You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19b-20 ESV
For Christmas, I bought a book that John MacArthur just came out with for my Father and brother-in-law. The name of the book is called “Slave – The hidden truth about your identity in Christ.” In this book, Dr. MacArthur presents a biblical truth so radical that it changed my whole perception on who I am in Christ Jesus. According to Dr. MacArthur’s research, the New Testament refers to Christians as slaves more often than any other term. The word is often translated at “servant” in modern translations, but when you look up the original Greek word “doulos“, it literally means slave.
Let’s look at a verse that powerfully demonstrates this concept. Romans 6:18
Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants (doulos) of righteousness.
The actually translation for the word servant here is “douloō” – to be made a slave of. Yet the root of the word of “douloō” – to be made a slave of, is “doulos” – a slave. The idea of slavery has many negative associations with it, mainly because of the abhorrent slave trade that was prevalent in Spain, England, and the United States as early as the 16th Century until the 19th Century. We still feel the horrors of the impact it had even today. In today’s society, the sex slave trade, or Human Trafficking is everywhere, even in the United States. A truth that many people are just now coming to see as a reality. Young innocent girls are being violated and forced to lose their virginity, or face a grim alternative.
No wonder we don’t like to think of ourselves as slaves to God. But Jehovah is not a cruel and angry task-master, but a kind and all-benevolent master. Sin was our cruel and un-merciful task-master, and it is from him that Christ has redeemed us. The martyrs of the early church, and throughout history realized this concept. That is why they did not back down from their Faith in God. They had been bought by the blood of Christ, it was He that owned them. They were called to serve Him no matter the cost. And they did, even when it lead them to death.
A lot of churches today fully embrace the fact that we have freedom in Christ. But they fail to recognize that we are bought by the Blood of the Lamb! We are NOT our own. We belong to God! The freedom we have in Christ is freedom from the law, sin, and the second death. Nowhere in the Bible does it speak of us being able to use our freedom in Christ for our own desires or pleasure. Even in Galatians 5:1 where it says “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” the context of the verse means bondage to the Law of the Old Testament. It does not mean that we are free to do whatever we desire and throw off all restraint. The world today has enough people rejecting authority.
When I think about myself as a slave to Christ, the whole of the New Testament carries new meaning and I understand it to a greater extent. The commands of Christ make even more sense. Paul’s exhortations to believers are revealed in new light. The importance of living a life of Holiness becomes a concept better understood. The roles of the Church body, and their individual significance hold greater meaning.
But do you want to know what the best part about this metaphor of being slaves to Christ is? Christ LOVES us! Jehovah called us His friends (Jhn 15:15), His Children (Jhn 1:12), gave us an inheritance with Christ His Son (Col 1:12), and said that eternal life was to KNOW GOD (Jhn 17:3)! What an exciting thought! Though we are slaves to Christ, we are not chained together as in former times, but can embrace the cross of Christ and free obey the commands that God has given us. And though we are slaves, we are made sons of God! In ancient times and in modern times, a slave owner would provide for the slaves basic needs. But God not only gives us our basic needs (salvation, redemption), He provides above and beyond what anyone can ever ask. (grace, sanctification, the Holy Spirit, etc.) Being a slave is hard, even though we have all of these riches. Many have died, endured pain, trials, tribulation, starvation, and been murdered for their faith. 2 Timothy 3:12 even tells us “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”.
So let me ask you a question.