“For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.”
Romans 6:7-11 NLT

Paul made an extraordinary statement when he wrote “when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin”. The last thing that a person in a Western society will feel is that they are under the power of anything. In some perhaps misguided way, we all assume that we are free. And that is certainly true to a certain extent, because, for example, we are not locked up in a jail, or under house arrest, or have our freedom restricted in any way. So here in the UK we are “free” to go where we please, and live where we want to, unrestricted by government or anyone else. But in an absolute sense, we are not totally free because we could be restricted in some way by money, or health. By a relationship or education. There are many factors at play that could enslave us.

But Paul was referring to something far more profound and important – our standing before God. You see, an unbeliever cannot enter God’s presence because of their sin. The “power of sin” in their lives will constrain them to a life of enslaved rebellion against God, and an eternity to be spent in a place where they don’t want to go. Slaves locked up in hell.

The Pharisees remonstrated with Jesus about freedom. We read in John 8:31-36, “Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free”. 

Jesus set us free from slavery to sin through His death, if, of course, we put our faith in Him. He said quite clearly that all those who “remain faithful to [His] teachings”  will be set free from sin. And in some way, through our faith, we die with Him. We choose to align ourselves with God and openly declare that we will sin no more. The consequence is that, as Jesus rose from the dead, we too will be resurrected to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. How amazing is that? Too profound a truth to keep to ourselves?

Dear Father. Thank You for setting us free from the sin that we are so familiar with. Amen.

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