Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
We can glance over these verses and sure they sound nice, and we think that it is great that Jesus has released us from captivity but lets get on to the next thing. We would rather get on to some healing, exorcisms, raising the dead, and parables. Yes, we are thankful for the release, but let’s find out what else Jesus will say?
A preacher once said, “You do not usually rejoice at the sound of keys jingling, that is unless you are in a dungeon where you have been locked.” See it is about perspective. Often times hellfire preachers get such a bad wrap because they seem to heap condemnation upon condemnation upon the heads of their hearers and some of them should receive a bad wrap. You are not to condemn men and get pleasure and a rush of power and some sort of ego trip from it. However on the flip side nobody will ever hear the beauty of the jingling keys until they realize they are living in the dungeon. There is a place for that sort of hellfire preaching, and there is a place for that sort of writing. Sometimes as a preacher, or a writer you need to turn on a light so that people can see they are in a dungeon, and when they see what is around them it is terrible thing. We spend time preaching freedom to those who have no reality of the fact that they are in bondage. We present freedom, and they do not see freedom as a necessity, but as something they can add to their lives. In our quest for the biggest church with the most prolific ministries we forgo showing the people the dungeon in which they live. Instead we try to make the dungeon more bearable. There is a reason the Church in America is subpar, it is because the preaching is subpar. We do not preach release to the captives, and if we do they do not understand it, because they know not that they are in captivity.
What is this captivity? Sin. Do we not realize that Jesus died to set us free from sin? We better not preach sinless perfection, right? Well I agree, and I think sinfulness is in the very fabric of who we are, but everyone agrees to that. What people have a hard time agreeing with is when you tell them that you are free from sin. However that is just what Jesus came to do, free us from sin. If you are not free from sin, then you are not free at all, in fact you are lost. You are in captivity, bondage, and you have chosen to serve a hard master, one who is never satisfied. Freedom from sin is not perfection, but it is a hatred for sin and a longing for righteousness that occurs not only in your mind, but plays itself out in your life. Can a Christian fall into habitual sin? Yes, but he or she cannot and will not stay there, and while they are there they will be miserable. Why the misery, because they have tasted freedom, and have found themselves again in bondage. You see you cannot serve two masters, you will love one and hate the other, when we serve sin we are in bondage to it, and with our actions we hate God. Sin is so much more sinful than we often realize, and its bondage is so much more real than we give credit. We just want to say a little prayer ask Jesus to come in and get on with our life. Do you really want a comfortable captivity, instead of a pure freedom.
I will it at that, I hope this all made sense, sometimes I run in circles.
((I hope to post soon on confessing with your mouth and believing in your heart, it has a lot to do with this))