Ever since the garden of Eden events, the problem for mankind has always been that we have all been in bondage to sin and Satan – without realising it, because Satan deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9). However the good news is that our dear Father Yahweh has taken action and through His beloved son Jesus has secured victory, release from that bondage and freedom for those who will believe it and accept it. This wonderful truth sets us free – let’s find out how and in what ways.
Have all sinned?
Romans 5:12 NRSV
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned—
1 John 1:8 NRSV
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Now that ‘all’ includes you and me! And what is the result of this?
Isaiah 59:2 WEB
but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
Colossians 1:21 NRSV
And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,
We have all been separated from God! But what is our Father’s desire?
1 Timothy 2:3-4 NRSV
This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Notice that He desires ALL men (again that includes YOU) to be ‘saved and come to a knowledge of the truth’ – knowing the truth and being saved are linked. So how does our Father God save us and set us free from this bondage, this separation from Him?
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 CEB
All of these new things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and who gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 In other words, God was reconciling the world to himself through Christ, by not counting people’s sins against them. He has trusted us with this message of reconciliation.
Through Christ, our Father reconciled us to Himself! How?
Jesus was the only perfect man, without sin:
Hebrews 2:10 NRSV
It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Hebrews 5:8-9 NRSV
Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered;
9 and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered;
1 Peter 1:19 NRSV
but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish.
2 Corinthians 5:21 Mounce
He made him who knew no sin to be a sin-offering for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God
What did he do?
1 Peter 3:18 NRSV
For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit,
Hebrews 10:10 NRSV
And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
1 Timothy 2:4-6 NRSV
who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
5 For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human,
6 who gave himself a ransom for all —this was attested at the right time.
Romans 6:9-10 NRSV
We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
10 The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
The sinless son of God, Jesus the Messiah gave himself for us ALL, once for ALL – again, that includes YOU and ME! He set us free from the bondage to sin and Satan, if we will believe it and accept it, and repent of our ways and turn to God our Father (Acts 17:24-31). We are cleansed, we are purified, we are brought into union with our Father and Jesus – into the new covenant relationship He promised.
What is the result of this?
1 John 4:13-16 NRSV
By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world.
15 God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God.
16 So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.
If we believe and acknowledge Jesus is the son of God (and all that that entails, believing what he taught and keeping/doing his word – really Yahweh’s word!), then we have His own spirit and our Father God lives in us and we in Him! He lived in Jesus and now He lives in us.
Does this mean we have eternal life now?
Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.
And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
So His word of truth has freed us from death (not physical but spiritual) and brought us into life now!
Are we also cleansed and freed from all unrighteousness?
Romans 5:12, 19 NRSV
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned—
19 For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
1 John 1:8-9 NRSV
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Notice what Paul says to the Romans:
Romans 1:16 NRSV
For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek
This gospel, this truth from God, is the very power of Yahweh bringing salvation – to who?, to everyone who has what? – faith, who will believe it and commit to it in repentance.
What does Paul tell us about faith?
Romans 4:3-5 NRSV
For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
4 Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due.
5 But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness.
Romans 4:13 NRSV
For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith.
Romans 4:20-25 NRSV
No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,
21 being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
22 Therefore his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
23 Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone,
24 but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,
25 who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.
Romans 5:1-2 NRSV
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.
Notice this believing, trusting, unwavering faith is counted as righteousness by Yahweh – not to Abraham alone but to us as well! But faith in what? In Yahweh, who raised Jesus from the dead – Yahweh whose word is that Jesus death has dealt with our sins and we are justified (by this faith), and so we have peace with Yahweh God our Father and access to His grace! Now notice a few verses on:
Romans 5:6, 10-11 NRSV
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life.
11 But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation
Does it say that we are reconciled now by Jesus death? And what else? Will we be saved by his life? Paul goes on to ask:
Romans 6:1-2 NRSV
What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound?
2 By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it?
NO! We are no longer enslaved to sin!
Romans 6:6, 18 NRSV
6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.
18 and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
We are set free from sin and are….
Romans 6:22-23 NRSV
But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The free gift of our Father God is eternal life – ‘in Christ Jesus our Lord’.
We would encourage everyone to spend some time reading the whole of Romans chapters 4, 5 and 6 for a more in depth understanding of these truths.
Next time we explore more about what this means.