June 29, 2012
Free to be a Slave
By Skip Heitzig
In America at this time of year we talk a lot about freedom, and that’s only appropriate. The French writer Alexis de Toqueville once called America “the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.” The Bible also talks about freedom. It says, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). We’ve been set free!
But what have we been set free from? And more importantly, what have we been set free for? The first question, probably most of us could answer. We’ve been set free from the bondage to sin. We’ve been set free from guilt and from punishment.
The second question is one not a lot of Christians ask. But here’s the answer: We have been set free in order to become slaves of God. We’ve been set free from one master to become indentured to another Master. Did you know that? We’re to be slaves of righteousness and slaves of God. (See Romans 6:18.)
Every person is a slave to something…or someone. If you haven’t given your life to Jesus Christ, you might be saying “I’m nobody’s slave!” but I disagree. “Don't you realize that whatever you choose to obey becomes your master? You can choose sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God and receive his approval” (Romans 6:16, NLT). You may be a slave to yourself—your own habits, your own lustful desires. And there’s no freedom or peace in that.
In biblical times, if somebody couldn’t pay off their debts, they might become an indentured slave. They would work to pay off their debts, and in the seventh year the master had to release them. But some who really loved their masters went on working for them voluntarily. So there were two types of slaves: those who served out of compulsion, because they had to, and those who served out of loyalty, because they wanted to. Paul often used this picture, calling himself a “slave” or “bondservant” of Jesus Christ (see Romans 1:1, Philippians 1:1, Titus 1:1).
And the message of the Bible is the more you become His slave, the more freedom you experience. The more you become slaves to other things, people, etc., the less freedom you have.
The Cross of Christ can set any prisoner free, and once that happens, you become free to be His slave. That’s what salvation is all about; it’s turning from sin to God. God takes good care of His servants. And you’ll discover that being His slave is the greatest possible freedom you can have in this life.
Some years ago, Bob Dylan wrote a song called “Gotta Serve Somebody,” which contained these words: “You’re gonna have to serve somebody. Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”
Or as the Bible says, “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life” (Romans 6:22). “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).
Copyright © 2012 by Connection Communications. All rights reserved.