We thank God for Abraham Lincoln and for his part in emancipating the negro slaves in the United Sates. Yet, in a deeper sense, there is a slavery from which we all need to be emancipated.
The children of Adam are slaves by birth. Partaking of his fallen nature they find it an uphill fight to do right and easy to do wrong. No mother has ever had to teach her child to tell lies, or to steal or to disobey. Every child does these things naturally. All, by nature, are slaves to sin.
Some, on the other hand, have sought to make themselves slaves to the Ten Commandments in order to overcome their natural tendencies toward evil, but this does not produce the desired results. God did not give the Law to help us to be good, but to show us that we are bad and need a Savior. In Rom. 3:19 He says that He gave the Law “that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become [be exposed as] guilty before God” and in Verse 20 He says that “by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
Only believers in the finished work of Christ are liberated from sin and its results. This does not mean that it is not possible for them to sin, but that it is now possible for them not to sin — to have victory in any given case. “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the law but under grace” (Rom. 6:14).
In grace Christ died to pay for our sins and in response to that grace believers seek to live for Him, just out of sheer love and gratitude for what He has done for them. This is the secret of victorious living, and God would have us keep it that way. Gal. 5:1 says:
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
Yet, he also cautions believers, who enjoy this wonderful liberty:
“Take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak” (I Cor. 8:9).
“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Gal. 5:13).
“Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth” (Rom. 14:22).
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.