The Lord Jesus had to die on the cross in order to free us from slavery to sin.
We have never seen a slave. Long before we were born, about a hundred years ago, some people who loved the Lord, led by a man named Wilberforce, had laws passed that bought and set free all of the slaves in the British Empire. What a time of rejoicing there must have been when these slaves learned that they were free men and women!
There are many bad things about slavery. Sometimes slaves had cruel masters who beat them and treated them very harshly. Some had kind masters, and these did not object to being slaves. But they all had the feeling of bondage; they did not belong to themselves, but to their masters, just as a dog or a cat might belong to you.
We said we had never seen a slave, but that is not quite true. Men are not slaves to each other in this country today, but many are slaves of the worst master that ever could be—Satan! Everyone who has ever committed a sin is the servant of sin (John 8:34). This means that every boy and girl and man and woman is a servant of sin, for we know that "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Satan is glad to have many servants, but he hates every one of them, and wishes to do them all harm. It is a terrible thing to be a slave of sin and of Satan. There is no real happiness for those who belong to him.
But the worst thing about this slavery is that God has to punish those who are the servants of sin. He does not hate them as Satan does, but since He is holy, He must punish sin. Is there any hope for these poor slaves, in the power of Satan and under the just judgment of God?
Yes, there is! Just as Wilberforce freed the slaves in this country, the Lord Jesus has signed an emancipation proclamation for all the slaves of sin and of Satan. They may all go free if they wish to. But the signing of this proclamation was not like the work of Wilberforce. The Lord Jesus had to die on the cross in order to be able to free the slaves.
You see, sin is very bad, and since God has to be perfectly fair and just, He cannot forget all about it, but must punish it. So God thought of a way by which sin could be punished without touching the poor slaves of sin whom He loved, even though they were bad. He Himself, in the Lord Jesus Christ, took their punishment for them and let them go free. Now everyone who believes in Him, and takes Him for his Saviour, becomes free from Satan. Christ is our Deliverer.
Let us look at some of the things from which we have been delivered by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Read and discuss the following references: Colossians 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Colossians 2:13; John 5:24; Matthew 1:21; 2 Corinthians 1:10.
* What does it mean that we are free from sin?
* How are we all servants of Satan?
* Why must God punish sin?