Summary: we are not our own - as those who are in Christ, we are God's doulos - and that changes everything
Bought With A Price
May 1, 2016
This is a dangerous message this morning, for at least two reasons – maybe more. Number 1, the theme of this message goes against the grain not only of our culture, but of our flesh, our selfishness, and of much of the church culture, too.
Until we really understand this and accept this as true, today’s theme makes our flesh squirm. It makes us uncomfortable. Even when we do accept it, it can challenge us, because it doesn’t come naturally. It only comes supernaturally.
It’s not My Body My Choice. It’s not Gay Pride. These are today’s cultural values
Also, it’s not Your Best Life Now. It’s not You Can Have What You Say. It’s not Prosperity: The Choice Is Yours.
Ironically, these are not secular book titles, but they might as well be. This is the idea of having what we want, pseudo-sanctified by segments of the church.
Jim Garrett touched on this last week. The idea in our culture that we can be what we want, do what we want, regardless of the facts, regardless of the impact on other people of what we want, and regardless of what’s right or wrong, what the Word of God tells us about sin and righteousness.
One writer called our current culture one that values, not just doing whatever is right in our own eyes, but “radical autonomy.” This is the source of today’s sharp divide in our culture.
The new immorality is any act of “intolerance” that supposedly interferes with this radical autonomy.
Being intolerant of this radical autonomy is about the worst thing you can do. Autonomy means: self-directing freedom, and especially moral independence.
Our culture values this above all else. Radical autonomy is autonomy on steroids.
However, this morning’s message is the polar opposite of radical autonomy. It’s an idea that, once we grasp this in our spirit, once we accept it as God’s truth, it’s not only not troubling, but very freeing. In fact, one author called it A Better Freedom. It’s one of those things in scripture that’s a paradox.
The 2nd reason today’s message is a dangerous thing is that the theme of this message is the life theme of the guy who literally wrote the book on this – a man who signs his correspondence with “your fellow slave,” who seeks every day to live this out obediently, like a slave, in the mundane things of life, as well as the bigger things in his life.
Of course, I’m speaking of my fellow elder, Jim Garrett, whose book The Doulos Principle, has been very formative in my Christian life, and I know also in the lives of many of us here this morning.
By the way, next week we’ll highlight this more fully, but Jim’s book, The Doulos Principle, is now available as an Amazon Kindle title. And we’re going to have a five-day sale during which the book is free. More details about how that works next week. It’s a book that everybody here should read, and read again if it’s been a while since you last read it.
But, Jim will be the first to deflect credit for any true life changes, any formative influence, and Biblical truth, that has come from his book, because, of course, this is a theme in the Word of God, accessible to all of us, and not just Jim’s idea. In his book, Jim just highlights that fact, calls our attention to, an often-missed truth.
This truth is missed for some of the reasons already mentioned. Like radical autonomy. It’s missed by the world, because they’re slaves to sin. It’s often missed by Christians, too, but it’s right here in your Bibles. Here’s just one of literally hundreds of places we see it:
1 Corinthians 6:19-20: You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price.
This morning, I want to spend some time exploring the implications of the reality that you are, we are, I am, not my own. That I am bought with a price. We cannot avoid the clear message here, and as we move along, we’ll see how clearly this is presented in Scripture.
People who are bought with a price are owned. People who are bought with a price are slaves. Yes, this can be a very uncomfortable truth. That’s because, in our minds, we immediately associate slavery with a couple of things.
One is the African American slave trade, a truly evil and sinful part of our American history, and that of Europe, too. We are rightly appalled by this part of our history. It seems clear to me that much of the racial divide that still exists in America today is the long-term fruit of that terrible institution.