The longing for deliverance is echoed all over the world. From various communities there rises cries like "from darkness lead me to light," or "show me the way to freedom" This is despite the fact that mankind all over the world, in various cultures, talk of progress, love, abstaining from murder, faithfulness etc. However, there is a problem that causes people to cry out "lead me from darkness to light" or "show me the way to freedom" because the problem facing man is not primarily one of "knowing" but "doing."
The apostle Paul defines the inner human predicament this way.
For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. Romans 7:19,20.
All of us can identify with this. All of us have faced situations where we know what is the right thing to do, but we wound up doing the very thing we did not want to do because we succumbed to base urges. We resolve every year to do better but find that we are not able to rise above this consistently.
This is because it is impossible for us to fulfill in our fallen humanness, the holy requirements of God. What is needed is not a "new resolution", but a "new creation." If deliverance could have come through instructions and laws, God just needed to give us a lawbook and ask us to live according to it. Yes laws have uses, but at best it is an external restraint but who can purify the sinful urges of the heart? This was pointed out by the Lord Jesus when He said "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; ..."Matthew 15:18-20.
The promise for mankind is that we can experience real deliverance in the here and now from this stranglehold of sin. The way is through the work of Christ on our behalf. He became like unto us and bore our sins on the cross The Bible says "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God." 1 Peter 3:18
Now He gives a beautiful analogy. He said "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5.
This dear friends is the key. We abide in Christ and He bears the good fruit through us. By ourselves we can do nothing. But the law of life in Christ Jesus sets us free from the law of sin and death. How do we experience this?
First we need to be reconciled with God. All of us have two options. One option is to go our own way, choosing whatever our base urges demand. The other is to turn to Him and surrender to His will, which is to work His righteousness through us. The Bible says that whoever, comes to Him He will not cast away. whatever you've done, whatever you have become, God still has a place for you in His heart. (John 6:31) Our part is to acknowledge and confess our sin to Him and He assures us that He will forgive us. (1 John 1:9). This is the start of new relationship (John1:12)
God delivers people from bondage instantaneously. However, to stand in the deliverance is a different issue. It was one thing for God to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt but it was totally another thing to get Egypt out of the children of Israel. In our cases, Being translated into the kingdom of God is instantaneous, but becoming more like Christ, needs our cooperation and the renewal of our minds, as we daily renew our minds by learning to see things in God's way through His Word and learning the privileges of this new status we have in Him.
In closing, I want to mention that god is our Helper and not a Spectator in our troubles. He is for us and He walks with us. Surely He is close to the broken hearted and to those of a crushed spirit. A dimly burning wick, He will not quench or cast away a broken reed. (Isaiah 42:3).