Brighton Church of Christ
Freedom, Part 1
by Constant Coulibaly
Discussion of the subject of freedom is of deep interest as many people are enslaved to harmful substances such as alcohol, cigarette and drug.
We even hear more and more about sex slavery now. I once read in the Newsweek magazine of 5 December 2011 that sex addiction has become a new social phenomenon in some western countries.
The scandalous story in July 2015 of a Canadian-based online dating service that specialized in providing affairs to married men and women was an indication of the state of moral bankruptcy modern society is in.
I also read in the same magazine that the United Kingdom, not long ago, held the record for teenage pregnancy in Western Europe.
The conclusion is, more and more girls here lose their virginity early in life before they enter into marriage. This problem, shamefully, does not cause people to raise an eyebrow anymore. What about gambling?
In almost every street corner of large cities in the UK, you find a betting shop. There are more commercials of gambling during TV primetime than ever before.
Consequence? Over 7 billion of British pound sterling are spent every year on gambling in Britain, with an estimated 350, 000 people suffering from gambling addiction for which they need treatment from the NHS, the British National Health Service.
And the tax payers pay the bill!
But someone may object to my reaction to this way of living and say, “Get over it, we live in a modern world; people are free to do whatever they want.” I beg to differ; people are not free who live this kind of life!
I read in 1 Corinthians 15:56, “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.” When a person’s life is dominated by sin, he or she is said to be stung by sin.
That individual is under the strength of sin, which means that they are under the control of sin. In other words, sin is ruling in their lives.
Have you ever been stung by a wasp or bee? My wife was once attacked by a wasp, and her reaction to the insect’s bite was so bad that she was put on a desensitization program.
This is a treatment whereby she had to have an allergy injection every week for three months, then once every month, over a period of three years.
However, after the program was over, it still was not clear whether she was immune to wasp sting or to any other insect sting for the matter.
So, she was advised to permanently carry an “Epi Pen,” a medical auto-injector device used to counter effects from an allergy such as decreased heart rate, uneven breathing or painful swelling in the event she was attacked by a wasp again.
For, another sting allergy could be fatal if she did not get treated immediately. That is because, when a wasp stings you, it injects venom in your body which can affect various parts of your body to the point that you start feeling week, dizzy, wheezy and you can die as a result in a case of a severe allergy reaction.
That said, note that the apostle Paul spoke of sting to illustrate the deadly nature of sin. Sin causes death, the saddest of all human tragedies.
Paul said that the Ephesians were “dead in trespasses and sins” prior to their conversion to Christ (Ephesians 2:1-2). They were not dead physically; they rather were dead spiritually.
The objector to my reaction may further say, “People are free to do what they want, because after all there is no right or wrong about anything; we cannot be sure about anything anyway.”
Then, I won’t put much stock in his statement either, because it is as uncertain as any other proposition.
But Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The truth is the body of information known as the word of God (John 17:17).
The word of God informs us of what is right and what is wrong. It also tells us that people with no spiritual life are slaves to sin (Romans 8:2).
The phrase “law of sin” used by Paul in that passage expresses the idea of the bondage of sin.