top of page
Search

What is spiritual bondage?



Although the term "spiritual bondage" does not appear in the Bible, it does mention unbelievers being enslaved to sin (Acts 8:23; Romans 6:6, 16, 19; 7:14; 2 Peter 2:19). "Truly, truly, I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin," Jesus said (John 8:34), and He came to set us free (verse 32). Evil has a way of creeping into people's lives, and bad habits are difficult to break. Sin forms a chain for an unsaved person that only the Savior can break.


So the concept of spiritual bondage has biblical foundations. By harbouring sins like anger in our hearts, we can "give the devil a foothold" (Ephesians 4:27). Spiritual bonding, on the other hand, should not be confused with Christians being bound by demons. Biblical texts are frequently misapplied by ministries that solely focus on breaking demonic bonds. According to Romans 8:5–13, there is a difference between someone who lives according to the flesh (an unbeliever) and someone who lives according to the Spirit (a believer). One is enslaved, while the other is not. A believer can be guilty of disobedience against God, but he cannot practise it (1 John 3:4–10). That is, a Christian is not bound by sin. A believer might feel compelled to steal, and he might even steal, but he will repent. A believer, on the other hand, cannot identify as a thief, enjoy being a thief, and feel no remorse. Romans 8 does not support the concept of spiritual bonding for believers; rather, it defines the difference between believers and nonbelievers.


There is no doubt that demons oppress and tempt believers, and there are certain mental states that are conducive to temptation (Matthew 6:13; 1 Corinthians 7:5; Galatians 6:1). However, there is no evidence that we are possessed by demons or rendered helpless in spiritual combat. A search of the Bible for the word oppression reveals that man's oppression of his fellow man is a far more common issue. The real danger is that we become fixated on spiritual bonding and our own inner workings to the point where sin takes precedence over Christ.


Religion is derived from a Latin word that means "to bind tightly." The concept behind the term religion is that the devotee is bound by some sort of obligation. When we allow our fears of hell, judgement, or demonic activity to control us, or when we adopt a religious mindset that says, "If I don't perform such and such a ritual, there will be bad consequences," religion can easily become a type of spiritual bondage. This isn't biblically correct. "Perfect love eliminates fear" (1 John 4:18). We are not saved by performing rituals; in fact, Jesus said that ritualistic religion "loads people down with burdens they can hardly bear" (Luke 11:46). Rest and spiritual protection are given to those who believe in Christ (Matthew 11:28; Romans 8:37–39; Jude 1:24).


We all know that sin is harmful, and some sins are particularly addictive. However, there is no evidence in the Bible that we are bound by demons or cinched up in spiritual straps when we sin.