Battling Bondage

How to Stand Fast in Liberty

Galatians 2:4,5
Audio mp3

Pastor Craig Ledbetter                                           

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland

25 Jan, 2009  AM


I.        Introduction (Gal 2:4,5; 5:1)


A.      According to the Bible, Christians are Free Men and Women in Christ.

B.      We are the Redeemed of the Lord. Fully Paid for – bought with a high price!


1.       We are no longer slaves to Satan, death, sin, sickness, demons and fear, or any kind of bondage.

2.       We now belong to Christ, and He has not SET us Free, but MADE us free.


C.      NOT free to live as WE please, but free from the powers that use to control our lives


1.       So that we can serve God of our own free will

2.       So that we can love God from our heart

3.       So that we can represent the Lord Jesus in this world, cleanly and clearly


D.      What a sad joke Christians are who are saved, but live completely in bondage to sins still! Their lives are like the Israelites in Egypt (Exodus 2:23

E.       Anytime that you sense the pull back into the world and into sin, remember, you already are FREE – Someone, or something just lied to you, and tricked you into going back into slavery (Gal 3:1)!


II.      Background to Galatians 5:1


A.      God’s word says that a Christian is not fighting to BECOME free!


1.       Many a nation has fought to free herself from a foreign power

2.       So many people live in a constant battle with slavery


a.       Slavery is not gone – very much alive

b.       Spiritual slavery reigns today

c.        Most everyone living in this modern “free” world are more enslaved than the African slaves of 150 years ago!

d.       Physical chains are nothing compared to the mental, spiritual, emotional chains that have a grip on this generation!

e.        And they think they are FREE! They are slaves!!!


3.       Do you want proof that the world is enslaved? Look at how much money is spent on prescription drugs, and self-help programmes, and yoga classes, and meditation sessions – they are all trying to help people get “free” from the stark reality of the bondage that this world is in

4.       The simple, powerful truth is, CHRIST has MADE us free!


B.      But every Christian must fight to STAY FREE


1.       The devil never gives up

2.       Your flesh will always want to sin

3.       The world will never be a safe place

4.       So… the Christian has to learn how to stay clear of the traps, and trickery of not only the devil, but of his own heart (Jer 17:9)

5.       Those lies so quickly entrap us, enslave us back into the same old sins that we used to be caught up in


a.       Laziness

b.       Apathy

c.        Old friends

d.       Thinking a few drinks won’t hurt

e.        Missing a few Sundays at church

f.        Not walking with God in daily Bible reading and praying


C.      God uses the words, “Stand Fast” to describe the effort on our part


1.       Holding our course like in a storm

2.       Not backsliding, slowing down, giving up, running

3.       It is a wrestling term


a.       Digging your heels in

b.       Positioning yourself so that the opponent cannot get the advantage, and throw you, and pin you down, and conquer you

c.        Not letting size, or strength discourage you

d.       Just stay standing, no matter what your enemy throws at you


D.      I see a lot of believers struggling to get back up, after being thrown, and tripped, and flipped!

E.       But I don’t see many Christians struggling to just stay up

F.       So, I want to focus on the wrestling part, not the recovery part this morning!


III.   Message


A.      Blindness to Our Bondage


1.       Many times we don’t realise just how enslaved we are

2.       It was true when we were lost – we never really realised just how lost we were (Titus 3:3)


a.       Lived in pleasure – don’t realise it was only for a season

b.       Followed the crowd – didn’t realise they were all headed to destruction

c.        Were parented by Satan (John 8:44) and we didn’t know it

d.       We were religious, but headed for hell

e.        We thought we were doing our own thing, but were only puppets of the devil


3.       Children who grow up fighting, arguing, hateful, and hurting one another, usually are blind to just how bad they are – they think their behaviour is normal

4.       The opposite is also true – people who are very good at acting religious, and spiritual, are also often very blind to just how lost and away from God they are

5.       There are a lot of people who are in bondage, enslaved, and they don’t even realise it!  Examples include:


a.       A teen smoking – thinking they are finally free, doing what they want – they are only enslaved by that weed now!

b.       A girl flaunting herself – thinking she is finally free to have fun – she soon becomes enslaved by some scum bum, or even a sterilising disease

c.        Pride blinds us obviously

d.       Hatred blind us to the murder that rages in us

e.        Depression blinds us to the suicidal thoughts that rage in us


6.       Some things to check:


a.       Check your nervousness (Bible word is Fretting)

b.       Check the amount of time you spend complaining (Bible word is murmuring)

c.        Check the amount of time you stay away from your family and responsibilities (the Bible calls it hiding)


B.      The Burdens of Bondage – the High Cost of Modern Slavery (Deuteronomy 28:64-68)


1.       Spiritual Bondage is strong – unbreakable by natural means


a.       That’s why there is such a market for self-help books, and How to Quit Smoking books – because people find it impossible to get free from depression, or even cigarettes on their own


2.       God says, when you live life your own way, you become enslaved


a.       You will serve (become slaves to) other gods - Bondage to Sins and Sinful Habits

b.       You will have no rest - Bondage to Religion and Rituals

c.        You will be consumed with fear and sorrow – Bondage to Fear

d.       You will be full of doubts

e.        You will be full of regrets

f.        Bondage to the World’s Pressures (Gal 4:3). To the downward course of this world - like a whirlpool sucking all down!

g.        Bondage to Fear

h.       Bondage to Satan - To the prince and power of the air - Satan. People are Satan’s puppets (2 Tim 2:24-26)!

i.         Bondage to Death Itself. The wages, result of all our sins always is DEATH (Heb 2:14,15)

j.         Some of you will end up back where you were before you got saved

k.       If you have never been born again, you are doomed to a future, eternal punishment – the wrath of God


3.       All of this is the opposite of what God wants in your life

4.       We desperately need a way out - someone to adopt us out of the “cycle”


C.      The Breaking of Bondage (Psalm 107:8-21)


1.       I’m so glad, God can break the chains of our bondage. He truly is God ALMIGHTY! Amen!

2.       You are a servant of who you follow – who you obey (Rom 6:16-18). Simple


a.       Follow Jesus, and you are free

b.       Follow anything else, and you are a slave


3.       How does Jesus make someone free? He pays off their sin debts (Isaiah 52:2,3)


a.       Without money!

b.       Without religious duties;

c.        Without our effort at all.


4.       God redeems any and all, no matter how far away, or how lost, all by the precious blood of His Son (Eph 1:7)!


D.      Building Barriers to Bondage


1.       New Ownership (1Cor 6:19,20)


a.       Folks, according to 1Cor 6:19,20, a Christian is not their own master – we don’t own our future, and we don’t own our selves – not anymore!

b.       And yet, the struggle with who we are, and what we want, and who controls us, is one of the most violent struggles in all of history (Mt 11:12)

c.        You are Redeemed: Great Bible word – means, fully paid off


1)       The picture here is of a slave being purchased from the horrible system of slavery. Redemption implies the buying back of something or the paying of a ransom. Paul's illustration is that we have been bought from our slavery to sin. Up to the point of redemption, our lives have been the lives of slaves.

2)       Someone stepped up to purchase us back

3)       Where once we belonged to sin, the devil and death, a Christian now belongs to God

4)       Gave us real liberty, and a life – eternal life

5)       What we have received is the most expensive gift that has ever been given to purchase mere slaves. We truly have been bought with a price—the very life of the Creator.

6)       Paul is using this illustration to emphasize to us that, because we have been purchased, we are under obligation now to the One who purchased us. As he writes, "Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's", he is imploring us to become holy.


d.       You Are a Purchased Possession of God


1)       You are not your own person anymore – that’s what got you in trouble all the times before – going astray meant going your own way (Isa 53:6)

2)       If there is a struggle over authority in your life (just mention the word submission and you start a fight with a lot of people today), then it may be that you either:


a)       Are not saved

b)       Or, don’t like the fact that with salvation, comes ownership


e.        You are Owned


1)       Like a professional soccer player is owned by his team

2)       Like an Olympian is owned by his or her coach

3)       Like a slave, who has been freed, is now owned by God!

4)       You are never free from ownership – but finally free to be owned by God!


f.        Build on this ownership – He knows what he is doing, and He knows what’s best – trust God!


1)       Follow His will for your life

2)       Allow His work in your life

3)       Love His presence in your life



2.       New Discipleship (Matthew 11:29-31; John 8:31-36)


a.       Continue in God’s word is Christ’s command


1)       Some of you got so excited when you got saved

2)       Started reading the Bible

3)       Started into discipleship

4)       Started writing down notes from every sermon

5)       Then you started cooling off

6)       And now, you barely want to come to church?

7)       The Bible is the food for your soul

8)       If someone stops eating, they will only grow weaker and weaker

9)       Get back to this Book – back to opening it at the breakfast table, and back to praying through its commands and promises!

10)   The fire of life will return!

11)   The love of God will only grow then!


b.       Learn, study, know the truth


1)       The devil capitalises on LIES

2)       The only way to tell a lie is by knowing THE TRUTH

3)       Jesus died to make sure you had the truth!

4)       Study this Book; Come to Church and hear the preaching – to LEARN the truths that change lives and save lives


c.        Drop the old yoke, and take on HIS yoke


1)       Drop the old friends

2)       Drop the old late night habits

3)       Drop the old clichés and old excuses!

4)       Follow everything Jesus did – learn from Him and find awesome rest and life!


3.       New Fear (Hebrews 4:1)


a.       It is good to be afraid of some things

b.       Fear being entangled again – messed up worse

c.        Fear being derailed from God’s perfect will

d.       Fear falling short of God’s Promised Land for your life – already going to heaven, but the promised land is the place, the people that God thinks


E.       If you are a Christian and you are Bound by or Controlled by any Ungodly Force, or Addiction:


1.       You need to settle your salvation

2.       You then need to fear God and the result of your playing around with sin – AMEN!

3.       You then need to saturate your mind and heart with this Bible – this will fill your life with the Holy Spirit and will help you draw nigh to God

4.       You then need to yield to the Holy Spirit in your life – He has the power to conquer your sin

5.       You can then resist the devil and he WILL flee (James 4:7)

6.       Part of Your Inheritance in Christ is Freedom From Bondage.

7.       So Let Christ MAKE you Free and keep you Free.


IV.    Conclusion


A.      God’s word says that a Christian is not fighting to BECOME free!

B.      But every Christian must fight to STAY FREE

C.      God uses the words, “Stand Fast” to describe the effort on our part


1.       I see a lot of believers struggling to get back up, after being thrown, and tripped, and flipped!

2.       But I don’t see many Christians struggling to just stay up


D.      We have Learned About


1.       Blindness to Our Bondage

2.       The Burdens of Bondage – the High Cost of Modern Slavery (Deuteronomy 28:64-68)

3.       The Breaking of Bondage (Psalm 107:8-21)

4.       Building Barriers to Bondage


a.       New Ownership (1Cor 6:19,20)

b.       New Discipleship (Matthew 11:29-31; John 8:31-36)

c.        New Fear (Hebrews 4:1)