Wicked Men’s Slavery to Sin

Author: Jonathan Edwards

Wicked Men’s Slavery to Sin

Edwards, Jonathan, 1703-1758

"Jesus answered them Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." John 8:34

"This whole chapter is composed of nothing but excellent speeches and discourses of Christ to Jews in the temple on the Feast of Tabernacles, one of the great feasts wherein all the males were to appear before the Lord at Jerusalem, the city which he had chosen to put his name there. So that these discourses were delivered in the most public manner, at the most public time, and in the most public place that could be: before the whole nation of the Jews, and many of other nations, who went up to Jerusalem to worship.

In these discourses arc contained many glorious and mysterious truths of the gospel, by the divine light of which many were convinced and believed on him, as in the thirtieth verse.

Which, Christ, who knew what was in man, perceiving, directs his discourse to them in particular, and tells them plainly, as he was always wont to do, that if they intended to be his disciples, they must be so rooted and established in their belief, and to persevere therein in spite of all opposition; "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed."

And [he] tells them for their encouragement, if they were established in the truth they should be made free by it, having respect to the bondage they were in to the Romans, as much as if he had said, "Although you are under the heavy yoke of the Romans, yet if you heartily embrace my doctrine, you shall be made free, and shall enjoy a better and more glorious liberty than [if] you were perfectly delivered from their servitude and enjoyed freedom under your own kings and rulers, under your own vines and your own fig trees" (which was but a type of this gospel liberty; see Zechariah 3:10).

To which the Jews, agreeably to their pride and self­ap~€só, make answer, signifying that they did not want to be made free, being naturally free by the nobleness of their birth and excellency of descent: being the children of Abraham, not acknowledging that it was possible for them to be bound.

This same national pride has continued amongst the Jews ever since, even to this day, for they claim to themselves a natural right of being masters of the whole world, and expect actually to be made such when their messiah comes.

But Christ assures them, in our text, that whatever they might think of themselves as to the Romans, yet that they are under a base servitude unto sin; for, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that committeth sin is a servant of sin."

1. Observe in the words who are the persons of whom Christ speaks, and that is "whosoever committeth sin." That is, whosoever allowedly cloth it, for that must be the sense of the words: whosoever accustoms himself to sin, and is habituated to it.

Let him be who he will that so cloth, he is a servant of sin: let him be a child of Abraham, in their sense, or not a child of Abraham, let him be a Jew or a heathen; let him he bond or free in other respects; let him be a prince or monarch, that holds all the world in servitude and slavery, or the meanest subject.

2. What is affirmed of them, to wit, that they are servants; however great rule they may hear in the world, yet if they commit sin they themselves are servants and slaves to this master.


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Chicago: Jonathan Edwards, "Wicked Men’s Slavery to Sin," Wicked Men’s Slavery to Sin in Wicked Men’s Slavery to Sin (New York: G. & C. & H. Carvill, 1830), Original Sources, accessed April 20, 2024, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=TNRBAID5J2XCKZE.

MLA: Edwards, Jonathan. "Wicked Men’s Slavery to Sin." Wicked Men’s Slavery to Sin, in Wicked Men’s Slavery to Sin, New York, G. & C. & H. Carvill, 1830, Original Sources. 20 Apr. 2024. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=TNRBAID5J2XCKZE.

Harvard: Edwards, J, 'Wicked Men’s Slavery to Sin' in Wicked Men’s Slavery to Sin. cited in 1830, Wicked Men’s Slavery to Sin, G. & C. & H. Carvill, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 20 April 2024, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=TNRBAID5J2XCKZE.