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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“His own iniquities entrap the wicked man, and he is caught in the cords of his sin.” —Proverbs 5:22 (NKJV)
Have you ever voluntarily tried on a pair of handcuffs before, just to experience what they feel like? If so, you know firsthand how impossible it seems to escape from them. By design, they are highly restrictive and very uncomfortable.
Now, an even more important question is: Have you ever been handcuffed by sin? I don’t mean those moments when we fail to respond to a person or situation in a Christ-like way and feel remorse. I’m talking about all-out spiritual bondage to habitual sins or patterns. For example, feeling like you’re unable to stop lying, gossiping, slandering, stealing, or losing your temper; addiction to money, power, sex, pornography, alcohol, drugs, or food; or maybe even the less obvious sins of pride, jealousy, envy, greed, laziness (sloth), or unbelief—and feeling completely powerless over them.
If you can relate to any of the above, then you can understand what the writer of Proverbs is telling us in today’s verse. Like a person in handcuffs, sin can trap us in a cycle of despair. And as we continue to give ourselves over to it, sin masters us and robs us of our freedom. In fact, Jesus tells us in John 8 (NIV) that “everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (v. 34), and worse, that “a slave has no permanent part in the family” (v. 35).
Since the Bible says all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23), are we all doomed to a life of captivity to sin? Absolutely not! Later on in John chapter 8 (NLT), Jesus adds this amazing promise, which is intended for every Christian: “A son is part of the family forever. So, if the Son sets you free, you are truly free” (v. 35-36 NLT).
Further, Paul tells us in Romans 6:11 to count ourselves dead to sin but alive to God. In other words, when you became a follower of Christ, you are given a new, spiritual nature (Ephesians 4:24), and even better, Paul says that sin will no longer be your master because you are under grace, not law (Romans 6:14).
While our flesh still wars against the Spirit (Galatians 5:17), we can be confident of this: As His sons and daughters, our sins don’t own us, nor will they have the last word in our lives because the blood of Jesus has set us free from bondage—now and forever!
DIG: In Romans 6:23 (NLT), the apostle Paul wrote that “the wages of sin is death.” What do you think Paul meant when he wrote it, and how does it apply to habitual sins in our lives?
DISCOVER: If you are wrestling with a habitual sin, connect with a trusted brother or sister in Christ and ask them to pray with you for God to set you free from bondage.
DISPLAY: As you walk in freedom and victory over sin, consider sharing your story in a community group or with a friend who may be struggling. Your words of encouragement may lead them to freedom in Christ as well.
Rob Nieminen is a seasoned writer and editor who has written devotionals for Calvary since 2015. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL. He serves in the Worship Ministry at Calvary Boynton Beach and is an avid reader, an erratic golfer, and an aspiring photographer who loves to cook and spend time with his family.