But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. Romans 7:6
By the time most of us come to Jesus and begin to draw life from the vine, we are well tangled up in chains. Sin doesn’t end with conversion so chain addition continues. For some of us, we come to Jesus because of the pain of a chain of sin. We often experience instantaneous relief from such chains at the time of conversion. These dramatic conversions often produce the most effective followers.
If we could see our complete chain involvement when we come to Christ, we would likely be overwhelmed by it all. Instead, the Holy Spirit shines the light on our chains one-by-one. He brings them to our attention so we can apply the power of grace to them and experience freedom.
It’s important that we recognize the totality of our chain involvement from sin. Chains arise from the sin itself, drawing us into a habit of sin. The harm of sin causes its own chains, binding us to damaged relationships, guilt, and dark histories. We are often chained by the sins of others. Unwise words spoken by our parents, unloving relationships, physical and psychological harm all forge chains that can put a drag on us for years.
Grace has chain breaking power for each of these kinds of chains. As our strength grows from living in Christ and connected to him as a branch of the vine, we can apply gathered power to the task of chain destruction. The secret is to focus on and rejoice in the vine relationship for which we were created and in which we live and grow and have our being. Chains fall away as we substitute the life-giving strength from the vine for the pseudo comfort we get from our chains. The process will continue until we are finally completely transformed into the complete image of Christ, the model intended from the creation of the world.
Be on alert to those who would rebound us to the law, ending the freedom unshackled in the Spirit.