Frankly speaking, sin not only contaminates, it also subjugates. It enslaves. Like a great snake — a python or anaconda — sin wraps itself around us and slowly entangles and strangles us. Like the hunter’s net, the more we struggle against it in our strength, the more we find ourselves entangled in it. It beats us into submission and causes our servitude to be hard and inextricable. It is an enslaver of the worst kind. It is no respecter of persons. The young and old, the rich and poor alike are all under its sway.
Sin has a power unparalleled on earth. It is more destructive than an atomic bomb; more menacing than a terrorist plot; more ruinous than a plague of locusts; more devastating than ten tsunamis; and more horrible and scary than a thousand bogeymen. Those who have been caught in its grips can testify to this truth. Many have been the cries of those caught in the darkness of sexual perversion and addiction with seemingly no way out. Even more have seen the perpetual night of drugs and alcoholism with seemingly no light or even the promise of day. Listen to the men or women who can’t seem to resist the latest bit of gossip. They want to stop, they want to resist, but the temptation to hear and pass on scintillating news is too much to resist. They are held captive by sin, and with apparent futility often struggle to escape.
Is there an exit? Can those trapped in the grip of sin escape? Is it possible to be set free from the power of sin? As we conclude our trek through the New Testament looking at the glories of the blood of Christ for the redeemed, we read in Revelation 1:5: “Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.”
As powerful as sin is, the blood of Christ is more powerful still. In Christ the chains of our captivity have been broken, and the light of His grace has shone forth the way of freedom. But how has He freed us? Christ has secured our freedom, because in the shedding of His blood, He was operating in the divinely ordained munus triplex, the threefold office of prophet, priest, and king. He is called “the faithful witness” (as prophet); “the firstborn of the dead” (as priest); and “the ruler of kings on earth” (as king).
In the threefold office of Christ, we are granted our freedom from sin. As prophet, He pronounced an end to all our sin. As priest, He offered Himself as the sacrifice for all our sin. And as king, He rules in such a way as not to allow sin to reign over us any longer. All of this is rooted in the fact that our Savior loves us. At the heart of everything Christ does for us is His love for u s . Thi s includes securing our freedom. Our prophet, priest, and king loved us enough to set us free.
We are set free by the blood of our prophet, priest, and king so that we, in turn, are like prophets, priests, and kings. Because we have been set free, we are like prophets who speak the truth in Christ; we do not lie (Rom. 9:1). Because we have been set free, we are a kingdom of priests (Ex. 19:6), ready to offer our lives in service to God and each other, even as we intercede on behalf of earthly rulers and authorities (1 Tim. 2:1–2). Because we have been set free, we are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9).
We are no longer servants of sin but servants of Christ (Rom. 6:22). The Bible reminds us that we cannot serve two masters (Matt. 6:24). Sin and Christ are absolute masters. Sin does not want to share us with Christ, and Christ is not going to share us with sin. Sin wants total control of our days and nights. So does Jesus Christ.
In Christ we are freed from sin, and now grace reigns in righteousness (Rom. 5:21). Consequently, we are now a royal priesthood, and we live like peasants when we wallow in the sin of this world. The blood of Christ has freed us from the mire and murkiness of our sin. We are free: free from the tyranny of the world’s standards; free from the black hole that is the ungodly expectations of others; free from the guilt of all our past transgressions and infidelities; free from the world’s sinful standard of what a successful woman or man is; free to be men and women of God; free to serve Christ with our whole hearts; free to be different; free to live for Jesus at every turn and at whatever cost; free to die for Jesus; and free to live again in Jesus.
Because of the blood of Christ, we can sing, “I’m free. Praise the Lord I’m free. No longer bound. No more chains holding me. My soul is resting and it’s such a blessing. Praise the Lord, Hallelujah I’m free.”