Depravity's Bondage

One way to describe the effects of bondage is to declare what things those in bondage cannot do. For instance a typical prisoner in a Texas jail cannot go wherever he pleases, or see whom ever he pleases whenever he pleases. Furthermore, he cannot choose to do what ever he pleases. His bondage places severe restrictions on his actions.

We were in bondage to our sin corrupt fleshly nature prior to being born again. Romans 8:2, "For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." The "law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus" is the "new birth" and this "new birth" freed us from the "bondage" of "the law of sin and death."

Nature places restrictions on all living creatures and binds them to the limitations of their nature. For instance, birds can fly and snakes crawl on their underside. Just don't expect a snake to fly and a bird to crawl on its underside. Likewise, man before he is born from above (born again) is limited to the abilities of his sin cursed nature. Paul said, "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing..." (Romans 7:18)

Let us now look at several things the scriptures tell us that man cannot do before he is born again:

Matthew 19:25, 26, "When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." With these 5 words (With men this is impossible) the Lord put to silence all the advocates who say that man can save himself from sin and cause himself to obtain eternal life. It simply is impossible for man to save himself.

I Corinthians 2:14, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." Those that are born again are two fold men. They are natural men and they are spiritual men. Those who haven't been born again are one fold, i.e., they are natural men only. In this natural state they cannot discern spiritual things nor can they receive the things of the spirit of God. This is why Paul said in I Corinthians 1:18, "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness..." Since the preaching of the cross is of the Spirit of God and the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God it is no wonder he considers preaching of the cross to be foolishness.

Matthew 7:18, "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit." Based on this statement it is no wonder Paul said of those under the law of sin and death in Romans 3:12, "there is none that doeth good, no, not one." A person that is not born again possesses only the "corrupt tree" flesh nature and according to Galatians 5:19 21 all of his works are evil.

John 3:3, "Jesus answered and said unto him, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Due to the spiritual nature of God's church kingdom, and because he cannot discern spiritual things, the unborn again man cannot see (perceive) this church kingdom.

John 3:5, "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Without a spiritual nature man is unable not only to see the kingdom of God, but also to enter the kingdom of God.

John 6:44, "No man can come to me except the Father which sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." The word, draw, comes from a Greek word meaning "to drag." The meaning is illustrated by a horse drawn carriage. The carriage is inanimate and does nothing to move itself. All the effort to move the carriage is performed by the horse. Before we are born again we cannot come to Jesus. We must be drawn (dragged) of the Father in order to come to Jesus. It is not our effort that brings us to Jesus, but God's drawing that brings us to Jesus.

John 8:43, 47, "Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word. He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God." Before we are born again, we were not of God, thus we could not hear (perceive) God's words. After we were born again we had the ability to perceive spiritual things and therefore could perceive God's words.

John 12:39, 40, "Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their hearts; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them." The Lord told some unbelievers in John 10:26, "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you." Before we are born again we cannot believe. Faith is one of the nine fold fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and comes as a result of the new birth.

Romans 8:7, "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." The "law of God" is the "law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:2). Before we are born again we have only a carnal mind and that mind is the very enemy of God. With that carnal mind we do not seek after God, we do not fear God, and we do not desire God.

Romans 8:8, "So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." Thus, before we are born again we are completely unable to please God and furthermore have no desire to please God.

II. Peter 2:14 speaks of the unborn again in this manner, "Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin..." An unborn again person possesses only a fleshly nature and will only walk after the course of this world and the prince of the power of the air, seeking to fulfill the desires of the flesh and mind (Ephesians 2:2, 3) all of which is sin in the eyes of a just and Holy God.

As we see the bondage of our sin cursed depraved nature we can thank God for that "law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus" that has made us free from "the law of sin and death."