I'm sure many of you have heard Chris Tomlin's Amazing Grace, My Chains are Gone (hear and watch the video here.) It's a beautiful song, a remake of one of the greatest hymns of all time. But when given more thought and consideration than the mere melodic pleasantness of it, it hits home. How true is it that my chains are gone! But do I always act and live like they are? No. I live as though I'm still enslaved to the anger, the jealousy, the pride, to the impatience of everyday things.
Years ago when Mark and I were engaged, he preached a sermon entitled The Emancipation Proclamation (EP). It has long since been my favorite sermon that I've heard him preach. The basic premise of the sermon was that the EP was what set the slaves free. He had laid the foundation already of what slavery likely entailed and then posed the question, "How many slaves do you think stood around and remained enslaved after this Proclamation occurred?" Very few, if any!! They probably ran as fast as they could, jumping with boundless energy for the freedom they had so longed for all those years.
So then, why do we as Christians not do the same thing? Once saved, God has redeemed us from the very chains we long to be set free from. Yet, we all too often choose to remain shackled and bound, living a life of defeat instead of victory. We continue living the same way we did before we were set free. We fly off our handles, lose our tempers, say hurtful things, and *insert your sin of choice here*. Be it drug addiction, marital conflicts, anger, lust, pornography, or whatever else, if we're saved, WE'RE FREE.
We need to take hold of that freedom and run for joy from the chains that have held us for so long. I'll accept this challenge. Will you?
That sounds like a really good sermon; however, I just wanted to add something. There were many slaves that stayed with their "masters" because that was their way of life. Not all slaves were brought from Africa; many were born into it and knew nothing different. While beaten and abused constantly, they still remained in that environment, believe it or not. I think that getting out of this mentality takes personal effort. It doesn't come naturally for one to realize that they're free, especially when they're whole life has been one that was in chains. It's natural instinct for us to act the way we do because of our sinful nature; it's actually unnatural for us to realize the freedom we have and to be grateful for it. It is something that we all truly need to personally work on.ReplyDelete
You are quite right, many slaves did in fact choose to remain enslaved - thus still being called slaves. Those who ran for joy accepting the freedom they had been given were then in fact considered free. It does take personal effort to make the changes we need to, but when we're saved the Bible says that old things have gone and new things have been put on. So to continue living in sin therefore becomes a reflection of our true relationship with Christ - whether we're accepting the freedom He's given us or whether we're choosing to remain powerless. When saved, we're told to repent (ie. turn around and go the other way). It doesn't matter if that comes naturually for me, Christ said to do it and even gave us the power to do it. While we still battle with our sinful nature, it's not to still keep us enslaved. God gave us the power to overcome it when we became saved.