Prison Diary: Set Free From the Power of the Devil

On Monday out at the prison we were in John 12 and spent most of our time talking about these verses:
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
We talked about how Christians die before death, making us immune to the fear of death. And emancipated from the fear of death we become immune to the power of the devil (Hebrews 2.14-15).

As the church father John Chrysostom has said, "he who does not fear death is outside the tyranny of the devil."

As regular readers know, all this is worked out in my book The Slavery of Death. It was nice on Monday to lean into that material. 

Because if there ever was a display case for death being the power of the devil, it's inside a maximum security prison. Here's how I described it to the men on Monday.

The devil is a puppet master. We are the puppets. And the strings the devil pulls is our fear of death. That is how the devil enslaves, controls, and bullies us.

But in baptism, in dying before death, the strings are cut, setting us free from fear and the power of the devil.

And in that moment, raised up from the waters of death, a new human being is born, a new creature, a new creation. A liberated, fearless person who is totally free.

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