Three Links in the Chain of Bondage

I have come to understand over the course of this past year what the true definition of bondage means when spoken of in a biblical sense. Bondage is a state of utter slavery to forces stronger than man’s will. Whatever a man is in bondage to, he is a slave to serve for all of his days. The state of bondage is so overwhelmingly powerful that escape from it is beyond hope. The scriptures teach man is in bondage under three separate and distinct systems.

The First link in the chain of bondage can be found in the very nature of man himself. It is called in the scriptures ‘the old man‘ (Eph 4:22) or the ‘natural man‘ (1 Cor 2:14). The old nature enslaves man to sin, leading him into a life of rebellion to the Creator.

[2] Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: [3] Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ephes. 2:2-3

The world is in a hopeless state of corruption because man is a fallen creature, totally ruined by the sin that infiltrates his entire being. The very nature of the devil himself is at work in man and that makes him his offspring. ( Eph 2:2; John 8:44) Satan is a rebel, disobedient to God and his kingdom. Men, being his spiritual offspring are also called ‘the children of disobedience.’ (Eph 5:6; Col 3:6).

Some may wonder; Is the sin nature just a part of man’s natural makeup? Did God create man in this defective state?

Sin was not part of the original creation. After God had created the world he beheld that it was very good (Gen 1:31). Adam and Eve were perfectly sinless until Satan duped them into disobeying God. From that time sin has infected every living person born since Adam and none can escape its grasp. This is the doctrine of Original Sin and is foundational to all orthodox Christian beliefs.

Adam represented the entire human race and when he fell, the entire human race fell, because every living person is a product of his loins. (Rom 5:12) In this way, God can deal with the entire human race as one. In other words, since Adam sinned for all, God could send His only begotten Son as a righteous, sinless substitute to cleanse and forgive sin sufficiently for all God’s elect scattered throughout every nation, tribe and tongue. (Rom 5:17-19)

The second link in the chain man is bound by is the world system. It is under the power and authority of Satan himself. He has brought man into this bondage through deception. When Satan deceived Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, he gained authority over all mankind. He is called the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4) because the very course of it is guided by his influence. This however, is only by the permissive will of God. He restrains the extent and intensity of wickedness by his providence. God remains sovereign over his creation because the world belongs to Him.

The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Psalm 24:1

This world system is governed by three powerful, distinct principles that work together to seduce man into bondage. The principles are:

·         Lust of the eyes. This translates into the love of possessions. It is the sin of covetousness.

·         Lust of the flesh. This corresponds to a love of pleasures and passions which runs contrary to God’s holy nature and character.

·         Pride of life. This consists of love of power, prestige and position.

These principles work together to bind man to the world system by appealing to his various lusts and desires. Man invariably yields to the seduction of the world and loves the sin he indulges in. This love for the world is damning to the soul for the scriptures plainly state:

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. [16] For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1 John 2:15-16

The third link in the chain of bondage which man is enslaved to is the moral law. It is now known in the new covenant as the law of Christ. Particularly, we are referring to the the teachings of Christ which reiterate and expound upon the ten commandments Moses gave to Israel at Mount Sinai. The civil and ceremonial laws of the Pentateuch pertained to the Jews as a nation, but the moral law is the ultimate authority over all the peoples of the earth. It is written upon the hearts of every person (Rom 2:14-15) and will ultimately be the standard by which man is judged when facing God after death. The moral law reveals sin. It makes every person guilty for their thoughts and deeds.

Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. [20] Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:19-20

Man is in bondage to the law because he is invariably a debtor to the law. (James 2:10) God’s holy character demands justice be administered due to man’s violation of its holy precepts. According to God’s justice he is sentenced to the punishment of transgressing the law. Sin is transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4) The wages of sin is death. (Rom 6:23)

As a result of the three links in the chain of bondage, man is a slave to serve his selfish desires. Seeking pleasure and self-fulfillment become his ultimate goal. This stands in stark contrast to the laws of God, which are about serving Him and putting other people’s needs first. Jesus said all the law and commandments hinged on the two greatest commandments: loving the Lord God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and loving our fellow neighbors.

As a consequence of this contrast, man becomes a rebel; a transgressor of the laws of God, which condemns him as a sinner. As a sinner, man stands guilty before a just and holy God. On the day of judgment he will be proclaimed guilty in the court of God.

Man is by nature an object of wrath. He is compelled by his own desires to violate the laws of God and is powerless to do otherwise.

In summary, unregenerate man is in bondage to the world system, his sin nature and the law of God. His fallen nature compels him to indulge the pleasures and principles of the world system. Satan’s kingdom of darkness gives man every opportunity to fulfill the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, which comprises the world system. Man continually violates the laws of God through his nature and the indulgences of the world bring him in bondage to the justice and righteous wrath of a holy God.

Look at it like this. Man has a nature inclined to desire & commit evil. The world systems governed by Satan accommodates those desires, providing endless avenues of self-indulgence through pleasures, possessions, power and prestige. God’s law condemns the desires and the practices of sinful man, thus sentencing him to an eternity in hell. This threefold bondage brings man to his ultimate fate; judgment and wrath.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s