|Volume 17 Number 7 July 2015||
Would you say that is an ugly word? Slavery likely brings to mind all sorts of disturbing images. There is a type of slavery rampant in our world that many never recognize. Jesus said, “Everyone that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin” (John 8:34). Sin enslaves. Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2), and spiritual freedom is not possible by our own merit or strength (Ephesians 2:8-9). Thankfully, we can be delivered “out of the power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13).
Jesus paid the price for our spiritual freedom (Acts 20:28). Paul wrote to Christians and said they had been “bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20). Before He asked us to be His slaves, Jesus Himself became one. He existed “in the form of God” and was “on an equality with God,” but came to earth “taking the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:5-7). He was “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus showed us by example the beauty of being a slave to the will of God (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38; 8:29). God is the only Master who cares completely for what is in our best interest.
It is possible for the term slavery to be used in a favorable sense. The Master of the universe (Colossians 1:15-17) can become our Master. We can change from being a servant of Satan to “bondservants of God” (1 Peter 2:16). Before one can be saved, he must be willing to confess “Jesus as Lord” (Romans 10:9). Newness of life is granted to those who “died to sin” (repent) and are “buried therefore with him through baptism” (Romans 6:2-4).
Unfortunately, many languish from divided allegiance. “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). Divided servitude is traceable to inadequate love. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37). If we love God supremely, we will bow our will to His. So Christianity is voluntary slavery – slavery to Christ. God desires for us to have Jesus Christ as “our only Master and Lord” (Jude 4). Knowingly or not, you are a slave. Who are you serving?
Many are arguing, and have been for years and years, that Christianity and the Bible are becoming less and less relevant to modern society. In one sense, those who argue irrelevance are absolutely correct. Look around. Stop and listen. Read articles in the newspaper and on the Internet. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you find? What is happening is a mass exodus; the Bible is being forced out of culture and being replaced by anything and everything else. The airwaves are filled with all sorts of obscenities and lewdness, and anything that is remotely wholesome and challenges modern society’s hedonism and self-centered theology is run out of town. As Christians, we have a huge challenge set before us; we have been called to show the world that the words of Christ still matter, and that one day they will be the only thing that matters (John 12:48). If we are to show the world that the words of Christ still matter, then they must first matter to us.
[Editor’s Note: Brother Baxley’s concise article is exactly accurate and much needed, especially in view of the legal abdication of all that is right, wholesome and godly in a once greater nation that was established on biblical principles and the freedom to worship without restrictions. That “The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God” (Psalms 9:17 NKJV) is God’s eternal truth – irrespective of what any judge or panel of judges, legislatures, or president decrees. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]