“You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you.” Deut. 15:15
This series on slavery got started by that verse. Remember that you were a slave, and that God redeemed you. Israel had to remind their children of it, and themselves. I have to remind myself, too.
But not only do I have to remind myself that I’m no longer a slave to sin (John 8:34-36), but I have to remember that I’m still a slave. I’m a slave by choice to Christ.
A doulos. That’s the word the New Testament uses for it. It references back to an Old Testament practice of a slave that didn’t want to leave his master. Instead of being set free, the servant chose to stay and continue to serve his master. For life. The master would then take an awl, go to the doorframe, and pierce the ear of the man, thus marking him a bondservant, a slave by choice. Paul identified himself in nearly every one of his letters as a doulos, or bondservant, of Jesus. Think of that old testament bondservant, and then think of Paul’s words from Gal. 2:20:
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the [life] which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Paul so identified with Jesus that he viewed his life as not his own, but Christ’s. He had no rights; everything he was belonged to Jesus.
Why? Because Jesus “loved me and gave Himself for me.” As the old hymn goes, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.” Not to earn it, and certainly not to repay, but out of gratitude. I am a slave to Christ because of what Christ has done for me. He bought my life with His death on the cross. It’s not mine anymore, it’s His.
“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” Col 2:13-14
You were dead. You ARE alive. Your sins are forgiven. Rejoice in that, and LIVE in that.
You have a choice. Who are you going to serve? Sin? Or are you going to serve the One that won the victory over that sin? One looks like freedom, but is really bondage. And in the other, the servant becomes the free. Which will you choose? It’s up to you. But again, you gotta serve somebody.