Summary: The necessity of being bond servants for Christ gives us real liberty!
The Mastery of Slavery
Outline and some parts borrowed from Alexander Maclaren
TEXT PASSAGE: John 8:31, 32- (31) Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; (32) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
INTRO- The irony of freedom is found in slavery. Paul states in Romans 6:22- But now being made free from sin, and become servants (slaves) to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness (sanctification), and the end everlasting life. Freedom from sin and slavery to God bring permanent fruit that leads to sanctification.
The demand for absolute liberty brings men to the depths of slavery. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Cost of Discipleship, 1983.
No man in this world attains to freedom from any slavery except by entrance into some higher servitude. There is no such thing as an entirely free man conceivable. Phillips Brooks (1835- 1893), Perennials.
"Servant" in our English New Testament usually represents the Greek doulos (bondslave). Sometimes it means diakonos (deacon or minister); this is strictly accurate, for doulos and diakonos are synonyms. Both words denote a man who is not at his own disposal, but is his master’s purchased property. Bought to serve his master’s needs, to be at his beck and call every moment, the slave’s sole business is to do as he is told. Christian service therefore means, first and foremost, living out a slave relationship to one’s Savior (1 Corinthians. 6:19-20).
I think you get the idea; lets look at the characteristics of the true freedom of slavery! Lets look at why we should be (and are) His slaves and why this does gives us freedom!
I. CHRIST’S ABSOLUTE (unrestrained) OWNERSHIP
The Sphere (Dominion) of Christ’s Lordship
The Realm of Nature. His lips spoke and it was done when He was on earth—rebuking disease, and it fled; the wild storm, and there was a great calm; demons, and they came out; death itself, and its dull, cold ear heard and Lazarus came out.
The Realm of Mankind.
He created us in His image. Gen 1:27- So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Evolution is NOT an OPTION: The probability of life originating by accident is comparable to the probability of the unabridged dictionary originating from an explosion in a print shop. Edwin Conklin- J. Vernon McGee: First John (Nashville TN: Nelson: 1991) 16.
Man’s IGNORANCE is not an EXCUSE. God is not a railway porter who carries your suitcase and serves you. God is God. He made heaven and earth. He holds the world in His hand. He measures the dust of the earth in the balance. He spreads the sky out like a mantle. He is the great God Almighty. He is not your servant. He is your Father, and you are His child. He sits in heaven, and you are on the earth. (Isa 40:12) Tozer- March 15, 2009
Isaiah 40:12- Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?
II. THE PREROGATIVE (Exclusive Right)OF CHRIST’S LORDSHIP
The Master dispenses to His slaves their tasks. The owner of the slave could set him to any work he thought fit. So our Owner gives all His slaves their taskings; whether a statesman or slipper bearer; be happy; be content! (Workers and wages parable)
The Master has first claim on His slave’s possessions.
Psalm 24:1- The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
We’ve charted at least 100,000 light years (186,282 mps) from rim to rim of world! - 600 million billion miles of stars...all His!
In the midst of the millions of galaxies, we have one galaxy called Milky Way. In the midst of which we have one star (we call sun), with its baby planets following close by. It takes this little solar system 200 million years to get around it one time!
THIS IS ALL HIS- How could we have the nerve to claim anything as ours!
The Slave’s Response to Christ’s Lordship
Recognition of trusteeship- We are not possessors but only trustees!
The foundational principle of New Testament stewardship is that the steward takes the resources given by the Master, uses them for the Master’s purpose and returns to give the benefits and the honor to the Master. Ralph D. Winter and Steven C. Hawthorne, rev. ed. Perspectives: On the World Christian Movement: A Reader, (Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library 2009) 577.
Submission to the Master- Absolute submission of will and God’s absolute authority - worship