Part of the 10 Hard Truths about Being Born Againseries.
To be a slave to sin is a terrible thing.
For instance, Dr. Donald Guthrie said:
Sin is a debt, a burden, a thief, a sickness, a leprosy, a plague, a poison, a serpent, a sting.
Everything that man hates, sin is.
A load of curses and calamities beneath his crushing intolerable pressure, the whole creation groans.
However, enslavement to sin doesn’t mean one struggles against it.
Rather, one has an innate and compelling desire to reject God and his law. In fact, he has a growing appetite for lawlessness.
The Doctrine of Degradation
He yearns to break his parent’s hearts. Lie to his wife. Feed the minds of his children filth. Steal from his corporation. Dominate his secretary. Outsmart weak men.
He longs to entertain his friends with foul language. Lure honest neighbors into wickedness. Support the legislation of wicked men.
He neglects the emotional pain of relatives. Ignores the needs of the diseased. Refuses to help the displaced.
In the end, it’s the opposite of sanctification. It’s degradation. All for the sake of self.
The Debt of Degradation
And neither can a slave to sin see biblical truth. Hear spiritual wisdom. Feel godly sorrow.
These are his natural limitations. Sin is a master over his heart, mind and body.
Unfortunately, spiritual death is the paycheck for slavery to sin. It’s the wage for a degrading sense of morality.
The worst part of this slavery is that we are helpless. We cannot repay it. We have nothing to repay it.
Whether we wish to repay it or not, we are helpless. ”Forgiveness ought not to be granted except when the debt is paid which is due for our sin,” Anselm said.
Fortunately, that debt has been paid. By the Messiah.
The Death of Degradation
As John Darby said, “He takes the totality and the system of sin in a man, as a body which is nullified by death; its will is judged and no longer masters us. For he who is dead is justified from sin.”
And so, through the special mercy of God we become freed from the dominion of sin. And slaves to righteousness.
In Christ, degradation dies. But it doesn’t end there.
Our spiritual resurrection in Christ awakens in us a thanksgiving that grows as we learn how great God’s kindness is. And as we learn how great God’s kindness is, we are constantly stimulated to hate sin more and love obedience to Christ more.
This is yet another reason why new birth is so important.