“Everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin” (John 8:34).
Jesus says you’re a slave.
When God made us, he made us to be free. He made us to live in the freedom of his presence, the freedom of his joy and love. Living in that freedom meant doing what we were made for: serving God and others.
If you took a highly-trained, war-hardened soldier and put him in a ballet class, he wouldn’t feel free. He wasn’t trained, wasn’t “made” for ballet. He was made for battle.
Not what he was made for.
If you took a chess champion, strapped a helmet and shoulder pads on her, and asked her to play fullback for the 49ers, she wouldn’t be free. She could direct all her efforts, energies and brain capacity toward learning, studying, and preparing for Sunday’s game. But her helmet and shoulder pads would not make her free to flourish at football. They would, in fact, be a form of slavery.
Sin is slavery. It takes people who were made to serve God and others and makes us worry about our safety. Our future. Our reputation. Our career. Our family. Our home. Our comfort. Our happiness. Our pleasure. Our rights. Sin turns us inward, focuses our eyes not on God or others, but on ourselves. Sin is the slavery of serving ourselves.
We have all sinned. We are all slaves to sin.
Jesus says you’re a slave. But he also tells us the path to freedom: “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).
Truth sets us free. Jesus said he IS the truth (John 14:6). It is by following him as his disciples that we come to know freedom from sin. The truth of the gospel sets us free to be who we were made to be. The gospel sets us free to serve God and others.