Acts 16:26,27 – and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.
One of the strange things about being in bondage to sin is this, we actually think we are free. Peter said that the world preaches freedom but is actually enslaved to sin themselves. That just about sums it up; the tendency is to strut around thinking you have your stuff together when nothing could be further from the truth. Case in point; the current opioid crisis. It’s no longer the stereotype junkie who’s is bound by drugs, its quite often the businessman, businesswoman, student, or housewife. Addiction has a way of creeping up on you. It starts with a little relief, a little pleasure to replace your stress and pain. Gradually it takes over your life. That’s the way it is with all sin, the promise of momentary pleasure without mentioning the consequences. Augustine knew about this promise of sinful pleasure, He discovered the only way out.
“How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose! . . . You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure, though not to flesh and blood, you who outshine all light, yet are hidden deeper than any secret in our hearts, you who surpass all honor, though not in the eyes of men who see all honor in themselves. . . .O Lord my God, my Light, my Wealth, and my Salvation.”
What was the key to Augustine’s discovery? To me it was the most life changing event in my life. It is not the rules or laws of religion that free a person, it is the experience of a greater pleasure than the one that held us captive. It is joy found in knowing Christ that breaks the chains of addiction to sin. Whatever your sin of choice; whether it is sexual pleasure, relief from anxiety through alcohol or pills, or even the addiction of ambition, the solution is always the same. The pleasure found in knowing Christ and experiencing His powerful presence is the only way out of the prison of sin.