Free in Christ, So Why Go Back?
Let me frame this lesson with some illustrations of the title.
John 5.14 records Jesus’ words to the paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda He had just healed: ‘Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.’
In John 8.11, He repeats these words to the adulteress: ‘…go and from now on sin no more.’
For these, and us, the ‘game of life’ is tied after Jesus saves us from some deception of satan.
This is the state of Israel in Isaiah 40.1-2.
God says, I give you double blessings for all the trouble that sin brought you. Yet, Israel went back. See Proverbs 26.11
Jesus explained His words to the paralytic when He addressed some Pharisees and scribes in Matthew 12.43-45.
What made the ‘last state of that man…worse than the first’?
Note the last sentence of verse 45. The moral: you should expect multiplied worse conditions if you return to the scene of the crime! Don’t blame God; you asked for it!
Why do we go back?
satan never stops his deceptions! he just waits for our weakness to be revealed!
satan will continue this until he is cast to the ‘the lowest depths of the Pit’ (Isaiah 14.12-15).
1 John 2.15-17 tells us that we love this life too much.
What is missing when this happens?
Jesus prayed that you would be ‘in the world but not of the world’ (John 17.15-16).
Who are your friends?
What are their habits?
God warned the wandering Hebrews about this in Leviticus 18.1-30. Verses 6-23 read like scenes from television soap operas and comedies and motion pictures. This is the love of the world! Verses 1-5 and 24-25 are a warning and encouragement.
In Leviticus 20.1-27, God repeats the offense and its proper punishment.
God wants you to go back, but to be holy, like Him.
You must conquer sin!
These were God’s words to Cain in Genesis 4.7.
Sin greets you with every turn of our paths, for reasons explained above.
But, God says you are to conquer it!
Don’t ask Him to do it!
Remember Luke 10.19
He wants you, too, to see the wake of satanic debris described in verse 17.
Remember, also, Jeremiah 51.20-23.
Jeremiah 6.16 encourages you to stop when you sense satan offering a tantalizing morsel to a fleshly lust; don’t go there!
Pretend that you are Solomon’s son/daughter listening to Proverbs 4:23
Note the last instruction in Psalm 110.1-2.
Does God want to make His enemies His footstool through your conquering sin?
‘Free at last, free at last; thank God Almighty I’m free at last.’
(Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King)
I expect that Galatians 5.1 was a text for Dr. King’s statement.
What a declaration for us!
Paul goes on to discuss ‘yokes’ which may ‘entangle’ you again.
But, Christ has made you free!
Could this have been a second intention of Dr. King’s statement?
What is the foundation that Jesus established for your freedom in John 8.31-32?
See Psalm 119.45 also.
Where does truth come from? Romans 10.17
How do Jesus’ words in John 15.7 illustrate His statement about freedom?
Is Deuteronomy 8.18 the same message?
The Apostle Paul, again, states your freedom in Romans 8.1-2.
What shackle is thrown off when you become free?
How important is that to you?
Is it true – no more struggles with sin?
Jesus seems to be stating this in Matthew 11.28-30.
You struggle against satan and his sin in your own power and will fail.
But, walking with Jesus results in freedom and rest, even while overcoming the enemies along your paths.
Compared to the weight of sin, His ‘yoke’ and ‘burden’ are feathers! (No bad after-taste and no harmful side-effects!)
I like Isaiah’s acknowledgement in Isaiah 26.3.
How practical is Isaiah 26.12 for your daily life?
Free at last! No going back! Praise God!!!