Freeing People From The Custody Of Sin
“We went to four different stores looking for a pair of children’s plastic handcuffs for an object lesson for a children’s sermon,” I told Ed. He is my old neighbor in Saskatchewan, who does not believe in children’s sermons or any sermons. He dreads Christmas Eve Services because he ends up going to church to set an example for his grandchildren.
Ed did demand to know what handcuffs had to do with the Christmas story. I said that handcuffs are used all around the world to prevent a criminal from escaping police custody. They are a perfect restraint for making the prisoner unable to us his hands and arms. Those wearing handcuffs are powerless without their freedom. Sin restrains people and keeps them captive to it. Ed refuses to believe people are handcuffed by sin.
I say that sin always deceives people in that it seems harmless. Sin promises freedom, and it convinces people that they are in control, not the sin they are committing. Sin makes sinning easy. One lie seldom is enough, one drink of alcohol leads to more and perhaps drunkenness, cheating becomes a habit. Some sinning, like murder, is obvious. Sins like pride, jealousy, anger, hate, may not be detected by those who are most guilty of being controlled by them.
Satan has always fooled people with the lie that God doesn’t have our best interest at heart. Adam and Eve listened to the lies of the devil that they need not trust God but could be equal to Him. People are always ready to think that they need not trust God and that they can act in their own best interests. Doubt and working independently of God is easy and popular. Trust is always difficult for all people.
Christians often believe that they could sin, but that they aren’t really sinners. They refuse to believe that everyone is a sinner or has a sinful nature. People do not always sin, but they do have a sinful nature and can still sin. God’s word is clear that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. God’s law helps us be conscious of our sinful thoughts, words, and deeds.
God gave the baby Jesus born at Bethlehem the first Christmas. Jesus, his Son, was born on earth to be sinless and righteousness before God for us. We are handcuffed to sin because we cannot be perfect or sinless. Jesus unlocked the handcuffs of sin, holding us. He is the key that frees us of the hold sin has on us. We cannot trust ourselves to be sinless, but we can trust Jesus God’s Son, who was sinless for us as He lived, died, and arose from the dead, here on earth.
For a time, Joseph was considering divorcing Mary, for she was pregnant with a child that was not his. An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and told him: “Do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you will give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sin.” Jesus the Savior born of Mary is for all sinners forever.