Belong to God
Open Your Bible
Romans 6:15-23, Isaiah 61:1-11, Galatians 5:1, Galatians 5:13-14
I want to try something: in case you skimmed through today’s reading quickly, I’d like to prompt you to go back to read Isaiah 61 again. It’s okay; we all rush through at times. Maybe you’re tired and zoned out or your sweet kid asked you a question, and you didn’t quite finish it. But take a moment to see how beautiful and poetic this prophecy is. Jesus applied these very words to Himself, so we don’t want to miss them.
“He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and freedom to the prisoners.”
Freedom. The whole story of the Bible reaches its climax in Jesus’s rescue mission to image bearers. Our souls were dead—imprisoned to sin, darkness, and deceit. My soul was dead. Yours, too, was dead. Our bondage to sin is broken the moment He opens our eyes and frees us. He requires nothing of us; we know that it is pure grace.
How often are we tempted to fall back into habits of self-righteousness? How often do we pile on guilt and shame that is not ours to bear? How often do we judge other sisters without seeing them as God sees them?
The apostle Paul keeps beating the drum of who Jesus Christ is. Whether to the Roman or Galatian Christians, he was adamant: Don’t forget. Don’t forget what He traded you for. His blood paid the bondage price to trade us from slaves of sin to slaves of righteousness, and He is the better Master.
Isaiah speaks of a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair (Isaiah 61:3). What does he trade in your life? Maybe you resonate with some of these blessings: Unshakeable peace instead of circumstantial anxiety, sanctifying victory over persistent sins, and worshipful thankfulness instead of guilt.
It’s interesting to me that Paul keeps using the enslavement metaphor. He explains that we are under bondage only to a new master (Romans 6:18). We are not our own. God made us, built us, and sees everything about us. Our bondage to God is freedom. He knows what makes for human flourishing and most importantly, how we can attain eternal life with Him.
I’m glad you savored Isaiah 61 again. It’s verses like this that prompts me afresh to long for our Lord’s second coming and revel in the freedom He has given us on this broken earth.