I’ve Been Discharged


Sometimes temptations come upon us so powerfully we feel like we have to obey them.

Someone offends us and anger swells up like a tidal wave.? It feels like we can’t help but explode.? Lust assaults us like a raging bull and we feel like it?s going to drag us away.? We feel helpless at times against the powerful onslaughts of pride, fear of man, self-righteousness, or anxiety.

But the truth is, when we trust in Christ, God so joins us to his Son that his death is our death and his resurrection life is our life.? The old has gone the new has come.? We are no longer slaves of sin and no longer under obligation to obey it.? Through Christ?s death we?re set free from bondage to sin.

We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.? For one who has died has been set free from sin (RO 6.6-7).

Imagine you?re soldier who has a nasty, hard-nosed drill Sergeant.? “Give me 20 push-ups now!” he barks and you have to drop down and give him 20.? ?Run 10 laps around the track with full gear!? he screams and off you go.? Every time he shouts ?jump? you have shout back, ?Yes sir!? How high??? You have no choice but to obey.

But then one day you?re discharged.? As you walk toward the gate and civilian life, the sergeant spots you and yells, “Hey soldier, where do you think you’re going?? Get back here!”? At first all the old feelings come flooding back.? You feel like you have to obey him.? Your first instinct is to turn, salute and shout, ?Yes, sir!? but suddenly you remember ? you?ve been discharged.? You?re no longer under his authority.? You?re no longer obligated to obey him.

?Sorry Sarge.? I?ve been discharged,?? you say, and on your way you go, while the sergeant blusters and fumes, powerless to stop you.

That?s how it is when we?re saved and joined to Christ.? We?re discharged from sin and longer have to obey it, no matter how much it feels like we must.

We’re no longer under obligation to our flesh, and we are free to obey Jesus now.? No matter how much we feel like we have to lust, we don?t have to.? No matter how bitter we feel toward someone, we can be free from it.? We don’t have to sin.? So pray and ask Jesus for strength to resist temptation, turn away from it and begin praising Jesus for the victory he?s going to give you.

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.