Summary: Exploring what it means to be a "slave of Christ"

What Are You A Slave To?

(Romans 6:16-22)

Today is Veteran’s Day, a day in which our nation remembers all those soldiers who fought and died, and those who are still fighting so that we could enjoy the freedoms that we have today.

Someone wrote, “It is the soldier, not the preacher, who gives us freedom of religion. It is the soldier, not the reporter, who gives us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who gives us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the protestor, who gives us the freedom to assemble. It is the soldier, not the lawyer, that gives us the right to a fair trial. It is the soldier, not the politician, who gives us the right to vote. It is the soldier, who not only salutes the Flag, but serves under the Flag, and fights for the country that Flag represents.”

It is only good and proper to take the time to thank the brave men and women who make America great and who ensure our freedoms. The Christian faith is centered around this idea of freedom as well. Just like the soldiers that fight for our social freedoms, we have a Savior who paid the price and died for our eternal freedom. Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.”

In fact, most Christians today would define the Christian life as one of freedom, liberation, fulfillment, unconditional acceptance, satisfaction, health, wealth, and finding your purpose. They’ll tell you that God loves you and wants you to be everything you want to be. He wants to fulfill every hope, desire, and dream.

But while these ideas are mostly, though not completely, true I don’t think they are the best or even most accurate definitions of what it means to be a Christian. In fact, perhaps the best definition is actually the exact opposite of some of these ideas. Christianity is probably best described as a life of slavery!

I. Christianity – A Life of Slavery

Now, lest you think I’ve totally gone off the deep end by making such a statement, let’s look at our main passage of Scripture for today which comes from the book of Romans.

Romans 6:16-18, 22, “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom 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 wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. [18] You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. [22] But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”

Slavery – it’s not a term that is normally very positive, or brings with it empowering or comfortable ideas. In fact, for most of us, if someone were to have told us that the Christian life is a life of slavery, we never would have made the decision to accept Christ in the first place. And yet, that is what a Christian is. A Christian means being a slave to Christ.

Now, you may be thinking, “Wait a minute. I’ve heard of Christians being referred to as servants, as sheep, as sons, as the bride of Christ, and as the body of Christ but where do you get the idea that we are slaves? We’ve been freed from slavery, right?” And I would say yes. Servants, sheep, sons, etc. those are all metaphors the Bible uses to describe our relationship with Christ and the Father. But the Bible also uses the metaphor of slavery. Perhaps more than some of us realize.

A. Doulos

John MacArthur, in his sermon “Slaves for Christ”, did a word study that showed that in most English translations of the New Testament there has been a mistranslation of an important word. That word is the Greek word, “doulos” (doo-loss) which means “slave”. This word, doulos, appears over 130 times in the original Greek text of the New Testament. But it is not translated as “slave” in the English versions. In fact the King James Version of the New Testament uses the word slave only once. Instead of translating doulos as slave, which is its true meaning, the English versions translated it as servant.

For example, look at Matthew 25:21. Most of us are pretty familiar with this passage. “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’” That’s not an accurate translation. It should read, “Well done, good and faithful slave.”

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