Whose Slave are You?

My travels for our training foundation take me all over the world, and next month, I will be teaching in Togo, West Africa, once known as "The Slave Coast.”  A few years ago I traveled with our host from the capital of Lome out to a beach town where slaves were bought and sold; finally being carried aboard a sailing ship to Britian, America, and the Carribean nations.  The house in this beach town where the slaves were delivered is now a place where tourists can come and see the ship-captains quarters, the old safe where money was kept, and the table in the front room where all the transactions were made two hundred years ago.

Under the floor beneath the table is a large door to the area under the floor where slaves were forced to stay before transport.  It had a standing room of about four feet.  It forced the slaves to become oriented to the exact conditions to which they would be subjected for up to a three month journey in the ship's cargo hold.   Only those that were healthy and considered strong enough to make the arduous passage were purchased by the captain because many of the weaker slaves would perish prior to arrival, especially those bound for the New World.  It was a business of both life and death.  If a slave survived, his life would never hold the prospects of freedom and autonomy but rather bondage and ownership to another human being until death.  All of us find human slavery to be a despicable blot in human history.  Just the idea of someone, anyone, owning and determining the fate of another human being is simply unconscionable.

However, whether or not we may realize it, each of us is involved in another form of slavery which ultimately affects the entire human race.  Its exists in the spiritual realm, but it yields its fruit in the physical realm of life.  Every one of us is a slave to something and even more to someone.  The Scripture clearly says,

For just as you once presented your bodies as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, so now present your bodies as slaves to righteousness leading to spiritual growth. (Rom 6:19)

Paul the apostle confirms the fact that when I was a unbeliever I was not living in freedom but bondage.  I was in bondage to sin, to self, and to a host of enslaving habits.  Even though I sought freedom and independance, I was becoming more and more enslaved to myself and to this world. But if you would have asked me them if I was free, I would immediately have said, "Absolutely, I do whatever I want!"  Unfortunately, though, I knew that wasn't really true.  Every day that I sought more freedom to practice my sinful lifestyle and independance from God and His authority, my spiritual noose seemed to tighten.  But after I trusted Christ as personal Savior, I realized that I now possessed the freedom I once craved.  Now I was faced with the question Paul asked the Roman Christians in Rom 6:1,

What shall we say then?  Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means!  How can we who died to sin still live in it? ( Rom 6:1)

But Christian, here is the catch.  Real freedom in Christ is not unbridled liberty, it is obedient submission to the Spirit of God who now lives in us!  Do you want to experience freedom unlike anything you have ever experienced?  Listen to what Paul says next,

But thanks be unto God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. (Rom 6:17-18)

Let's be reminded today that genuine freedom is not independance from God but dependence upon God to live as we were created in live.  We were created to live in relationship to our our heavenly
Father.  Sin broke that relationship.  Christ restored its real possibility!  That's why Jesus could say,

If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.  (Jn 8:36)

Live in your freedom by living obediently in Christ!


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