By John Telgren
A few years ago, we had a garden in the back yard that served as some little critter's personal buffet. He couldn't just take one whole tomato or ear of corn or some other vegetable or fruit for himself and leave the rest alone. No, he had to take a bite out of everything. In frustration, we went down and got a trap and left it in the garden. We discovered that it was partners in crime had done the deed. Over the next couple days, we caught both a groundhog and a possum. The traps were humane traps that were impossible for them to get out of. There was no hope. Once they went into the trap and the door closed, they were stuck. Their only hope was for someone to free them. We took them across the river away from town and freed them there. Stacey wanted to make sure it was at a place where they could live comfortably.
This is how it is with sin. Once we sin, there is no way humanly possible to escape it. It is like a trap. Once it has you, you are trapped. Notice what Jesus said.
"Jesus answered them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin' " (Jn 8:34).
Sin is like a trap. Once it has you, you become a sinner and there is nothing you can do about it. You cannot "un-sin." You become tainted, trapped, enslaved. It simply is not humanly possible yourself from slavery to sin. However, it is divinely possible for you to be freed from sin. Notice what Jesus also says, "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed" (Jn 8:36).
The only way to be free indeed, or truly free, is for Jesus himself to free you. Jesus died on the cross for your sins offering forgiveness (Eph 1:7). In dying on the cross, he opened the door so that you can escape and be free from sin.
How do you go through the open door to be free? Keeping in mind that Jesus is the door (Jn 10:9), here is what we do. We accept and confess our faith in Jesus as our risen Lord (Rom 10:9), and we repent and are baptized for forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). When we are baptized into the water, we are baptized into the death of Christ and have been raised with him to walk in newness of life (Rom 6:3-5). The Bible says that when this happens, "our old self was crucified with Him in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin" (Rom 6:6).
So, when we submit ourselves to Christ as our Lord and master, we go through the door he opened for us at the cross. We become free from sin and now belong to him
"But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life" (Rom 6:22).
- John Telgren preachers for the Leavenworth church of Christ in Leavenworth, KS. He may be contacted through the congregation's website at http://www.lcofc.org