How to Get Out of Prison

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

Everyone wants to be free. The freedoms of speech, thought, religion, and press are basic to many societies in the world today. Society has found it necessary to restrict the freedom of lawbreakers, so as to allow others the enjoyment of their rightful freedom. That is why prisons exist. People who break the laws of the land may well find themselves in a literal prison.

Are people really free while enjoying the liberties mentioned, or are many of them in a different kind of prison? The Bible teaches us that people may be in bondage even while they are seeking liberty. A person who tells one lie finds himself in bondage to that lie, and is often led to lie again to cover the first untruth. People who take up smoking, drinking, or drugs find out later, when they wish to quit, that they are unable to do so. Many others have broken marriage vows for the sake of pleasure and found themselves with neither pleasure nor family. These are examples of the bondage that sin brings.

Complete text of: How to Get Out of Prison

Bondage to sin is universal and everyone is born in sin. The Bible tells us, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” and “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 3:23; 6:16). See also Romans 3:10. While we are still in our sins, we are in a spiritual prison.

How can we be delivered? True freedom, true happiness, freedom from fear, and freedom from guilt and condemnation, can come only when we are at peace with God and our lives are in agreement with his will. Bondage, on the other hand, is the result of reaching out for Satan’s false promise of liberty. Let us turn to the words of our Savior, Jesus Christ, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18).

To be delivered from sin, we must first of all admit that we are sinners and in bondage. We must repent of our sins. Repentance includes sorrow for our sin and turning away from sin. This may seem difficult, or nearly impossible to some. If we make an honest effort, and call on God for help and for forgiveness of sin, the Lord will lead us step by step to a conversion of the heart. We must accept deliverance and forgiveness by the blood of Jesus through faith. We read in the Bible, “In whom [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14). See also Romans 3:24-25; Romans 5:1; Romans 6:23; Acts 3:19; and John 3:3.

What are the effects of this spiritual freedom? When a person is truly born again as described above, his sins are washed away, and he has a free conscience. He now has power over sinful desires. Instead of yielding to temptations, he now is able to resist the desires of the flesh. He is living a new life in Christ and his aims are different. Instead of living only to please himself, he now seeks to please God and help others. His speech and use of time are different. He rejoices in the challenges of a life that is now filled with purpose and direction. Best of all, this freedom brings an assurance of eternal life in heaven. Even in the confines of a natural prison, this freedom of spirit and heart can be a reality. We read, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). See also Galatians 5:13.

Jesus, I Come

Out of my bondage, sorrow and night,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness and light,
Jesus, I come to Thee;

Out of my sickness into Thy health,
Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus, I come to Thee;

Out of earth’s sorrows into Thy balm,
Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

William T. Sleeper

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