“Deliverance” means a setting free, rescue, or release. Noah was delivered from a wicked world by the flood (Genesis 8). Lot was delivered from wicked Sodom by angels (Genesis 19). Israel was delivered from Egyptian bondage under the leadership of Moses (Exodus 12). Daniel was delivered from the lions’ den (Daniel 6). Paul tells us that God delivered him from danger and the possibility of death (2Corinthians 1:8-10). These were physical deliverance. Is there a spiritual deliverance? Notice three components.
Deliverance From The Penalty of Sin
Sin is transgression of God’s law. “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness” (1John 3:4). Sin is also failure, failure to do what God tells us to do, failure to keep the righteous commandments of God (1John 5:17; Psalm 119:172). Sin, whether by commission or omission, has dire consequences in this life and the life to come. The wise man said that “the way of the treacherous is hard” (Proverbs 13:15). Ezekiel warns: “The soul who sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). Paul tells us that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). God has stated that those who are guilty of such will not enter into the kingdom of heaven (1Corinthians 6:9,10; Galatians 5:19-21). In the great day of judgment Christ will say to the unredeemed: “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels’” (Matthew 25:41). John tells of the destiny of the sinner: “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). Sin, then, is no little thing—God has let us know of its consequences. The penalty of sin is everlasting and without hope—everlasting suffering without relief.
God, in His goodness, has provided for man a means of deliverance from the penalty of sin. This He has done in giving His own dear Son to pay the penalty for sins—to die in sinful man’s stead. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2Corinthians 5:21). He tasted death for every man (Hebrews 2:9). By His death, burial and resurrection He established the facts of the gospel, and made possible, the gospel, which is God’s power to save (1Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 1:16).
Many “religious” people say that deliverance from sin comes “at the point of faith”—at the moment one believes in or puts his trust in Christ. They are tragically mistaken. There are many scriptures which tell us that we are saved by faith, but not one which tells us that we are saved by faith alone. Faith is absolutely essential, for without it one cannot come to God (Hebrews 11:6). But claiming salvation “at the point of faith” is claiming salvation without obedience—without repentance (Luke 13:3,5), without baptism. The claim is made that baptism is an act of the saved, not of the sinner. If one is saved at the moment he truly puts his trust in the Lord, he is saved without the blood of Christ. All are in agreement that sinful man is redeemed by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 1:7). Until one is baptized he has in no wise appropriated the blood of Christ for his redemption. Christ shed his blood in his death (John 19:34). The language of Paul could not be clearer: “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4). We, then, are delivered from past sins, not when we only accept it mentally, but when we believe and repent and are baptized into Christ. This is where every spiritual blessing is found (Ephesians 1:3). Only then can we rise to walk in newness of life.
Deliverance From The Power Of Sin
God has provided the means by which we can be delivered from the power of sin. “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (1Corinthians 10:13). Some say that this means the direct guiding influence of the Holy Spirit in one’s life. Again they are wrong. Our deliverance from the power of sin is brought about, not by the direct guidance of the Spirit in the individual’s life, but by the Spirit through the word. “Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11). When Jesus was tempted, his victory over Satan each time was by a proper application of the word of God—“It is written” (Matthew 4:1-10). The word is not the Spirit, but is “the sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17). When one is directed and guided by the word of God, he is directed and guided by the Spirit of God.
Deliverance From The Presence Of Sin
Sin is all around, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Satan is referred to as “the prince of this world” (John 12:31). Heaven is the place where NO sin is present: “nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27). We are brought to this wonderful place by obedience to the gospel. Paul speaking of his obedience, along with others, says, “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13). It means something to be in the kingdom of God’s dear Son. “Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power” (1Corinthians 15:24). Peter tells us that we are to “supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love … for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you” (2Peter 1:5-11).
By the wonderful grace of a dear, merciful God we have been provided the means of deliverance from the penalty, the power, and the presence of sin.