|Mark 1:4 |
4 So John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission [release from the bondage] of sins.1
1 So John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission [release from the bondage] of sins. The verse before said: prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. What way for the Lord are you supposed to prepare? The way into your heart for him to dwell as the ruling Lord of your thoughts, words, and deeds — a true king that rules everything in your life. Think about it — to make the Lord's paths straight is to cleanse your heart and body so the Lord can dwell and walk in you, for he would have you to be the temple of the living God.
The original Greek for release from bondage of sin could be translated as release from bondage, forgiveness, or remission, of sin. Release from bondage of sin is far more accurate, and perfectly describes the purification necessary to avoid being banned from heaven. The cleansing of the Word, the cleansing in the Light, both attained by waiting on the Lord, listening, hearing, watching, and obeying — such cleansing is a release from the bondage of sin. But the poor souls, who were trying to translate the Bible, had not experienced release from bondage of sin within themselves, and so obviously chose to emphasize forgiveness instead. Yet release from captivity, from the prison house, from the oppression, is what Christ said he came to do:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach release to the captives [of sin], and recovery of sight to the blind, to deliver [free] those who are oppressed [by sin], Luke 4:18-19
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; Isa 61:1-2
and for what Paul said Jesus sent him to the Gentiles to accomplish:
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, release from sin's slavery, and an inheritance among those who are sanctified and purified by faith in me. Acts 26:18
Clearly forgiveness is not deliverance, recovery, healing, opening the prison, release, turned from power of Satan, — while release from the bondage of sin accurately describes all. Until He cleanses you, your heart is defiled with sin.
A man cannot prepare his own heart; it must be prepared by the changing power of God's grace, which power is accessed by you going to him. You must wait on him — listen silently, with the humility of a sinner in need of his changing power — grace. You must wait, listen in silence, hear, and obey, thus to receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21. So wait, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey. Do this repeatedly, follow his commands, and his words that you hear him speak to you will impart the life of God to you, as he removes the sins from your heart, one by one. To deny yourself is to deny your own will and do God's will; to follow is to obey the commands you hear him speak to you: this is to deny yourself, pickup your cross, and follow Jesus — the inward cross of self-denial, which puts to death your selfish spirit, to be replaced by the Spirit of Christ.
If you have a hard time believing that your sinning is a bondage or a slavery, then consider what the Lord and Paul had to say about it:
Then Jesus answered them, "Truly, Truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. John 8:34
Do you not know that to whom you yield yourselves as slaves to obey, you are the slaves of whom you obey; whether of sin that leads to death, or of obedience that leads to righteousness? Rom 6:16