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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Which is it?

Bondage to sin, set free or both?

In the liturgy we confess "we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves." The service of baptism says, "By the baptism of his own death and resurrection your beloved son has set us free from the bondage to sin and death ...." Isn't this a contradiction and an insult to our Lord's gift of freedom from bondage to sin? 

You're a perceptive and thoughtful believer, and the tension you note is real. The statements you quote reflect both the reality of our human condition and the grace and mercy of God's forgiveness granted us through Jesus' death and resurrection. Sometimes we confess two things that appear to be contradictory to express the paradoxical nature of the truth.


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