Captivity in Christ Jesus
To free ourselves from the snares of the enemy we must become Christ’s captives.
In ancient Rome, when a military leader came back victorious, a triumphal procession was given in his honor. A spectacle of chained captives that included kings, princes, and tribal leaders would follow behind the general’s chariot. The apostle Paul used this public spectacle to describe the followers of Christ. Through this analogy, we understand how Christians have been conquered by the Spirit of Jesus and are thus prisoners of the risen Lord. As His captives, our only purpose in life is to glorify the accomplishments of Jesus, boasting of His victory over both sin and death.
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere.”
2 Co 2:14 (NIV)
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Co 15:57 (NIV)
Do you consider yourself a bondservant for Christ? A bondservant is a person in a permanent role of service. A bondservant was considered property and held no right to leave his place of service. It is not though independence that we find freedom. No, it is through absolute surrender to the King of Kings that we discover true liberty.
“ Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 (NKJV)
“Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23 (NKJV)
The devil seeks to bind us with weights of guilt, hopelessness, and sin. We cannot break these supernatural chains on our own. We require the power of the Holy Spirit to escape such restraints. Denying self and following Jesus opens doors of supernatural powers in the heavenly realm. True liberation comes through our joyful imprisonment inside of Christ.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” Ephesians 1:3 (NKJV)
When we are held captive by the devil we feel the full weight of our burden, and then some. The enemy adds excess baggage to our load with his lies and deceit. He will never offer to help carry our millstone, unlike Christ. Jesus is the definition of grace where Satan offers no mercy. God is his enemy and since we belong to God, we too are his enemy.
“Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22 (NKJV)
“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12: 9 (NKJV)
If you are a born fighter, independent and strong-willed, you might consider this idea of captivity strange. But Ephesians 4:8 (NKJS) states,” “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.” Ephesians 4:8 (NKJV) The Lord’s triumph over evil, and sinful man, brought about freedom and a restored relationship with God. Jesus led those in captivity (due to sin) to freedom when they willingly became His captives.
“I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison
house.” Isaiah 42:6-7 (NKJV)
“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 liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” Isaiah 61:1 (NKJV)
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1 (NKJV)
As prisoners of Christ, we have been instructed to take every thought captive and bring it to the obedience of Christ. Taking every doubt, distrust, disbelief, and fear to the foot of the cross will allow us to tap into the mind of Christ. In the throne room, we will find what we need to live a victorious life. A life of captivity can be a blessing when the one holding our heart is the love of our life.
“Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:5 (NKJV)