Slavery and freedom are two experiences we will never stop talking about. In St. Peter’s day, believers in Christ were naturally enslaved, yet spiritually free! Today, most of humanity are naturally free, yet spiritually enslaved! Whoever is a slave to sin, needs to be spiritually emancipated! Jesus, the glorious emancipator, is the only one who can set sin’s captives free. What is emancipation? By what means can we be spiritually emancipated? And who or what are some of the tyrants from which mankind needs to be emancipated? Let us look to God’s holy word for answers to these crucial questions as I speak to you on the subject of spiritual emancipation.
I THE MEANING OF SPIRITUAL EMANCIPATION
Emancipation is the act of freeing someone from the power or control of another. It is the act of delivering someone from controlling influences! An emancipator is a deliverer; a chain breaker; a rescuer! Many people are spiritually enslaved by sin and are compelled to do evil things. You know you are enslaved by sin when you want to stop sinning but cannot find the power to do so. The reality is that sin is on the throne of the heart and it compels its captives to do what they don’t want to do. (Rom. 7:17) Self-deliverance is not possible when it comes to emancipation from sin! Jesus Christ was anointed of God to bring deliverance to the captives. (Luke 4:18,19) Christian freedom can only be found in Christ! We are assured, “if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free.”(John 8:36; LB)
II THE MEANS OF SPIRITUAL EMANCIPATION
The means by which we are spiritually emancipated are all wrapped up in Jesus Christ! The first means of spiritual emancipation is “the truth”. Jesus said, “you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” (John. 8:32) False teaching enslaves; truth liberates! When we embrace truth and walk in it, the stranglehold of sin loses its hold on us.
The second means of spiritual emancipation is the death of Christ. “For sin’s power over us was broken when we became Christians and were baptized to become part of Jesus Christ; through his death, the power of your sinful nature was shattered.” (Rom. 6:3; LB) In the gospel according to Romans, the Apostle Paul shares with us good news concerning our victory over sin through Christ. “Your old evil desires were nailed to the cross with him; that part of you that loves to sin was crushed and fatally wounded, so that your sin-loving body is no longer under sin’s control, no longer needs to be a slave to sin; for when you are deadened to sin, you are freed from all its allure and its power over you.” (Rom. 6:6,7; LB) The sin killing effect of Jesus’ death on the cross can only take effect in our lives when we identify with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection, and reckon ourselves dead unto sin “but alive unto God through” Him. (Rom 6:11; LB)
We cannot speak about the death of Christ and not think of His shed blood! The third means of spiritual emancipation is the blood of Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ is the ransom that has been paid for our spiritual freedom. With His blood, Jesus bought and brought us back from the slave market of sin. (I Peter 2:18,19) John, the revelator, heard the redeemed singing a new song to the Lamb: “thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and has redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” (Rev. 5:9)
A final means of spiritual emancipation is that of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. By His resurrection, He arose from the grave as the mighty conqueror of Satan, sin, death, hell, and the grave. He promised those who believe in Him, “because I live, you shall live also.”
III THE MAIN TYRANTS FROM WHICH WE ARE SPIRITUALLY EMANCIPATED
A tyrant is “a ruler who exercises absolute power oppressively or brutally.” (MWD)
Sin is a terrible master that deceives, enslaves, uses that which is good to bring about that which is evil, and afterward bring forth death. Thanks be to God, grace and truth came by Jesus Christ and conquered and dethroned sin from the heart of the believer. By the death of Jesus Christ, God has freed us “from the rule of sin that kills”. (Rom 8:2,3; Beck)
Jesus not only died to defeat sin in our lives. He also died to destroy the works of the devil who controls his subjects by making them slaves to fear. Hebrews 2:14-15 states, “Since we, God’s children, are human beings- made of flesh and blood- he became flesh and blood too by being born into human form; for only as a human being could he die and in dying break the power of the devil who had the power of the death. Only in that way could he deliver those who through fear of death have been living all their lives as slaves to constant dread.” (LB)
Those who trust in the emancipating work of Christ can truly sing, “I’m no longer a slave to fear; I am a child of God.”
Demons are terrible oppressors! They control, harass, and seek to destroy whoever seeks to break loose from their grasp. Jesus, the glorious emancipator, went about with the Holy Spirit’s power healing all who were possessed by demons. (Acts 10:38) He is still setting captives free through the ministry of His saints whom He gave authority to cast out demons in His name. Everyone who calls upon the Father can experience glorious freedom through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The British Virgin Islands just celebrated sixty-five (65) years of history in remembrance of our ancestors’ emancipation from the chains of slavery. God wants us to do much more than this. He wants us to celebrate freedom in Christ our blessed redeemer. Are you spiritually free or are you a slave to Satan, sin, and fear? Today you can be free from all your cruel oppressors by trusting in the grace of God made available to us through His Son Jesus Christ. Admit that you are a slave to Satan, sin, and fear. Confess your sins to God and ask Him to forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Renounce Satan and sin as your masters, and call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to save you. The word of the Lord Promise says, “those who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Rom. 10:13)
Be healed, be delivered, and be set free; in the name of Jesus!