Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Eliot Spitzer and Slavery to Sin

The whole Eliot Spitzer matter might have many of you thinking, How could a guy who prosecuted prostitution rings and knew the high risk of being caught NOT keep himself from engaging in the same thing he very well knew to be morally and legally wrong time and time again? How could he do something so foolish, so stupid, so thoughtless, all to attempt to sate this lust?

Scripture has a simple answer, not just in Spitzer's case but to explain the whole of sin and human addiction to it, no matter the form (smoking addiction, foul language, lust, greed, envy, rage, lying, worry, pride, etc.).

As Jesus told us, he who sins is a slave to sin (John 34:31-36):

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave [2] to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
We as Americans love to think of ourselves as free, and we certainly are, politically and culturally speaking. But spiritually, we are slaves, as is the rest of humanity, to sin. Sin rules us, guides us, governs us, suffocates us in its oppressive rule over us.

Only in Christ do we find freedom from the bondage of sin and death and loving adoption into the family of God. What Gov. Spitzer needs is not mere moralizing on his failures as a public official and a husband, but to be told of the penalty he faces as a sinner estranged from God by his sinful rebellion and of the pardon he can receive in Christ's blood.

Spitzer, like all of us, needs the Gospel message proclaimed to him, for how can he repent and believe unless he hears the good news? (Rom. 10:12-17):

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? [3] And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.



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