Sin, Slavery, and Freedom

People talk about the freedom that is found in Christ, and like many spiritual truths presented in America, this freedom is too often seen as something granted instantaneously. Usually, it isn’t. Jesus said that if we “abide in His Word,” and that’s a process, we will “know the truth and the truth will make us free” (John 8:31-32). Some of this freedom is an objective present fact. In Christ, we are already free from the penalty of sin and have the liberty to know God.

The greater reality of this freedom grows as we know more and more of Him and His ways, but ultimately, this freedom will only be realized fully in the life to come. The freedom addressed in Scripture is freedom from sin, not freedom to do whatever we want, which is really another form of bondage.

For centuries, oppressors have used the Bible to justify human slavery. I’ve looked myself, and I don’t think this is the case. The Bible does not condone any institution of slavery, but rather simply recognizes that people are enslaved at various levels. Some of us are literally slaves owned like property by others, others are slaves to bosses and jobs, and many are slaves to their own self-centeredness. In essence, we are all slaves.

Paul put it in perspective when he stated, “He who was called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freeman; likewise he who was called while free is the Lord’s slave” (I Corinthians 7:22). The spiritual realm is our great equalizer.

As Bob Dylan sang, “It might be the devil or it might be the Lord, but you’re gonna’ have to serve somebody.” We have a choice to make, and unless we are slaves of Christ, we will have a harsh taskmaster, regardless of our station in this earthly life.

Adapted from Keeping It Between the Ditches