The Bible Supports Slavery? Part II

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, May 23, 2015 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

Before jumping into today’s post, go check out last week’s post to give you the context.

Go back to Romans 6:19-23.  When Paul challenges us to no longer give ourselves as slaves to sin, he is using the example of a bondslave or bondservant. He is challenging us to realize that when we choose sin, we do it because of some benefit we think we are going to get from it.  When we give ourselves to sin, we let it mark us, and own us, and decide our future.  And the more we give ourselves to sin, the more difficult it is to realize that we could be free.  Sin is a harsh master that is not worthy of our lives or our loyalty.  It may thrill from time to time, but it has no ability to satisfy, and its only reward is steady decay, destruction, and death.

When we have bonded ourselves to sin, when we choose a rebellious lifestyle, and we continue to walk a path apart from God's moral standards; we cannot live right before God.  The nature of being a bondservant prevents us being owned by two masters.  We may choose, but we cannot be bonded to more than one at a time.  Paul uses this example because we can see the simplicity of its truth in our daily lives.  We cannot live our lives fully in the direction of two conflicting priorities.   It is impossible to be owned fully by two masters.  When we give ourselves to sin, we cannot be bonded to righteousness, and we have no obligation to righteousness, because as slaves to sin, we are bonded to walking the broken path we chose.

But the opposite is also true.  If we bond ourselves to God through Jesus Christ, we are freed from any obligation to sin.  And Jesus is the best master, because His desire is for us to be free and fully alive in Him.  Jesus desires to empower us to live fully in the design and giftedness God has intended us to, and when we bond ourselves to Him, He in turn shows us what true freedom looks like.

Our benefit (wages/earnings) from serving sin is shame and death. Our benefit from serving God is righteousness (right living), being set apart for God's good purposes, and having eternal life through Jesus Christ.  Who we choose to serve is literally a life and death decision.

I have a good friend who was a kid in the South during segregation.  He was in elementary school when integration first started.  He was the only black boy in a white classroom.  He was forced to sit in the back, and was not given any supplies, and was expected to learn without any assistance.  He had a hard life, and he can tell story after story of racist acts done to him, hateful things done just because he was black.  He slept in a bedroom with a hole in the roof so big he could see the stars at night.  He had every excuse to become an angry, hateful person.  His brothers turned to drugs and blamed the world for their troubles.  He took every challenge, every abuse, and every setback as an opportunity.  He never blamed anyone else for his situation.  He chose to trust God and consider how each painful experience could be a lesson or a blessing.  This was more than optimism, and more than indignation.  My friend bonded himself to Jesus Christ, and committed to serve God in the freedom of right living to overcome the oppression and hatred of bigotry.  His brothers chose a broken path, and a couple of them have already died as a direct result of what they chose. One of his brothers has become a bitter, angry, and paranoid man - that's what I call a "living" death.

We could learn a lot from my friend's life and wisdom, but he will humbly point to Jesus.   My friend has demonstrated with his life one aspect of how trusting Jesus as his master, made him a free man, who has accomplished much.

No matter how much of the deck we feel is stacked against us, we have a choice in who and what we serve, and our choices will determine the outcome of our life.

What about you?  I'll ask what I asked last week: are you satisfied with the benefits from the path you are walking now?  Are you willing to recognize that this is not a question about “if” you will become a slave, but rather the realization that you already are a slave?

God has given you the power to choose life or death for yourself.  You can be a slave to chasing desires, trying to be someone you are not, or any other broken path that leads to death.  Or you can bond yourself to God and let Him satisfy you with the life He intended you to live.

What or who will you choose?

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