Believers In Bondage

August 17, 2012

Believers In Bondage

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another”  (Galatians 5:1,13).

It’s unfortunate that there are many believers who are in bondage.  Christ has made us free.  In this article we are going to examine some of the misunderstandings that leave some believers in bondage.

Some are not 100% convinced that salvation is 100% by the grace of God.  Perhaps they are familiar with Ephesians 2:8-9, but they still think “There must be something I have to do.”  Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:   Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Some have been taught that salvation is by grace, but that they can lose it if they don’t do their part.  If one thinks that way, he can’t rest completely in the finished work of Christ.  He lives in bondage, fearing that he may lose his salvation.

To be honest, there are verses in the Bible that could give one reason to think he could lose his salvation.  They must be interpreted in the light of the verses that give us assurance that salvation is all by the grace of God, and not by human merit.  We are going to look at two verses that make some think they need to contribute to their salvation.

Some ask, “Didn’t even the Apostle Paul think he could lose his salvation?” They take us to I Corinthians 9:27 where Paul wrote “Lest I myself should be a castaway.”  Paul’s fear was not that of losing his salvation, but rather that of not being able to go on preaching.  There are servants of God who have had to leave the ministry because they have done something that left a bad stain on their character.  In Romans 8:38-39 Paul wrote “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,   Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Some cite Philippians 2:12 which says, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Most commentators tell us that Paul meant we should enjoy and put into practice all that is included in our salvation.  Christ has set us free from the bondage of sin.  After salvation we can live a fruitful life.  Romans 6:18,22 says “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”

Some people look for a means of measuring their spirituality.  There is a satisfaction in adding up our virtues.  That way we can think “I’m really not that bad.  Look at all the good I have done.”  No one says we shouldn’t do good works.  I tell people, “That’s what you owe to your fellow men.” Ephesians 2:10 tells us that one reason why God saves us is that we might do good works.  “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  When we add up our good works we are in danger of being proud of what we have done.  The Apostle Paul said “There is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10). Jesus said in Matthew 6:3 that we shouldn’t let our left hand know what our right hand does.

Some Christians like to deny themselves.  That gives them a feeling of superiority.  If we do our good deeds to be seen of men, we already have our reward.  In Matthew 6:1-2 Jesus said, “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.   Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.” Self denial, for some, is a great sacrifice because they have their eyes and heart too much in the things of this world.  To them, the denial of worldly pleasures is for those who have reached a high level of spirituality.  The desire of the obedient Christian is to please God.  Often he isn’t conscious of making sacrifices.  He can honestly say “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).

The Christian life doesn’t consist of restrictions and good works.  It’s a loving relationship with Jesus Christ.  Be not in bondage, thinking you have to do your part. Libertydoesn’t mean freedom to do as you please.  That’s why I included verse 13 at the beginning.  Please read it again.  Salvation is not something we work to keep, but something to be enjoyed.  When we get to Heaven we will enjoy the full measure of all that is included in it.

 

Our E-mail address is rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

 

 

 

 

 

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