On the 21st of March, Namibians celebrate their Independence, gained 32 years ago. The Independence Day reminds us of the heroes and heroines who have sacrifices their comforts and lives for the sake of freedom. Those who have tested the horror of colonialism understand the blessings of freedom. Therefore, we celebrate the Independence Day because we value freedom. Bondage or slavery is an evil thing. Of course, true freedom is not anarchy (disorder whereby everyone does as he please), but it is the liberty to be masters of ones’ own destiny under the agreed righteous rule of law. Ultimately, one is only truly free when he/she lives in accordance to his/her divine design and purpose, as these paves and guarantee true freedom.
Although we have ‘political freedom’, observantly, ultimate good we desire is not achieved and far from being achieved. Why? This is because there is still another form of bondage or slavery; this is a spiritual slavery, which is the slavery to sin, and it leads to all other forms of slaveries, including political, economic, social, mental and even religious slavery. Hence, sin is the root source of all evils. This article describes what slavery to sin is, explains how every man got into that spiritual slavery, explains God’s way of saving man from bondage to sin, and then explain what man should do in order to be saved by God from the bondage of sin.
What is slavery to sin?
Slavery to sin is having a corrupt nature which hates God and godliness. Bondage to sin is being in that sinful nature that makes you desire, and practice evil; it is to be inclined to do evil instead of doing good. Being a slave to sin is to continuously live in sin – John 8:34; Ephesians 2:1–3.
How did mankind get into bondage of sin?
Man (male and female) was created perfectly in the image of God by God to represent God and govern God’s creation according to God’s perfect will (Gen. 1:26–28), doing it for God’s glory, for the good of mankind and for the welfare of the creation (Gen. 2:15). Although free from sin, man had freedom to obey or disobey God. Importantly, Adam was a representative of mankind, for every man was created in him and like him (Gen. 5:1–3; Rom. 5:12).
Unfortunately, instead of using his perfect nature and freedom to obey and glorify God, man chose to use that freedom to disobey God. In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve sinned against God by following Satan’s lies and then disobeyed God (1 John 3:4). As a result, God righteously cursed mankind and handed them over to slavery of sin and bondage of Satan (2 Tim. 2:26). This then led all the descendants of Adam born in this world to inherit guilt of sin and corrupt sinful nature (Ps. 51:5; Eph. 2:1–3).
Consequently, human beings are slaves of sin regardless of their gender, nationality, skin color, socio-economic status, etc. Hence, whatever home, community, government, and society you are from, mistreatment, enslavement, segregation, colonialism, immoralities, and abuse are present because man is inherently a slave of sin. Sadly, mankind are not able to free themselves from this bondage and guilty.
What is God’s way of saving mankind from bondage to sin?
The good news is that God in His love, justice, grace and mercy has provided the way of saving mankind from slavery of sin, and this only way is the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (Mathews 1:21; John 14:6). Jesus Christ Himself describes man’s slavery to sin and the need for man to be delivered from sin by God:
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘if you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ They answered him, ‘We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘you will become free? Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’” – John 8:31–36
In the above passage, Jesus explains spiritual enslavement to people who were thinking about physical enslavement. He explicitly says that those who continue to sin are slaves to sin. Additionally, Jesus also clearly stated that Him being the Son of God (God the Son) is the one who sets people free from their sin.
God sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ in the world to deal with sin and its penalty. Jesus Christ was not born as a descendent of Adam; instead, he was the second sinless Adam, who came to undo what the first Adam did wrong (Rom. 5:12–19; 1 Cor. 15:45). He lived a perfect and righteous life on our behalf and fulfilled all the demands of God’s Law (Rom. 8:1–4). Since the wage of sin is death, Christ died on behalf of sinners and paid the punishment of our sin with his death (Rom. 6:23; 2 Cor. 5:19–21). His resurrection proved that the righteous wrath of God was satisfied by his sacrificial death. Henceforth, Christ forever lives to save anyone who comes to God in repentance (Heb. 7:22–25). He is coming back to remove sin completely in the world, to judge sinners and to restore all things to perfection (Heb. 9:27–29; Matt. 25:31–46).
What should mankind do in order to be saved by God from the bondage of sin?
Salvation from sin comes by believe/trusting Jesus Christ and repentance from sin. The sinner must believe the person and the saving works of Christ and then repent (acknowledging sin in one’s life and turning away from sin) (Mark 16:15–16). As one is saved, he/she is forgiven of all their sins. They are justified (made righteous before God). They are reconciled to God. They are adopted to be God’s child and given the Holy Spirit to indwell in them (Romans 5:1–11). Finally, they are released from the bondage of sin (Romans 6:1–13). God transfers this new person from the dominion of Satan into the Kingdom of Christ and in the household of God which is His church. However, those who refuse to believe Jesus Christ and repent from their sins, their end is shame, death and eternal hell (John 3:12–36). Those that God has saved are saved to do God’s perfect will willingly and joyfully. God by His Word and Spirit continues to transform them into the likeness of Christ so that they can walk in godliness (Eph. 4:17–6:9). The saved are therefore free from the bondage of sin. They no longer live according to their corrupt fleshly desires; they now fight sin and live by the Holy Spirit according to the Word of God (the Bible). They bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:13–23). Saved people are the only ones who can truly desire and fight for the truth, holiness, justice, true peace, true righteousness, and true freedom in this world.
Now, how shall be conclude this matter?
Political independence does not mean freedom from sin. Although we are independent ‘politically’, mistreatments, abuses, enslavement, deceptions, colonialism, immoralities, and corruption still roam in all societies because of bondage/slavery to sin. Thus, if we want a truly independent Namibia and the world, we must first seek this spiritual freedom that every man needs. Righteousness, peace, and true justice that we long to see in all our societies are outcomes of salvation. Saving faith comes through hearing and hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:9–17). Therefore, true Christians must preach the gospel of Christ. Believers should practice what they preach. Let us pray for the salvation of the souls, and support the work of spreading the Gospel. Saving faith comes through hearing the Word of God – Romans 10:9–17. None-christians, repent and believe the gospel of Christ in order to be saved and freed from your sins. Let us live in the anticipation for Christ’s eminent return, and as we do these, let us help mankind to be saved from the bondage of sin.