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Raise Your Hand If You Don’t Need Redemption
Isn’t it obvious that we all need redemption? Well, yes and no. Taking redemption as an umbrella term for salvation, we’d all agree. But in the more specific biblical sense of freedom from slavery? Maybe not. Is the Bible’s slavery motif something we can all connect with?
We may not have known slavery like many in the United States before slavery was abolished, nor like many still experience it today in the dark underworld of human trafficking. Yet we may have been affected by any number of life-dominating, slavery-like experiences.
The Bible describes sin as a slavemaster, and our world as one that lies in the power of the evil one, the ultimate slavemaster, Satan (Romans 6:6, 1 John 5:19). These big-picture statements are summaries of the many specific ways we are enslaved to sin, harmed by evildoers, or otherwise affected by the decay of a fallen world.
Enslaved by abuse
- Sixteen percent of boys and 25% of girls are sexually abused by age 18.
- About 28% of children have been physically abused, mostly by people they know and trust.
- On college campuses, as many as one in five women are raped.
Enslaved by addiction
- Forty-seven percent of families have said pornography is a problem in their home (Focus on the Family poll, October 1, 2003).
- Close to 18 million Americans (or 8.5 percent of adults) fit the criteria for alcohol abuse or alcoholism.
Enslaved by life's woes
- Over one-half of American adults are affected by an alcoholic family member.
- More than 40 million people exhibit the symptoms of anxiety disorders each year.
- 15–20% of adolescents have engaged in self-injury.
- Nearly one in ten adults could be diagnosed with clinical depression each year.
- 25% of all marriages are affected by adultery.
The Bible describes sin as a slavemaster, and our world as one that lies in the power of the evil one, the ultimate slavemaster, Satan.
Sadly, some of these statistics may describe parts of your own life. If not, they probably describe the lives of people very close to you. They are but a few examples of how sin enslaves.
We all need redemption. We all need the Redeemer—Jesus Christ—who pays the price for our sin, breaks its power, and defeats the slavemasters that bind us.
Mike Wilkerson leads the Counseling and Redemption Groups ministries at Mars Hill Church Ballard. He is the author of Redemption: Freed by Jesus from the Idols We Worship and the Wounds We Carry.