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Robert Morris — Believers In Bondage


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I want to tell you, today we're going to talk about believers in bondage. We're going to keep nailing this subject down, and here's the reason that I want to continue to nail this down - because I want you to be free, and many believers never get free indeed, because they don't believe that indeed, they can be in bondage. They believe, well, we're Christians, and Christians can't be in bondage. But, I'm going to show you very clearly in Scripture that believers can be in bondage. All right?

So, I'm going to give you three open doors. We talked a few weeks ago about pride being an open door, and we saw how Satan came against Peter, came against Job, and came against Ahab because of the sin of pride. So, we're going to talk about three more open doors today, all right? Number one is continued iniquity. Continued iniquity opens a door to the demonic in our lives.

So, John 8, look at Verse 31. Now, before we read Verse 31, let me just say this. Verse 32 is a very famous verse. You'll recognize it. Jesus said, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free". The only problem is that it begins with the word and, and that means it's coming out of Verse 31, and we don't know many times whom Jesus was speaking with when He said, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free". So, Verse 31 is very important, all right? So, look at Verse 31. It said, "Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him". Now, we're talking about believers. They believed. Believe, believers. "Who believed Him, "If you abide in My Word"... we talked about filling our house with the Word of God, "you are My disciples indeed, and you" - okay, you is a pronoun referring back to disciples, or believers. "You disciples shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free".

They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, 'you will be made free'"? Now, this is one of the best illustrations in the Bible of people being in bondage and being blind to their bondage. I want you to think about what was said here, and again, I want you to remember that Jesus said this to believers, to Jews who believed Him. He said, you're going to have to stay in my Word if you want to really be free. You have to abide in the Word to be free.

And then they make a statement that, to me, is probably one of the funniest statements in the Bible. And I want to read it again, and I want you to just think about what they said for a moment and how funny this is, all right? Here's what they said in Verse 33. "They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone". Have you ever read the Old Testament? They had been in bondage to everyone. They'd been in bondage to the Caldeans, the Babylonians, the Grecians, the Assyrians, the Egyptians. They were in bondage to the Egyptians, remember? They made a movie about it, okay? Do you remember that? Maybe you didn't read the book, but maybe you saw the movie. Okay? They were in bondage, and listen, here is what is so amazing about this. When they make this statement to Jesus... when they make the statement - now, listen to me. They are in bondage to the Romans. When they make the statement.

Why, we're Abraham's descendants... come on, think about it - and have never been in bondage to anyone, and they're in bondage when they make the statement. So, Jesus decides to make it clear who's in bondage, all right? So look at the very next verse, Verse 34. "Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is in bondage, is a slave of sin". Okay, He got every one of us on that one. Right? Whoever commits, and we're going to talk about this word, commits, because it's important. "And a slave does not abide in the house forever". Now, He's talking about trying to abide in Him, "but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed".

Now, He's not talking about our salvation here. He's talking about that as believers, we can choose to walk in the sonship he's given us, or we can choose to go back into slaveship, and be in bondage, even as believers. And He's saying, don't do that. Don't do that. I came to make you free. So, He makes this statement. "Whoever commits sin is a slave", is in bondage, "to sin". Okay, this word, commits, very unique again. You can just think about it. Commit, just think of the word committed. Commit, committed. Here's what it actually means. Whoever is committed, whoever is committed to continuing in sin. The actual word from the Greek means to formulate a plan. Now, I want you to think about this. Whoever formulates a plan to sin is in bondage to sin. Now, we've all been there. Don't act pious this morning, okay? We've all been there. We've all had a sin in our lives that we formulated a plan to stay in that sin, to accommodate that sin, and to keep it hidden. That's bondage. That's not a weakness, that's bondage.

Let me read you another verse about this, written to believers again, Romans 6:16. "Do you not know"... or some versions say, "Do you not understand, that to whom you present yourself slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey". Obviously, slaves would represent bondage. "Whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness"? Now, He's talking to believers. He says, don't you understand that you're going to serve? Now, you can decide. You're either going to serve sin, and it's going to lead to death - and He's talking to believers. Or, you're going to serve obedience, which leads to righteousness. Which one are you going to serve?

Paul said, "Don't use your freedom as an occasion for the flesh. Make no provision for the flesh. Don't make plans to sin. Make plans to get out of sin. Here's a good plan to get out of sin. Confess your faults to one another that you may be healed". Bring it out in the open. Now, I want you to think about this. We talked about if you left a window or a door unlocked, and you came home and there was a thief in your house. Okay, now I want to just give you another illustration. None of us... none of us would have the doorbell ring, and go and look through the little peephole and see some guys there all in, you know, black shirt, black pants, you know, the typical robber we see... you know, got the black ski mask on, got some guns or, you know, a crowbar or something, standing there, and we know they're coming to steal, kill and destroy. None of us would unlock the door and crack it, and then walk away. Would we?

If you've ever looked at pornography, that's what you did. And you thought, well, I'm never going to go that far. I'm not going to do that. It's okay to watch movies with nudity. It's okay to look at some things on the Internet that aren't hardcore porn. You just unlocked it, and cracked it, and walked away. And I'm telling you, he'll come in. He'll come in.

So, number one is continued iniquity. Here's number two, continued illness. Continued illness can be... it's not always, but it can be a sign that a door's been opened, and the enemy's come in, and he's brought an illness with it. Okay? Look at Luke 13, just one book to the left there, or again, just click on your iPhone and iPad and you got there, you're there. Luke 13:11, it says, "And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity". The Bible tells us there is a spirit of infirmity. There it is right there. "Eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him".

Now, that's unusual because most people called to Jesus. I just want you to notice that, and I'm going to tell you why in a moment, it's because He knows she is one of His. He calls her to Him, "and said to her, "Woman, you are loosed", freed, "from your infirmity". And He laid His hands on her". Now, let's stop just for a moment. Jesus laid His hands on people when He prayed for them, so if Jesus put His hands on them, it'd be okay for us to... and I don't mean, you know, like they do on TV. Don't knock them down, but just gently. Okay? All right. I don't think He pushed this old woman down, okay? So, but I did want you to notice that Jesus laid His hands on people when He prayed for them, okay?

"And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue", the pastor of the little church there, "answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, and he said to the crowd" ...now, before we read this, let me just remind you of something. You know Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, right? Does everyone know that? Okay, what you might not know is that Pharisees are the same yesterday, today, and forever. And what Pharisees do is they quote part of the Bible, and then add their interpretation to it. That's what they do. They say, well, you know, the Bible says, and what that means is...okay. Okay, that's what this guy does.

Watch. He will quote Scripture, and then he'll change it. "There are six days on which men ought to work". Okay, that's actually the fourth Commandment. That's Scripture. But, watch his interpretation of that Scripture. "Therefore, come and be healed on them and not on the Sabbath day". Okay, here's a woman who's been suffering 18 years, and he says to her, you should have come another day to get healed. Well, what other day did they have church? It's just ridiculous. "The Lord then answered", running His campaign speech and trying to be nice to everybody, "Hypocrite. Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So,"now, this is very important, "ought not this woman", watch what He says, "being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound - think of it - for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath"?

Okay, it's very important, Jesus said this is a daughter of Abraham. Now, there are literal sons and daughters of Abraham, natural, and there are spiritual sons and daughters of Abraham. But I don't think He was referring to naturally, because if we'd have read on in John 8, they said to Him, "Why, we're sons of Abraham". He said, no, Abraham is not your father. If her were your father, you would believe me. The people who are true children of Abraham believe me. And then, He goes on to say this - you're of your father, the devil. It's pretty strong. Well, let me show you just a couple of other verses on true children of Abraham. That doesn't mean that we don't take the Gospel to the Jew first, or we don't love Israel, or love the Jewish people. It doesn't mean that. But it means though, that when you accept Christ, you are a son of Abraham or a daughter of Abraham.

Galatians 3:7 says, "Therefore know that only those" ...only those, "who are of faith are sons of Abraham". Galatians 3:29 says, "If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs, according to the promise". Okay. So, you've got to remember, the Word of God is eternal. You say, well, that wasn't written yet. It was written before the foundation of the world. The Word of God is eternal. So, the Bible tells us that the true children of Abraham are those who are of faith, who believe. So, Jesus sets this woman free and says, this woman ought to get set free. Do you want to know why? She's the daughter of Abraham. She's a believer who was in bondage for 18 years, had a spirit of infirmity.

Now, I'm not saying... please hear me, I'm not saying that every time you get sick, it's a demon. I'm not saying that, okay? I'm not saying that, you know, when you sneeze, you ought to go, come out, you foul spirit. I'm not saying that. Okay? I am saying though, that sometimes, in the Bible, demons bring sickness. And it makes sense, if they're thieves and they want to steal, that one of the areas they would like to steal is your health. So, if you're going through a difficulty, maybe there is an open door that you didn't even know of, and a spirit of infirmity came in.

Here's the great news about that, though. It's something spiritual and can be taken care of. It's causing something natural in you, but if it has a spiritual root, Jesus takes care of spiritual roots that affect the natural. It's all through the Gospels. If you need healing in an area, read the Gospels. Just read them, over and over and over again.

Let me show you a couple of Scriptures in the New Testament relating healing to the oppression of the enemy... I mean, sickness to the oppression of the enemy, I should say. Acts 10:38, "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him". Acts 19:11-12, "Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them". Those are people who were sick, and not only do they get healed, but the evil spirits left them, and that's how they got healed.

So again, sometimes we open a door, and we don't even know we've opened the door, and the Lord has to show us. There are many people who believe that sickness is normal for them, and they will tell you, just as vehemently as anyone else... oh, I know God heals. Yes, I believe in healing. But, they don't believe it for them. You believe in a lie. Continued illness could be a sign of a demonic influence in your life.

And here's the third one, is continued influence. Continued influence. Now again, if you just flip back to your left, to Mark, it's real easy, Mark 7. You might just flip almost directly to it. Mark 7, here's the last one, continued influence, and I'll explain what I mean by that. Verse 24, "From there He arose and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it, but He could not be hidden, for a woman whose young daughter"... notice, a young daughter, by the way, because we're going to talk about how this could affect a child, how a child could have a demon, "had an unclean spirit", and the Bible's going to tell us very clear, that's a demon, "heard about Him". "A woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet. The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth".

It's very important why they Bible would tell us this, and we'll explain that. "And she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. But Jesus said to her, "Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs". And she answered and said to Him, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children's crumbs". And then He said to her, "For this saying", this humility in your life, "go your way. The demon has gone out of your daughter". And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed".

Okay, a couple of things you need to understand is that she's a Greek, she's not a Jew. But, she's also a Syro-Phoenician. She is a mixture. And I don't think that God is talking about racial, interracial marriage, because He never talked about that in the Bible, the way we would consider it. The way He talked about it was believers and unbelievers. And when He said don't do this, He was talking about Israel making agreements with other nations to give their sons and daughters in marriage as a business agreement. And He said when you do that, you're going to bring in the gods of those nations, and it's going to affect you. He was talking about believers and unbelievers. But when it talks about this, it's a reason why it says this.

She's a Syro-Phoenician, so she's half Phoenician. You need to know that Tyre used to be Phoenicia. The nation Tyre was formerly known as the nation of Phoenicia. You need to know something about Phoenicia. Phoenicia is considered by most theologians as the seat of paganism that entered into Israel. Let me remind you of someone who was born in Phoenicia... Jezebel. And Jezebel married Ahab and brought the occult, and witchcraft, and false gods, and paganism into Israel more than any other person. It came from Phoenicia. Phoenicia was an occult city. It was the seat of witchcraft and paganism. This woman was Syro-Phoenician, Syro meaning Syrian, and Syria, throughout the Bible, is pride. You will see all through it, when He talks about Syria, He talks about pride - pride and witchcraft, or the occult. This woman came out of an occult background and her children had demons. Her daughter had a demon, because she had an open door.

Now, let me explain one more thing about this passage. She comes up and she asks for deliverance. She's asking for deliverance for her daughter, the demon to be cast out of her daughter. That's deliverance. And Jesus makes the statement that if you don't understand biblical language, you won't understand this statement. Mark 7:27, "Jesus said to her, "Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs". Now, He's referencing she's Greek, He's Jewish, and He was sent to the Jew first, Paul was sent to the Jew first, and we as a church take the Gospel to the Jew first... not the Jew only, but to the Jew first. He says, "Let the children be filled first".

What's good about that is if you're a Gentile, is you can get it second. The Gospel still comes to Gentiles, and we're grateful for that. But, He's also referencing something much more, because remember, we just read Scripture that only those who are of faith are the children. They're the true children. He says, "Let the children be filled first", and He makes this statement, that again, if you don't understand biblical language, you won't understand this. He said it's not right to take what belongs to the children and give it to the dogs.

Let me show you another Scripture, Philippians 3:2. Paul said, "Beware of dogs". "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers", and he goes on to say, "those who say they're believers but they're not really believers". Okay. So, beware of the unbelievers. Okay, either that's what Paul was talking about, or he was out on one of his missionary journeys one time and he got bitten by a dog. And so, he wrote back... now, when you're out sharing the Gospel, beware of dogs. This might be where we got the sign. See, you have no other choice. This is either beware of literal dogs, or beware of lost people.

Okay, so I think it's lost people. I think it's very clear. I think here's what Jesus said. She said, Lord, I need deliverance. Here's what He said. It's not for lost people. It's not for the lost people. Now, listen to what He says. It's for the children. Now, listen to me. Here's my point. If the children can't be in bondage, why did Jesus say that deliverance is for children? And, He calls it "the children's bread".

See, what He's saying to her is, you have to believe in the Messiah to have deliverance. I'm the one that brings deliverance, and in order to get freedom, you have to believe in me. That's what He's telling her. It's not for lost people. She's asking for deliverance. He said it's not for lost people, it's for children. But if children don't need it, why would it be for us? So, it's pretty clear. Believers can be in bondage, and they need to be set free. So, if you're in bondage, how do you get free? Same thing with this woman, you humble yourself. She said, yeah, but Lord, even dogs get crumbs. What an amazing statement. And Jesus said, for that saying right there, because of your humility, to humble yourself, your daughter's free.

Isn't it amazing? According to Scripture, a believer can be in bondage. And none of us would argue with that because of our own experience, but we don't base doctrine on our own experience. We base doctrine on the Word of God, and we've seen, in God's Word, believers, Christians, people who really love the Lord, that might have a besetting sin, an area of bondage where they continue to fall, and fall, and fall. Well, I've got great news for you. Jesus wants to set you free.
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