to remember that God says: “You are Forgiven” long before we ever confess our sins or repent of them.¬† It’s his goodness that leads us to the place where we feel about sin the way we should (Rom. 2:4).¬† Turn from your sin because it’s already been forgiven and the debt is already paid for!

The Truth Frees

When the woman was caught red-handed in adultery and brought before Jesus (John 8), Jesus responded with a gracious truth.¬† Eventually He set her free to be the overcomer He saw in her.¬† The truth… His truth had made her free. And when He sets you free, nothing can bind you.¬† Stop running back to the open cell and expecting the warden to rule you.¬† The gospel has liberated you and made you free.¬† Christ has expunged your record and given you a new identity.¬† It’s time to live in liberty!

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