Random · Relationship with Christ

Are You Set Free In Jesus But Still In Bondage?

The title seems counterintuitive because it is.

If Jesus sets us free from sin and its hold on us, how can we still be in bondage?

We do not wake up the next day after deciding to follow Christ and our old ways are “magically” gone. We need to be active on our word. The Holy Spirit has a lot of clearing out to do in our temple, and we must be willing. 

A couple days ago, I listened to this incredible sermon by Pastor Tim Conway on Sin Has No Dominion Over You

Pastor Conway makes this illustration about how a slave who has been set free, runs into an old taskmaster and being ordered to do the same things over again, the free man FOLLOWS the taskmaster EVEN THOUGH HE HAS BEEN SET FREE!

This is an amazing way to explain bondage.

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Bondage– the state of being a slave. One who is subjected to the control of another.

We obey whatever rules over us.

There are sins people are in bondage with. Pornography is one that many struggle with. Gluttony we could be a slave to. Vanity we could be in bondage to. Many women struggle with this in our materialistic and superficial world.

Then we have anxiety, worry, etc, not exactly sin, but they hinder us and could, potentially, become an idol thus we become a slave to it. Our sense of control, being limited, terrifies us.

We get to the point we feel if we do not do this thing we struggle or don’t know what else to do.

How does this relate to being a Christian? 

When Jesus said He came to set the captives free, He meant it! It wasn’t a lie. It wasn’t, “Oh, that sounds good. I hope it happens in my life.” NO! HE WILL OVERCOME EVERYTHING!

The problem is many of us do not want to give up our bondage. We like the idea of Jesus and what He does, but we want to do what pleases us.

I’m sure people get sick of me bringing this up, but if we are exposing ourselves to unwholesome media, sex, nudity, horror, cursing, taking God’s name in vain, not giving Him glory, etc. We are giving the devil a foothold. Do not be deceived in thinking this will not affect your walk with Jesus or not hinder being able to break free from sins and other bondage.

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We can’t grow in Jesus if we are not willing to surrender. Jesus does not FORCE us to do anything.

Nonetheless, there are consequences for desiring to please our flesh or curb our sense of control through our own means.

Then we have Christians who truly are showing the fruit of the Holy Spirit. They are showing signs of faith through obedience to Jesus. (Pastor Conway goes more in-depth with this, and it’s eye-opening! I highly encourage you to listen to the sermon.) And though they are growing in certain places, they are still held back in others.

This is why it is crucial to further develop our walk with Jesus. Read the Bible daily, devour God’s truth. Worship Jesus. Meditate on His truth, focus on His word, for it is life! It is important to pray to God throughout the day, each day. Speak out loud, and speak scripture out loud as proclamations.

I’ve talked about resisting the devil and how to actively do that:

Post | Taking Territory Back From Satan | Denying Flesh & True Repentance

Post | Resisting The Devil (Not For The Weak)

If we are in bondage to ANYTHING. It could be sin. It could be a false teaching or even negative thinking. Anything that we have not surrendered completely to God. Any form of bondage will prevent us from fighting properly against the enemy. He will have leverage over us.

Let me give an example.

As I am working on stepping away from the spirit of fear here is what bondage to fear might look like (I’m NOT saying this is my experience):

  • Control, my fear rules over me. Even though I want to believe God’s truth, at the end of the day I’m clinging more to fear and my lack of self-control than proclaiming scripture out loud on what God promised and holding Him true to His word.
  • My mind is not sober (clear). It is cluttered with worry and random thoughts of the unknown. Instead of working on capturing each thought and turning it over to God I allow myself to indulge the thought(s) only making me more afraid.
  • Distance from God– with fear taking priority and control, this conflicts with my walk with Jesus. Even though I can still grow and be ministered to, it’s like a heavyweight is on my back, slowing me down. I haven’t surrendered it over to the Lord. I feel like I “need” it even if I don’t want it. I still keep returning to it.
  • I feel helpless like I can’t be set free 

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Notice, this often relates to me, me, me. WE focus on OUR feelings and “strength.” Rightfully so, we get tired, frustrated, and confused when our strength is not enough. We need to rely on Christ alone and seek Him earnestly. Our accuser will lie to us through “whispers.”

Anything we could possibly come up with on this earth will always pale to Jesus. Our efforts will ALWAYS BE FILTHY RAGS TO HIM! This is why we need the Holy Spirit. We cannot do this on our own, but the world we live in only wants to encourage us to focus on ourselves and how “you can do it.”

No.

No, you know what. We can’t.

BUT JESUS CAN!

If you have accepted Him as Savior, you need to give Him your filthy rags and accept what you cannot do on your own. 

How To Break Free Of Bondage

  • Believe & ACT UPON THAT BELIEF- It is meaningless if we are in a cage with an opened door and refuse to step out of the cage (Psalm 81:06). Jesus Christ sets us free and those who want to be set free must believe AND THEN WALK FORWARD REFLECTING THAT TRUTH! This is NOT WISHFUL THINKING! Faith MUST come forth.

(NIV) Acts 13:39, “Through Him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.”

(NLT) Romans 6:06-07, “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.”

So many of us are living as a defeated Christian. We aren’t joyful. We are not growing in Christ. THIS IS NOT WHAT HE PROMISED US! Either, we have never known Him or we have some deep-rooted things that need to be surrendered over to Him. We cannot hold onto sin. We do not have that option! 

(NIV) Romans 6:22, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”

(NIV) John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

THIS IS THE TRUTH OF JESUS! Accept it. Believe. Desire it. Seek Him and follow Him.

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What You Can Do As A Christian Who Struggles

Be willing to examine yourself.

  • What are your fears?
  • What do you struggle with?
  • What do your negative thoughts say?
  • What do you feel you always have to do that makes you feel secure or more at ease?
  • What sins do you have in your life?
  • What is in your life, right now, that you know goes against Jesus and does not give Him glory?
  • Are there any doctrine questions you have or things you were taught that bind you?

Write these down.

Then I encourage you to go through the Bible looking for references of those topics/words. I like using Biblehub, but others like using the Blue Letter Bible. Look at what scripture says.

Ask yourself if you believe what scripture says. If you have issues with scripture find someone to talk to, preferably someone who knows scripture and has a strong walk with Jesus. (Fellowship is very important, see below) If you are able to believe in what the scripture says, then now it is time to act upon scripture. Be bold and walk forward.

Jesus keeps His word, and our enemy needs to hear our proclamations of His truth.

Seek further instruction. Listen to sermons and podcasts. I enjoy Paul Washer, Pastor Tim Conway (not the actor), Eric Ludy, Corrie Ten Boom, Elisabeth Elliot, Leslie Ludy and Francis Chan, among others.

You may need to seek more help for further guidance depending on your problem and, when possible, try Christian programs to encourage you to draw closer to the truth.

If you do not have a church body to be around, close brothers and sisters you can trust to confide to, pray for the Lord to direct you to these people. God has always provided someone to me when I’ve prayed. No, it doesn’t happen immediately for most, it could, though! But keep asking, seeking, and knocking.

The blogging community is a great way to get to know other fellow Christians!

And if you are alone right now, which I’ve been in the past, let me tell you, JESUS IS A GREAT TEACHER! He truly will be with those who are seeking Him, and we are promised He reveals His light. We must seek Him!

Comment Below:
What is something you need to surrender to Jesus?

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9 thoughts on “Are You Set Free In Jesus But Still In Bondage?

  1. There is also a lot to be said for taking the specific, concrete, practical steps that have been proven to be effective in dealing with particular problems. So, for instance, if I were in bondage to alcohol and were trying to get sober, it would help to go to rehab, to get to AA meetings, to get a sponsor and to follow their instructions, to work all the steps. If I were seeking freedom from debt, it would help to cut up all my credit cards and get to credit counseling and make a budget and find someone to be accountable to so I would stick to it and cancel all the mail order catalogs and find a replacement for shopping. If I wanted to learn French, it would be a good idea to find a French teacher; if I had diabetes, it would be a good idea to see a doctor; if I have an anxiety disorder, it would be a good idea to see a good therapist. All kinds of people do the Lord’s work.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, there are proper resources and people to seek out for help and direction, but I don’t believe this is to be done “in addition” to seeking God and scripture. I believe this is only to be done as led of the Lord and by scripture. For, the scriptures teach much about not seeking worldly counsel and not putting our dependence in human beings. We must walk by faith and let the Lord direct our paths, and we must follow his lead and do what he says. And, some of these things mentioned may or may not be in line with his Word and with his Will and with his Ways.

        So, just saying we don’t add things on to God and to His Word. We follow the Lord and His leading in what He wants us to do. And, seeking out some of these outside resources may be completely against his will and his ways. But, I agree that God requires that we take the necessary steps to be free of anything that hinders our walks of faith, and that we don’t just expect him to zap us and that we are good to go. We have to say “NO!” to sin and “YES!” to God daily, step by step, moment by moment, and we have to throw off those things which weigh us down and which so easily entangle us. And, then we can run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. T.R., while I agree that we don’t instantly become perfect when we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, and that the Christian life is a daily walk with Christ, and it is daily putting sin to death, by the Spirit, and it is daily walking by faith and not by sight in obedience to our Lord, I must add a word of caution here.

    There a lot of people who think they can pray a prayer to receive Christ and that it automatically assures them heaven as their eternal destiny, but they feel as though nothing is required of them – no submission to Christ, no forsaking of sin and no walks of obedience. And, this just isn’t biblical teaching.

    So, while our Christian walk is a process, and we are not yet perfect, and we won’t be perfect until the day Jesus takes us home to be with him, we must know also that scripture teaches that if we walk (in practice, in addiction, in bondage) to sin, as a matter of course, of lifestyle, and we are not walking (in conduct, in practice) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God, that we don’t have eternal life with God, no matter what we profess with our lips. So, just noting!

    Scripture references: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Eph. 4:17-24; Eph. 5:3-6; 1 Jn. 1:5-9, just to name a few.

    Liked by 1 person

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