Christianity transforms us from being a captive to being captivated. We all start off as a captive to sin en-route to hell with death as our penalty (Romans chapter 6, verse 23). The moment we accept Jesus as our lord and saviour, we are set free from our bondage of sin.
This freedom, however, is not the end but only the beginning of our journey as Christians. The ultimate salvation is not escaping hell and the bondage of sin but to be captivated by the Almighty God who loves us and has an eternity laid out in heaven for us to be with him.
Captive and captivity
A captive is ‘a person whose ability to move or act freely is limited by being closed in a space,’ otherwise known as ‘a prisoner.’ To be captivated, on the other hand, is when ‘someone holds our attention by being extremely interesting, exciting, pleasant, or attractive.’
Both ‘captive’ and ‘captivated’ originate from the same Latin word ‘captivus.’ The former carries a negative connotation whereas the latter a positive connotation. Christianity takes us from a place of negativity in this world to a place of positivity in God.
From hell to eternity with God
I used to think Christianity was about rescuing people from hell. I was convinced that if people knew how scary a place hell is, no one would want to end up there.
While Christianity does rescue people from hell, this is not the motivating factor. Christianity misses it point when it focuses on hell instead of God.
Christianity is not about avoiding hell. Neither is it about merely getting to heaven. Christianity is about being captivated by God to such a point where we yearn to spend eternity with him—in heaven with our loving Father.
From sin to a purpose-driven life
Likewise, Christianity is not just about repentance and forgiveness of sins. The gospel does revolve around Christ who died for our sins but the main focus of the gospel is the purpose he came. This is clearly seen in the first part of John chapter 3, verse 16 (emphasis added), ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son...’
The word ‘sin’ itself is widely misunderstood. Often times, sin is wrongly likened to doing wrong or bad things. In reality, Romans chapter 3, verse 23 explains that sin is actually ‘falling short of God’s glorious standards.’ Whenever we are not what God designed us to be, we miss the mark—we sin.
Instead of merely keeping the commandments and laws, we should find our God-given purpose. Only when we realise who our creator is will we know ourselves and fully live out our potential. When we are captivated by his best plans for us, we will then begin to live a purpose-driven life apart from sin.
From darkness to the Father
Christianity takes our focus away from the problem or even from trying to solve the problem. It sets our eyes firmly on God, who is the solution. When we begin to be captivated by God and live a life in response to him, we are automatically freed from being captives to darkness.
As Pastor Bill Johnson aptly summarizes,
“I can’t afford to live in reaction to darkness. If I do, darkness has had a role in setting the agenda for my life. The devil is not worthy of such influence, even in the negative. Jesus lived in response to the Father. I must learn to do the same.”
Esther Koh is a stay-at-home mum living in Wellington with her husband and two sons. She loves people and has a passion for helping others find their purpose for living.
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