Breaking the Chains

by Mike Ratliff

12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:12-17 ESV)

When God saves His people their hearts are regenerated. This means that they now have the faith that is required for salvation. It means that they are now able to obey God because they have everything in place that enables it. However, many of us can testify to many years of bondage to besetting sins after salvation. Even though our salvation freed us from the penalty of sin and provided the only way for us become victors over our sin nature, our pride working in cooperation with our sin nature had deceived us into believing that pleasing our flesh would give us more fulfillment than the Joy of the Lord. When we give in to this by exposing our members to the desires of our flesh we move away from the light into darkness. If we do not repent of this and learn how to walk according the spirit, to become Spirit-led, we will eventually become enslaved to our flesh. This bondage can become very hard to break. In fact, we cannot break these chains by our will power. We cannot kill our sin by trying hard or doing good works or being super religious. What makes this a huge problem is that there are very few mature believers in our time who teach and disciple new Christians how to kill their sin and thereby live according the spirit. Continue reading