CHRIST DOES NOT SET US FREE. HE MAKE US FREE.
“Wait a minute Mr. Preacher,” Someone might possibly say, “Are you saying Jesus does not set us free from sin? Didn’t you read in your Bible that “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free . . . If the Son therefore shall set you free, ye shall be free indeed John 8:32, 36?” I will reply by saying, the Scripture didn’t say “the truth shall set you free” rather the Scripture say, “the truth shall make you” and “the Son shall make you free.” That is why we need to use a good Bible translation. It will be advisable to make us of the KJV translation. The NIV translated it as set free, but in the KJV it is translated as make free. In fact no where can we find the phrase set free applied to Jesus or salvation, it is always make or made free. Someone might possibly ask, “Why is this so important? It doesn’t matter if Jesus set us free or make us free, all that matters is that we are free.” To such person is this article written.
The Mission of Christ
Jesus mission into this world is to save His people from their sin. It is written of Him.
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21.
He was also revealed to save His people from the works of the Devil and the works of the Devil is the works of the flesh.
“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8.
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21.
Jesus came into this world to make us free from sin. Jesus is in the making free business and not the setting free business. It is true that sin is like a cord that binds us to Satan and the world and we become his goods or his slave. But one cannot be bound up with a cord or chain without first being captured or entrapped as a slave.
Proverbs 5:22 clarifies this: “His own iniquities shall take [entrap] the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.” First we are entrapped or taken before we are held with the cords of our sin. Sin destroys the image of God in us and when tasted leaves us spiritually dead, lifeless and in bondage. Those who are bound by the cord and chain of sin are slaves to sin; they are regarded as slaves to another power stronger than them. Jesus made this clear in John 8:34-37 when he was speaking to the Jews:
“Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: [but] the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.”
The word servant in verse 34 literally means bondservant or slave. A slave is one sold to another person called master or lord. Paul further made it clear in Romans 7:14 where he wrote that he is carnal “sold under sin.” The master is sin or the sinful practices which we indulge in either openly or secretly. Satan, through the fleshly passion of our carnal heart, binds us to himself that we may do his bidding and makes us is rightful captives. Satan, through the sinful passions or sinful practices, becomes our master or what Jesus calls the strong man of our life.
The strong man and the Stronger Man
Jesus gave a parable about the strong man and the Stronger Man that overcomes him in Luke 11:21-22.
“When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.”
The strong man that is armed and that keeps his goods is Satan. His goods is man, those that are under his slavish power, those who have committed sin and are in bondage. The Stronger Man is Jesus who will come upon him and overcome him and rescues the slave from his armour and he will then destroy his power. But it is interesting to note how the Holy Spirit further explains this in the account of Mark. In Mark 3:27, the Holy Spirit explained to us how this Stronger Man was to rescue or save His good from the bondage of the strong man.
“No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.”
The Bible says, the first thing the Stronger Man will have to do is to first bind the strong man before he can spoil his house. This means, before Jesus, the Stronger Man, will begin the cleansing of the soul, the soul that was once in bondage to sin, He would have to first bind up Satan, the strong man, under whom we were held in bondage through our sinful passions, lustful desires, fleshly desires and the evil of our nature. If Jesus does not first bind up the strong man [the power of Satan through the fleshly and sinful passion of our nature] we cannot become free from sin.
It should be noted that the binding of Satan in this regard should not be mistaken to be the same as the binding of Satan during the 1000 years millennial reign of the saints with Christ in Revelation 20:1-3. Again it is imperative to note that the binding of Satan in this article is the binding of his power over us. Satan’s power over his subject is found in the sin that they commit. This sin reside in the carnal heart of man. Jesus said out of within proceed every evil things such as murder, adultery, hatered, lies, fornication etc. [Mark 7:21-23]. Those are partake in the sin that resides in the heart or cherish them are partakers of the nature of Satan. Therefore they are of Satan and they are his rightful goods which are guarded with arms and weapon. Apostle John make this clear in 1 John 3:8 that, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.” Only Jesus has the power to deliver from the hand of this strong man because we are naturally weak and dead in sin.
If Jesus sets us free without first binding the strong man, the strong man will rise up again to hold us in bondage. The way of Salvation is not to set us free but rather to make us free. We are made free when the old man, the flesh, the body of sin or the power of sin is bounded up by the power of Christ while the chain and cord of sin is consumed by the consuming fire of God. In order for the Stronger Man, Jesus, to make us free, He would have to first bind the strong man and then do the cleaning up of the house as we cooperate with Him. The strong man have to remain bound and dead before we can receive our salvation from sinful habit and sinful life style.
Can we be entangled again by Sin?
Definitely yes! Jesus bind the strong man but He does not bind our will power of choice. When the power of sin in the flesh are bound up by the power of Christ divine nature which is imputed and implanted into us, we are immediately made free from the power of sin and death but this freedom in Christ does not mean our choices are taken away from us. Paul wrote: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1. That mean it is possible to be entangled again with the bondage of sin.
Someone may ask, “How is this possible? But I thought the strong man was already held bound by the power of Jesus?”
It is possible to be entangled again to sin when we, through the choices that we make, set loose the evil passions of our sinful nature that Jesus had previously placed in bondage. It is truthful said: “You cannot defeat the demons you enjoy playing with.” When we give ourselves as instrument of unrighteousness we are going back to bondage and we are setting free the strong man which was previously held bound by the power of Jesus. For it is written in Romans 6:13, “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” This means that it is possible to yield our members [body, mind and desires] as instruments of unrighteousness or instruments of unrighteousness.
Jesus will make you free
Jesus will make you free, if you allow him to bind the strong man in your life. So long the strong man is bound up and remains in this state, you will walk in liberty and freedom and in victory. How does Jesus accomplish this act? It is through the cross. The strong man is bound up by the crucifixion of the flesh on the cross. The flesh must remain on the cross in order for us to experience victory daily. For us not to serve sin, the body of sin must be crucified and remain dead. It is written in Romans 6:6-7, 12:
“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin . . . Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.”
For us not to obey the lust of the flesh, sin must not reign in our mortal body. For sin not to reign in the mortal body is to be kept impaled on the cross. This impaling of the flesh on the cross is done by reckoning ourselves dead to sin by faith. Through crucifixion the sinful flesh is held bound and man is made free. Freedom in Christ is the same as being made new in Christ Jesus; we are no more slaves of our sinful passion or to Satan or the strong man, but we are now slaves of Christ, the Stronger Man. “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.” Romans 6:22; 2 Cor. 5:17.
Summary and Concluding Remarks
If Jesus sets us free from sin while the strong man, old man, the sinful passions, the body of sin, the carnal mind and the evil heart is not held bound by impaling it to the cross, we will certainly not have victory over our sin and we shall be living believing we are in saved. But if Christ first binds Satan, who works through the strong man, the old man, the sinful passion, the body of sin, the carnal mind and the evil heart then the Stronger Man, Jesus can take his time to make us free, to make us new and make us a new creature. Jesus is able to put under his power the strong man in order to make us free. When He makes us free, we are free indeed and remain so as long as the strong man or old nature or sinful flesh remain on the cross crucified and dead. Are you willing to be made free in Christ Jesus while the sinful passion is held bound, or are you willing to be set free from sin while the sinful passions is let loose and free to harass you over and over again? The choice is your today to make.