Merciless shackles imperiled my fate;
All were hopelessly lost without grace.
Freedom on the lips of every poor child;
Despairing cries came from every place.
My whole life, I’ve gone to church, memorized Scripture, gotten all the answers right in Sunday School, and all that. I’m guessing that many of you readers have lived the same way. However, that doesn’t constitute real freedom or even salvation.
I wanted real hope,
But it just seemed too bleak.
Held back by sin’s chains,
I knew I was too weak.
No matter who we are, we’re all born slaves to sin. I was born a sinner, so were you. No amount of baby dedication, baptism, or prayers would save a human born into this world. But as soon as you or I are old enough to know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose wrong, we make it known that we have this thing – this disease – penetrating our hearts and enslaving us to its grasp.
No one can break free alone, whether the child of a saint or a criminal.
My mind told me to run,
So I tried to flee.
All the while,
Sin gained a stronger grip on me.
All my life I knew what the Bible said. However, knowing what it means is a different story. The Bible isn’t some random self-help fairytale. It is written for us, absolutely, but it’s not a 12-Step handbook.
The thing about Christianity is that we think we should “try harder,” “just be stronger,” or “put more effort into it” and we’ll overcome everything in our lives. But no. The more we try on our own strength, the more we will fail magnificently. The more we see ourselves fail, the more we let sin hold us down.
Salvation came as I realized something:
I’m not the one that holds the key.
The one who could save me could only be
My Savior, the One who died to make me free.
No amount of good deeds on my part could earn me my freedom. I was chained to sin, condemned to death, and hopeless. But it didn’t have to stay that way.
I was offered a choice
To go or to stay.
By believing in my Savior, I’d be out –
Why wait another day?
When we realize we’re slaves to sin, we know we can’t leave by anything short of a miracle.
The thing is, we have that miracle. Jesus died and rose again to free us, and when we believe in Him, we are set free.
Regardless of our pasts, regardless of our horrible deeds, regardless of the times that we’ve chosen sin over salvation, we can be saved. It’s a choice.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
“but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
His hands reached down to free me
Along with the others here.
All I could utter was “thank you” –
Relieved that He was so near.
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
We are free from slavery to sin! Hallelujah. We. Are. Free. The chains have been removed and we have been rescued. I grew up in church, yes. But salvation – my own choice – was what made me a free child of God.
My shame, my sin, my terrible chains
All have been destroyed, along with my pain.
My freedom is mine, but was never free;
I owe all to my Savior who rescued me.
We couldn’t save ourselves, in all honesty.
Let us praise the One who saved our souls! It is grace that has saved us, and not our works. When we were powerless in the darkness, we were given the choice of freedom.
And freedom is what I chose.
How about you?