By what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.
–2 Peter 2:19
When I was about ten years old, my mom had to go to an all-day teachers’ conference on a Saturday. She did not have a babysitter for me, so she dropped me off at a movie theater across the street from the conference. I watched four complete showings of “Thunderball” with Sean Connery. For two weeks, I went around the house saying, “Shaken, not stirred.” I had no idea what it meant. But if you know anything about James Bond, you know his designation was 007. “Double O” was a special designation of British spies who had the freedom to kill without answering to anybody. They had a license to kill.
There are many Christians today who think that because they are in His Majesty’s service, they have been given a special license: a license to sin. They think God’s grace gives them the freedom to do whatever they want to do. But that is an abuse of God’s amazing gift of grace.
Have you ever heard anybody ask this question: “If I am saved and forgiven of all my sins, and I know I am going to heaven regardless of what I do, what keeps me from sinning as much as I want to?” That question fails to take into account the fact that the recipients of God’s grace have a new master.
As a Christian, you are not free to do whatever you want to. No, you have just changed masters. That is what Paul was talking about in Romans 6:16: “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?”
Every one of us is a slave of someone. None of us is free. You can serve sin, and therefore you are a slave of Satan. Or you can serve righteousness, and that makes you a slave of God.
Do you know how to tell what you are a slave to? It is whatever you cannot say no to. In 2 Peter 2:19, Peter said, “By what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.” If you cannot say no to dessert, guess what? You are a slave to sugar. If you cannot say no to television in order to spend time with your family or read your Bible, then you are a slave to the tube. If you cannot say no to pornography, then you are a slave to immorality. If you cannot say no to sin, then you are a slave to Satan. We are all slaves to someone.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Laying Down The Law Without Giving Up Grace” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2020.
Scripture quotation marked (NLT) is taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved; Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org