Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Dial Daily Bread: Rescued From the Undertow of Sin

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Chemical dependency-addiction is as enslaving as "demon possession" in the Bible. It's useless to tell a victim to just stop and get over it! But what the Bible says is "sin" has a hold on us stronger than any chemical addiction. Both are powers that enslave; sin is the deeper root.

Ephesians says that this slavery is imposed by someone who once was a mighty angel in heaven but is now "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience," "according to the course of this world" (Eph. 2:2). And indeed it is death, for Paul says, "you ... were dead in trespasses and sins" (vs. 1). The Revised English Bible is clear: "We were ruled by our physical desires, and [we] did what instinct and evil imagination suggested. In our natural condition we lay under the condemnation of God like the rest of mankind" ("the children of wrath," KJV, but not necessarily the wrath of God, vs. 3).

Ultimately our problem is alienation from God. We sense loneliness from feeling forsaken by Him. Hopelessness and despair are the preconditions of all addiction to evil. Whatever the slavery, it thrives in the darkness of ignorance of the gospel or downright dis-belief of it. (The former can be healed; the latter may be very serious, for it involves religious people like those who crucified Christ.)

The word "salvation" includes more than a "pipe dream" of bliss after death. To be "saved" is to be rescued (as if you were drowning) from the undertow imposed by sin in all its forms. Paul says "the gospel ... is the power of God to salvation" (Rom. 1:16). Not as magic, so-called Christian miracles, which may be Satan's last-days' deception. The gospel is truth (Gal. 2:5, 14) that must be (1) heard, (2) read, (3) understood, (4) appreciated, and (5) believed.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: August 3, 2003.
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