TRUTH: Offer Yourself as Slaves (Servants) of Christ


As stated by National Geographic, “slavery in what became the United States probably began with the arrival of “20 and odd” enslaved Africans to the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619.” It officially ended with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865. Considering the history of the United States, the word slave or servant has a great propensity to be taken the wrong way. Slavery existed long before Africans were brought to the new world. In times that predate the Great Exploration, a person could sell himself or his wife into slavery because of poverty or debt (2 Kings 4:1Nehemiah 5:1–5Amos 2:6). We see that in Exodus 21 which comes right after the 10 Commandments. In the text, we see that text that the servitude was for six years. The need to survive is why many voluntarily became slaves. TRUTH: Offer Yourself as Slaves (Servants) of Christ

We know in our history in the United States that some used involuntary slavery as a means to gain free labor. Furthermore, we know that many used the bible as a means to substantiate that servitude; however, that is not what God intended. Unfortunately, man has a tendency to grossly misrepresent God all while presenting it as God’s will. TRUTH: Offer Yourself as Slaves (Servants) of Christ

Remember a slave was one who had sold him/herself because of poverty or a debt. In Ephesians 6, Paul is addressing slaves as believers in Christ Jesus.

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

Clearly, Paul was addressing those who had some obligations to their masters. The Greek word for slave is doulos (dü’-los) and the Hebrew word of the same ilk is `ebed (eh’·ved).  Doulos is defined as 

a slave, bondman, man of servile condition

  1. a slave

  2. metaph., one who gives himself up to another’s will those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men

  3. devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests

Because of slavery in the United States, the context or notion of being a slave is not well received. However, the more appropriate word is servant. Paul had already clarified the matter of slavery in terms of one whom we served in Romans 6. Listen to what Paul said,

16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In a spiritual sense, we all are slaves or servants. We are either slaves to sin which leads to death, or we are slaves to righteousness which leads to life. This is why I submit the TRUTH: Offer Yourself as Slaves (Servants) of Christ. Slavery or servanthood is a given. Remember, those in earlier times offered themselves as slaves because of poverty or debt. As such, we are impoverished in regards to righteousness and goodness.  Romans 3:10-12 says, “10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Many think that we are good, but the Word of God says that none of us are good. We are poor as good is considered currency.

Furthermore, we owe a huge debt to Christ. “So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:8-13 NKJV)

As followers of Christ, we have an obligation or a debt (OD) to God for the gift of Jesus Christ through whom we have salvation, the redemption from sins. That is why I am urging you in the TRUTH: Offer Yourself as Slaves (Servants) of Christ. Otherwise, you stand condemned already because you have not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. Christ paid my debt of sin on the cross. I will gladly offer myself as a slave or servant of Christ

 

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