Elder Vernon Johnson



Salvation from Sin's Bondage

In our previous essay we considered salvation from sin's condemnation and concluded that it was by grace through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross.  In this essay we will consider our salvation from sin's bondage. 

When Adam ate of the forbidden fruit he brought himself and all his posterity into the bondage of sin.  His flesh nature and subsequently our flesh nature was so corrupted by sin that it rendered him and us incapable of willingly serving or seeking God.  The following passages of scripture describe our fallen depraved flesh nature:                

1.  Rom. 3:9‑18 ‑ "What then? Are we better than they?  No in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.  Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace have they not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes." 

2.  Eph. 2:1‑3 ‑ "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in times past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." 

3.  1 Cor. 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." 

        Thus in our fallen sin corrupt nature we are rendered incapable of: 

                1. Knowing the things of the Spirit of God.

                2.  Understanding the things of God.

                3.  Seeking after God.

                4.  Doing anything good.

                5.  Fearing God.

                6.  Knowing the way of peace.

                7.  Receiving the things of the Spirit of God. 

        Furthermore, we were enslaved to our sin‑corrupted flesh nature so that we were bound to: 

                1.  Walk after the world.

                2.  Walk after Satan.

                3.  Have our lifestyle (conversation) in the lusts of the flesh.

                4.  Fulfill the desires of the flesh.

                5.  Fulfill the desires of the mind.

                6.  Commit the wicked works of the flesh. 

It was while we were in bondage to our sin‑corrupt flesh nature that God saved us, not from the corruption of sin, but from the bondage of sin as we read in Rom. 8:2, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."  In the miracle of the new birth God has freed us from the bondage of the sin‑corrupt flesh nature.  We still have the sin‑corrupt nature and it is as Paul stated in Rom. 7:18, "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing."  Our freedom comes from the fact that God has imparted within us a new nature, so that we are no longer bound to the slavery of sin, but can seek God, know the things of God, serve God, worship God, do good, walk by faith, pray unto God, understand spiritual things, etc. 

The scriptures speak of the new birth as salvation as we read in the following verses:

                1.  Eph. 2:4, 5 ‑ "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved)."

                2.  Tit. 3:4, 5 ‑ "But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost..."

 We note that this salvation from sin's bondage is by the grace of God and not by works of righteousness which we have done.  The new birth is brought about by the direct work of the Holy Spirit quickening us into spiritual life when we were still dead in trespasses and sins.  At the time we were quickened we were completely incapable of performing or doing any "works of righteousness."  Truly, it is according to God's great love wherewith he loved us that while we were yet his enemy that he caused us to be born of the Spirit.  Truly, God is rich in mercy to quicken vile sinners.  Salvation from the bondage of sin is by grace.

Next, salvation from the corruption of sin. 

NEXT- Salvation from Sin's Corruption