It is interesting that when the apostle Paul was addressing the Jews and God fearers in Antioch he didn’t need to tell them what they were being saved from. He did not need to convince them of their bondage to their sin or that they were sinners. He just assumed they knew it and said, “…through this man [Jesus] forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses” (Act 13:39).
The people knew, without being told, that they were in bondage and though they were practicing their religion, it was not doing what they thought it ought to do. Following the law of Moses was not satisfying their deepest need. They were still lost and in bondage to their sins. And Paul didn’t have to tell them.
As I think about this, it occurs to me that people in our culture are just as much in need of freedom as the first century Jews. Instead of turning to the law of Moses, our people turn to whatever they think will free them, but with the same results—none at all. The next morning, they are still just as confused, bound up, and lost as they were before they participated in whatever “freedom” gathering event they indulge in.
The Jews tied their bondage to sin, after all that’s what the law of Moses was about. But because modern man, being less and less Christianized, does not know about sin, we cannot expect our people to know that their bondage is about sin. However, we don’t need to start every conversation with a discussion of their sin or sinfulness. It might be that we simply need to proclaim to them that Jesus died on the cross to set prisoners free and rose from the dead so that the freed prisoners can live glorious and joy filled lives. In our presentation we can assume the people’s bondage to sin, and simply present Jesus as the savior who sets people free.