2. Bondage to Sin
Then note they were in bondage to sin. They said: "We ... were never in bondage to any man." He said: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin." Only a little while before, they had been unable to stand up to that, to face that: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone..." These very people have walked out, and in walking out had admitted they were not without sin. Now He says: "Every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin." So that they were self-confessed slaves of sin. Oh! they would not have said it in word, but it had come home to their consciences.
Now, leaving these Pharisees aside, that does not want a great deal of enforcing, so far as we are concerned. I do not think we would be in the place of religious Pharisees, who would in word repudiate any bondage to sin, that is, by nature. None of us would say that we were sinless. But I ask you; Have you ever tried to stop sinning? Have you tried never to sin? Have you started a day, and in starting it said: I will not sin today? How have you got on? You know quite well that you are in bondage to sin, and there is no option about it. It is not something concerning which you, if you are not saved and in Christ, have the mastery; it is your master. We know quite well that out of Christ sin has dominion over us, and we are in bondage to sin. That is what the Lord Jesus makes quite clear, and brings home here.
3. Bondage to Sin
The third thing which comes in, is that they were in bondage to the devil. "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your ill to do." That is an awful thing to say, but He proved His case. And has it not proved that He was right? These religious Pharisees slew the Lord of Glory, and two thousand years have proved that they did the devil's work; that the devil was behind it; that it was not the work of God; and that what He said, as recorded here, was perfectly true, that they were of their father the devil, and the works of their father they did. They were, therefore, blindly in bondage to the devil.
This is a still deeper fact lying behind the state of every man and woman born into this world. They are under the tyranny of God's law, they are in the bondage of sin, but back of that is the tyranny of the devil. What we have to recognize is that we are not merely dealing with sin, powerful as sin is in itself, but it is satan himself back of the sin with whom we have to reckon. You cannot outwit the devil! You may try to take precautions against sinning,but you will find that you are up against, not some abstract thing, but a sinister, cunning intelligence, which can trip you up just when you do not want to be tripped up; can get you at the time when you are off your guard, when you are tired, and unable to stand up. It is all plotted, all thought out, all worked to a scheme. The devil s back of this sin business, with his great intelligence as well as with his great power, and every man and woman outside of Christ is not only in bondage to sin, but in bondage to the devil. It is all very well for people to say they are not going to sin again, that they are going to give up sinning. They cannot give up the devil like that, he is not going to be put off so easily. They are not dealing merely with some habit, something into which they slip from time to time. They are in the toils, and grip, and dominion of the devil, and they have not only to be saved from sin, they have to be saved from him. Even religious Pharisees were there, in bondage to satan.
(continued with # 33 - "4. Bondage to Judgment")