What Does John 8:34 Mean?

Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

John 8:34(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Jesus is incarnate Truth and when He said to His followers: 'truly, truly I say to you...' we should pin back our ears and pay special attention to all that He has to say: Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The Lord Jesus came to earth to set fallen man free, from his shocking enslavement to sin and to deliver us from the ruinous nature of sin, which is imputed to every member of the human race. Jesus came to bring freedom to all who are enslaved by sin - but many refuse to acknowledge that as sinners we need salvation. As slaves to sin we all need to be set free.

Freedom is a condition for which all men long.. but even in the comparative freedom of today's western world, men are far from free, for each one is restricted in many ways. We are limited by laws of the land.. the air.. the sea, and the sky. We are also regulated by government laws, federal laws, taxes.. and an array of intrusions into our own personal lives, which seem to multiply with every passing year.. as the invasion of diverse technologies and statutory requirements, to which we are forever chained - scrutinises us and regulates our every move.

The proud Jews of Christ's own time were incapable of admitting that they were enslaved, or that anything had dominion over their lives. Jesus came to free them from the tyranny of sin and told them that if they continued to follow Him and trust in His word, they would know the truth, and the truth would set them free.

However, they were quick to reject His gracious words and offer of salvation, and boasted that because they were Abraham's descendent they were already freemen! They conveniently forgot that they had been slaves to many different nations in their chequered past, including the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, and the Roman government, under whose control they were presently enslaved.

But Christ was referring to much more than physical or national slavery, in His discourse with the Jews. Jesus was talking of the terrible human tragedy of slavery to sin: Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. Jesus came to set His people free from the curse of the Law and the chains of sin and death, but they could not accept that they were sinners in need of salvation. They would not admit that they were in need of a Saviour.

They did not understand that are not sinners because we sin.. we sin because we are sinners. Every member of the human race is a sinner by nature. Every human being is imputed with sin, for when Adam sinned in the beginning, sin was passed on to all his progeny. We are born into sin. We are all slaves to sin. We are imputed with sin. We inherit a sin nature. We are all enslaved by the fleshly sin nature - for everyone who commits sins is a slave to sin - until and unless we are made free by grace through faith in Christ.

Instead of saying to the Jews, "everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin", Jesus could have said, "because you are a member of the human race who have a sin nature, you are a slave of sin". The entire race of humanity are fallen creatures. We ALL commit sin and so we are ALL slaves of sin and in need of a Saviour.

I am sure when the Lord Jesus made this statement - "everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin", He said it with great sadness and deep compassion in His heart. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. Jesus came to save us from our sin and not to condemn us for our sin. He came to free us from the bondage of sin and not to castigate us because of our sin.

When Jesus spoke these words He was speaking to the Jews of His day, who refused to accept His offer of Salvation. They would not acknowledge that they were sinners who were enslaved by sin. They refused to accept that they a slave of sin in need of a Saviour. Jesus came as the Light of the world to enlighten their darkened souls, but they loved the darkness more than the light, and refused His gracious offer of freedom from sin.

Jesus had come to offer the Jews of His time, freedom from bondage to sin and liberty from enslavement to the sin nature. But they refused to admit they were sinners in need of a Saviour, and so they closed the only door to freedom and refused to walk down the only path to liberty.

Jesus is the incarnate Son of God. Christ is incarnate truth, while sin is the personification of a wicked and cruel slave-master, from whom there is no escape - except by grace through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. It is only those that are saved by grace through faith in Him that are enabled, by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, to be freed from sin's slavery. It is only those who are born-again and positioned in Christ, who are enabled to live each day by grace through faith in Him - for Jesus not only paid the penalty for our sin but broke the power of sin in the life of all who believe.

As slaves to sin we are all wretched men that need to be freed from the stranglehold of sin - and yet we find that we are a fallen race of sinners who are enslaved by its power.. for the sin that we do not want to do is the very thing that we do - and the good things that we want to do are the very things that we do not do!

Paul discovered this shocking truth in his own life and cried out, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" But he also found his answer in Christ - "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord" And we who are members of the body of Christ have the very same opportunity as did Paul to be set free from slavery to sin - by faith in HIM.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, what amazing grace that You should choose to redeem the fallen race of Adam and bring those that believe in His name out of the slave-market of sin by faith in Christ. Thank You that I have been released us from the vice-like hold that sin has on our lives. Thank You in Jesus' name the penalty of sin has been paid in full and the power of sin has been broken in my life. Thank You that in Christ I have the power of the indwelling Spirit of God to hold me steady - as I allow the life of Christ to rule in my heart. Thank You, Father, that in Christ I am no longer a slave of sin but have been set free through Him Who loved me and gave Himself for me - praise His holy name, AMEN.

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