John 8:34-36 "Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed."
What is it to line a Christian life? Most people would like to do whatever that might be, but are uncertain as to what it is. The answer is very simple and very clear ĖDo all things to the glory of God! And that is where we run into our biggest problem, because while it is not hard to do some things to the glory of God, all things Ė everything, its hard to do everything the way we believe God would want us to do them. There are some things we are used to doing, that we should probably stop Ė like complaining. Doesnít sound like much, but if we believe that God gives us each day exactly what we need, isnít complaining calling Godís grace toward you in question? Now Iím not talking about keeping it all inside, and there is probably nothing wrong with mentioning when you hurt, or when you donít understand, or when you are disappointed. Whatís the difference, complaining always puts the blame on someone else, and complainerís are never responsible for anything; and thatís the real problem. Well, its part of the problem, for complaints are contagious, and habitual, and we become enslaved to them.
And anything we become enslaved to is a problem, for if we are enslaved to anything, we are unable to serve God with all out heart, all our soul, and all our strength. When we are enslaved, we cannot do all things to the glory of God. Now here is the real point, anything we become enslaved to, anything which keeps us from doing all things to the glory of God Ė such things are what sin is. We might look and say, I havenít broken any commandment, and rattle off the 10, stopping to say, each of these I have not done, and while we may not have killed anyone, and perhaps not even hurt or hated anyone Ė the commandment isnít just for restraining evil, but also encouraging good Ė so that, if we didnít time to help someone who was in needÖ our sin was not one of commission, that is something we did, but rather a sin of omission, a good deed we had the opportunity to do, and failed to do. So it is that Jesus says to us "Every one who commits sin is a slave to sin." And while we do not like to hear this, because it makes us feel guilty, the point is not to make us feel guilty, but in our guilt, to show us that there is another way.
And that is what we need to see, for often turning from sin, and turning to God is neither easy nor is it comfortable. All the forces around us would have us continue in sin, but we know that this is not God wants for us, and this is not how the children of God are to live. It is time to leave excuses behind, and to take responsibility. It is time to turn to Jesus, so that by his grace, through faith, he might set us free from all sin, from all the chains which bind us, that by his grace, through the forgiveness of sins, we might be able to do all things to the glory of God.
This is what the reformation is about. Abuses crept into the church, there were all kinds of excuses, but all were enslaved, and no one could see the way of salvation by grace through faith. But they heard and believed the Word of God, and they trusted in it, and when it came time, they were not conformed to the world, but they were transformed, and by the grace of God, they said, "Here I stand" (on the word of God). They let their gospel light shine, and it continues to shine to this day.
150 years ago Goad gathered his faithful people into what became the LCMS. They had left homes in Germany because they would not compromise their faith or the Word of God, they too let their voice be heard, to the Glory of God, "Here I stand, . . . on the word of God."
Today there are many things which oppose Godís Word and Godís will. Witchcraft, magic, psychics and evil spirits seem to be part of everyday life. The world would have us think it is bad to be good and good to be bad, sometimes it seems that everything has been turned around. And what shall we do? As it has been since the beginning, and still is, we turn to our God, and listen to his word, and we see that there is a freedom from sin, and that this freedom comes in Godís son, Jesus Christ, who gave his life as a ransom from sin, from death, and from the power of the devil. Jesus broke all the chains which bind us, and gave us the one thing necessary Ė the forgiveness of sins, so that we might find peace with God. And by his grace, we have been set free, unto everlasting life, and a place prepared for us in heaven.