Where there is no suffering, there is no true commitment to have freedom. This is the groan of the world. Everyone endures suffering. Even those whose feet are quick to run to evil and whose hands shed innocent blood. With the Lending a Hand campaign underway and gears in motion, it's important to discuss the lifelong companion: sin. It is the infallible misery in everyday lives and the one thing that keeps the focus off of the self and onto God. There is an option that is faced daily: be a slave to righteousness or sin. The Book of Romans cuts to the core on key issues such as justification, sanctification, sin, power of sin being thwarted, God's law, and renewal. This devotional will focus on Romans 6:5-14 with reference scripture. The Lending a Hand campaign will also be discussed and how you can help join in on combating human trafficking.
Where there is no suffering, there is no true commitment to have freedom.">
"Since we have been united with him in death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know that we also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Jesus Christ. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirement of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God's grace." Romans 6:5-14, NLT
Understanding Freedom and Slavery
Understanding sin and slavery is the key to understanding freedom. When one realizes the depth of sin and being enslaved, freedom has a much deeper context. Paul portrays beautifully the clear path to not only salvation but what occurred on the cross spiritually. When Christ died, he spiritually crucified every sin for every person. Those who do not believe do not have eternal life. Christ is clear one must CHOOSE to submit to Him. Death and sin are what Pastor Voddie Baucham calls "co-regents." One can't reign without the aid of the other.
Photo Credit PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay
Those who have been converted into Christ's family, they go from being under the law of death, to the law of grace or life. Being enslaved to sin lies in being enslaved to the body. Likewise, being enslaved to the Spirit lies in being spiritually regenerated. So if you keep company with those that are Christian and yet do not make the choice yourself, that does not mean you are saved from the power of sin. It just merely means you are masking it more. It is spiritually impossible to please God apart from being spiritually regenerated. The will is forever bent to sin apart from God. Pastor Voddie Bachum gives a demonstration of this relation in his sermon "Dead to Sin, Alive to God.""Is the cow free to eat meat? Yes. The cow is free to eat meat. However, the cow's will, will not choose to eat meat. Why? Because it is contrary to his nature. Although it is there, he will not choose it as it is contrary to his nature." (Pastor Voddie Bachum, Dead to Sin, Alive to God sermon January 2, 2011, on Voddie Bauchum Ministries). The same can be said about those who are spiritually dead and spiritually regenerated. Those that are spiritually dead to Christ will choose sin repeatedly without seeing any offense to the sin. The Christian will choose life. Although sin is chosen instead of God more often even in the life of the Christian, the difference is that the Christian has Godly sorrow and hatred for his sin. The unregenerate heart does not. It loves to sin and be captive by it.
Listen to Pastor Voddie Bauchum's sermon "Dead to Sin, Alive to God" below (taken from his website Voddie Bauchum Ministries.
Biblical References on Slavery to Sin
In regards to sexual sin: "You say, 'I am allowed to do anything'--but not everything is good for you. And even though 'I am allowed to do anything,' I must not become a slave to anything." 1 Corinthians 6:12, NLT.
One Body Many Parts: "Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body boy one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit." 1 Corinthians 12:13, NLT.
Warning against false teachings: "The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God." Colossians 1:10, NLT.
Further scripture readings:
John 8:34, 15:15
Romans 1:1, 6:6, 7:23
1 Corinthians 9:19
Galatians 3:28, 4:7
1 Timothy 1:10
2 Peter 2:19
For more reading on Christianity please see the following articles:
The literal definition of a slave is "a person bound in servitude; one who has lost his liberty and has no rights" (NLT Dictionary and Concordance, pg 799). There are those bound in slavery to sin or to Christ (to death or to eternal life). Human trafficking is probably the largest network of slavery today. There are over 167 countries that still contain slavery today including the following
The Democratic Republic of Congo
Below are numbers of countries with an estimated amount of slaves as of 2019.
North Korea: 1.1 Million
Uzbekistan: 1.2 Million
Bangladesh: 1.5 Million
Pakistan: 2.1 Million
China: 3.4 Million
India: 18.4 Million
statistics are taken from World Population Review. India leads the way to the highest slave count in the world in which all forms of slavery exist such as:
forced child labor
commercial sex exploitation
forced recruitment into a non-state armed group
Lending a Hand Campaign
Pin taken from my Pinterest profile at https://www.pinterest.com/fb2695/ under the board "Lending a Hand Campaign"
These numbers and the stories behind the numbers are why Blissful Faith is partnering with nonprofit organizations to help fund rescues and recovery programs for those entrapped in bondage. Each number is a person. You can be the one to help make a difference by purchasing a shirt in which proceeds will go to nonprofits that seek to give a voice to the voiceless. See more on human trafficking from my previous articles below:
Blissful Faith started as a lifestyle and branched into a blog to help others hear about Jesus Christ and how they too can develop a blissful faith through knowing God. This blog’s purpose is to be an evangelical outreach to further the kingdom of Christ. Furthering the kingdom means stretching outside of the comfort zone, comprehending and working towards meeting the needs of others. Putting faith to action keeps it from becoming stagnant.The Blissful Faith Merchandise store helps both this blog to grow and to meet the needs of others. About 8-10% of the proceeds will go to The Exodus Road and Agape International Missions to help combat human trafficking. The funds will help assist in rescue operations, providing shelter, and recovery programs to those in bondage.Below is a link to other nonprofit organizations currently working around the globe to help aid those in bondage in human trafficking:https://aheartforjustice.com/what-they-do/rescue