Pastor Andrew Rappaport recently held a podcast show, Table Talk Online hosted by Jordan Ravanes. The topic was “Biblical Slavery” ( Watch Here), and it was a powerful lesson in Biblical truth. It is the kind of lesson that you get when you sit under a solid teacher who really knows and understands the hermeneutics of history, and biblical context. His discussion was about the worlds understanding of slavery from the African slave markets, to Americas history of slavery and the Bibles discussions and requirements concerning the matter. That wonderful interaction led me to consider the spiritual aspects of slavery, which is what this writing is about.
There are a lot of strong pastors and teachers in our world today, who preach the Word and proclaim the gospel truth to everyone who will hear. Unfortunately, their voices are seldom heard, because of the bullhorns and trumpet blasts of false teachers, who march in with a parade of fun. They have a circus show filled with a lineup of extra-biblical excitement that is designed to draw your attention away from the truth, so that you will blindly, gladly follow after them and ultimately their master. Paul Washer calls it “Six Flags over Jesus.”
Satan is the master liar; Scripture even tells us he is The Father of Lies (John 8:44). He will not be outdone. Is it any wonder that his disciples should be so well versed in the art and science of deception? Of course, we realize that the best way to get the non-discerning is by slowly dripping in heresy, lying, deception, and false doctrine. False teachers are adept and well versed in mixing heresy and false doctrine with a splash of truth and a lot of entertainment. As the meme says, “just a spoon full of sugar makes the heresy go down.”
It takes time, and it also takes the occasional ripping off the proverbial “bandage,” which brings shock and discomfort. Then right back to the fun and games to keep the people from caring or knowing that they are being lied to. They are having too much fun to see that they are being led down a path towards spiritual destruction. Those people are indeed slaves for false teachers.
The reality is that You are a Slave to the Master that you serve. Both good and bad teachers know this. God knows it and so does Satan. What most people refuse to accept is that we are all slaves and the Bible makes that clear. We read this verse:
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” Ephesians 2:1-3
Each and every one of us is a slave to a master. Biblically speaking, it will be one of two masters we will serve. In our free nature, we willingly served Satan. We were slaves to ”the prince of the power of the air,” speaking of Satan. His desire is rebellion, sin, and wickedness. He wants to overthrow God and destroy all that God has created. It is incredible that the world cannot see that most of the freedoms that they chant, march, cheer and scream for are in direct opposition to the Commandments they are under by the decree of the Lord. They want to fulfill the will of their master, Satan, and they are proud of their rebellion.
By the Grace of God, the heart of the believer is not the same. While we were once dead in trespass and sin. We have the evidence of memory and conscience that we all once walked right along with the rest of the world, as slaves of Satan. We too had the lust (passions, desires, drives) for worldly pursuits, and we once wanted to overthrow God's authority over our consciences. Then, one day, in God's Providential Will, God gave us a New Nature, under the New Covenant. God took out our Stone-Dead Heart and Gave us:
“a new Heart and a new Spirit,” Ezekiel 36:26.
Then one day, God graced us with the gospel. One day, God, in His divine love and mercy granted us repentance and faith. Forever, we were changed, for we were set free from sin. The shackles of this dead world were broken, and we were freed from the wages of sin, the debt of sin, the punishment of sin, and the slavery of that wicked master who acted in his own willfulness.
We were set free from sin, no longer under its judgment and demands. We were set free by the payment of another who bought us to be His own prized possession. We no longer owe that unpayable eternal debt to God. His Son paid it on our behalf (2 Cor 5:21), and we were given to Jesus as a gift because of the great payment He made for us (John 17:6-10). The Scripture tells us that we were bought with a price (1 Cor 6:20). Meaning that God the Son paid for us. As the old saying goes, we were on the auction block, in the slave market of sin, and Jesus saw that we had no worth and no one could pay the price. So, Jesus willingly laid down the debt that was required by the Market Owner, who was His own Father. We who were worthless were bought and paid for by Jesus.
Some will argue that saying this means that we are giving a license for people to sin all they want and to then just claim, well were saved by Jesus so were fine. Let me answer that in two ways.
A believer does indeed sin, and if you say you are a Christian who has not sinned then you are a liar and the truth is not in you (1 John 1:8). The reality is that when we sin, we don’t brag about it or try to push for our liberty in our sin. We hate our sin, and we are crushed by the guilt of failing our Lord and Savior. We want to be holy and pure as our Master is. Our response is just like Paul, we are wretched men and women and do the sin’s we do not want to do. Worse, we fail to do those things that are holy and righteous that our new Spirit wants us to do.
- In the Bible Paul argues this way in the book of Romans:
“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! 1o you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. Romans 6:15-18
May no one ever think a Christian has license to sin, their freedom is from condemnation, judgment, and wrath, not a freedom to sin. The will that is given to the Christian is to be transformed into the image of Christ, who is the sinless One. We see from Paul, that every person is a slave to something or someone. Either you are a slave to sin, or you are a slave to righteousness, so the ultimate question is, who are you serving today? Is your heart changed? Has God given you the new Spirit of God living inside you? Do you have a new relationship with sin? Is sin a battle, a burden? Or is sin a chance to brag about your freedoms? If you are not sure who your master is, check out www.NeedGod.com
May you truly find Grace and Peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Pastor Justin Pierce