As we begin our time together today, I would like you to think about this question: who owns you? Does your job, money, or career own you? Are you captive by the fear of other people’s opinions? Here are related questions: Whom do you serve? Who or what determines how you act or the words you use? What is the motive for the things you do “for God?” Is it for self or the glory of God? How you answer these questions is the beginning of determining where your heart is focused right now. Are you living for God or yourself?
What about your sin life? Do you find that you excuse or rationalize your “respectable sins” such as anxiety, discontentment, pride, selfishness, irritability, anger, sins of the tongue, envy, or jealousy? I have had to ask myself the very same questions, and there have been times I have not been pleased with the answer.
As Christians, we are given tremendous liberty. In Christ, we are free from condemnation and free from the perils facing unbelievers. But, unfortunately, this can lead people to the ditch opposite of legalism, which is the abuse of God’s grace. Romans 6: 1 says,
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”Romans 6:1
The implication is that we have been freed from the bondage of sin and its domination over us. So why do we continue to live as though we are still powerless over sin? Why do we live as though it still owns us?
Before salvation, we lived as we chose, but now that we have been bought with the precious blood of Christ, we no longer have that option (1 Pet. 1:17-19). Friends, we have not been redeemed to be self-serving nor continue to live as sinfully as those in spiritual darkness. God’s grace is not liberty for you to sin with abandon. Living in wanton sin is an indication that you have little care for what your freedom cost. Evidence of your salvation is conviction when you sin and repentance from sin (1 Cor. 7:11). As you grow in your faith, you should begin to hate your sin and want to separate yourself from it. Psalm 97:10 says,
“Hate evil, you who love the Lord, Who watches over the souls of His godly ones; He saves them from the hand of the wicked.”Psalm 97:10
The precious blood of Christ that paid for your freedom has made you His bondservant (slave). He is a gentle and loving Lord and Master. He urges you to take His yoke upon yourself and follow Him (Matt. 11:29). There is rest in this relationship, and Jesus is not a cruel taskmaster. He has already done the heavy lifting by removing the burden of our sin.
Begin to live as though He owns you. It is a sweet kind of bondage.