Not Captive to Sin or Fear

There is … no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
(Romans 8:1-2)

Alienation from God began when the first man and woman doubted their Creator. How could this happen? Satan, who opposes God and despises the humans so dear to God’s heart, tempted Eve.

Satan knew the order of God’s creation. He knew that to man were given the instructions to resist evil, do good, and defend life. But a sly and cunning Satan ignored the man and approached the woman. He asked, “Did God actually say ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'”? (Genesis 3:1) In that moment, the woman doubted God and trusted her own reasoning. Instead of turning her back on Satan, she engaged him in conversation. Not only did she speak for God, she added words of her own, answering, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'” (Genesis 3:2-3) Eve sinned when she failed to trust God and added to His Word (compare Genesis 3:2-3 with Genesis 2:16-17).

This is how temptation works. After we doubt God’s Word, we more easily reject it and then attempt to establish our own standard of right and wrong. We put ourselves in God’s place.

Was the woman alone in her sin? As the head and steward of God’s creation, Adam was responsible for what happened even though the woman was the first to disobey. The man failed to trust God’s Word for life and use it to resist evil. The eyes of man and woman were both opened when Adam at the forbidden fruit. “God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?'” (Genesis 3:9)

Alienation from God was felt immediately. For the first time, the man and the woman experienced self-consciousness in their nakedness. Sin and a new emotion of shame separated them from one another and from God. Adam and Eve attempted to cover themselves and hide.

There are always bitter consequences for sin. But even though Adam and Eve were sent away from the perfect garden into a sin-tainted world, God promised a Savior who is Christ Jesus the Lord.

Satan continues to deceive us today. When a woman is pregnant with a child she didn’t plan, Satan asks, “Did God actually say that He creates each child in his or her mother’s womb?” ( Yes! He does say this in Psalm 139:13-16.) “Did God actually say that He knows us before we are born?” (Yes! He does say this in Jeremiah 1:5.) “Did God actually say that taking your child’s life is murder?” (Yes! He does say this in Proverbs 6:16-17.) “Did God actually say that a woman’s body is not her own?” (Yes! He does say this in 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.) “Did God actually say that He will care for both mother and child?” (Yes! He does say this in Isaiah 40:11.)

Satan alone is not responsible for our sins. He may actively try to seduce and persuade us, but we are responsible every time we doubt God and want to become our own gods. It is a daily struggle: our will against God’s will. Too often, fear is the driving force in our lives. We are tempted to make wrong choices when we fear being unloved, rejected, or out of control. After wrong choices are made, fear rises again. In shame, we fear that God will stop loving us.

But there is hope! Because of what Jesus has done for us, we are not captive to sin or fear. “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!'” (Romans 8:15)

There is hope! Even after the shame of abortion, hope comes anew in the Father’s love. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

God does not want us to remain alienated from Him. We alienate ourselves by rationalizing or refusing to confess the sin of abortion. But, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Dear Abba Father, with You nothing is impossible. Your only Son, Jesus Christ, paid the price for my abortion sin. Believing this, I do not have to fear separation from You. I am forgiven and set free to live a new life as Your child. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Devotion One in No More Weeping by Linda Bartlett
Lutherans For Life.org #LFL408

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