Sin is Captivity

As sin carves its moral slide, each time down becomes easier and easier. We find ourselves inundated by habits.

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. Ephesians 2:1–3 (NASB)

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon tells us that “nature” in verse 3 is the result of habit. God has admonished us to allow our minds to dwell upon only that which is wholesome (Philippians 4:8), because as a man “thinketh … so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). In other words:

  • Our thoughts and choices become actions
  • Our actions become habits
  • Our habits become our nature and character
  • Our character becomes our destiny

The great danger of sin is that we become slaves to appetites and desires without even noticing what is happening.

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? Romans 6:16

A sinful nature develops in our lives through habitual self-indulgence and subsequently affects everything we do. Paul mentions this situation and the impossibility of fighting it in our own strength in the seventh chapter of Romans. Thus we concur that though a sinful nature is present, it originates by choice. For example, the junkie bound by heroine addiction cannot help but crave drugs now, but the origin of the addiction began with his choices.

We have discovered that there are certain emotional gratifications in life that are pleasurable. However, since emotions cannot be experienced directly but rather respond to what the mind thinks upon, the mind therefore is harnessed to produce thoughts that will result in emotional gratification.

Emotions can be a hard taskmaster, resulting in an abnormal imbalance, and a chaos of personality. This is slavery. This is captivity. The freedom that the world proclaims only leads to bondage. There is no reason to secretly envy the men and women of the world.

But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. Isaiah 57:20–21

The way of transgressors is hard. Proverbs 13:15