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Free the Slaves
When speaking of slavery, most immediately think of those taken against their will from Africa and other countries in the early-to-mid 1800s. However, forced labor continues today and is more prevalent than in the 1800s.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated in 2013 that 20.9 million men, women, and children around the world are “forced to work for little or no pay and at the complete mercy of their ‘employer’” (www.antislavery.org, 11/2013). Some estimates make the count closer to 30 million.
Those forced to work in mental or physical slavery or controlled by an “employer” are not even close to the numbers of those in bondage in a different, less obvious way. Those in this type of slavery outnumber the 30 million many times over. To make matters worse, those in this popular type of bondage often do not realize they have lost their freedoms!
The Bible has much to say about this type of oppression:
- There are two choices in this world. One can serve himself and one’s selfish desires, which are often sin and sometimes the devil’s destructive ploys or one can serve God. There are only these two choices, whether man recognizes it or not.
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon [the self-serving desires of our flesh].” Matthew 6:24 Also: Luke 16:13.
- Although sin is always an individual’s choice, it becomes “addictive” and leads to more iniquity. Soon sin controls one’s thoughts and is a demanding and controlling force in one’s life.
Lying and deceitfulness oftenlead to more lies and alienation from others as one becomes mistrusted. Bitterness , unforgiveness, resentment, and jealousy rob many of peace and good relationships. Drinking, drugs, pornography, and most sins never fulfill one’s lust and often lead to committing more iniquities in hopes that their cravings will be satisfied. Sexual sins ruin lives and families, wreck relationships but leave the committer with a feeling of loneliness and failure.
On and on goes the list of the consequences of sin. No one gets away without paying the horrible cost to one’s life because of sin. Iniquities leave one’s life changed and often physically damaged from its commission. Iniquity never does anything but rob and destroys what is good in one’s life. Its grasp robs one of joy and makes one a slave. The committer of sin is led by desires and loses freedoms.
- When one chooses to do his own thing and ignore the life God desires one to have, the person will not only reap the terrible consequence of sin but will alienate himself from God.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” I John 2:15
“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4
“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Gal. 1:10
- Jesus addressed a group of saved Jews and told them they could be free (John 8:31-32). The believers responded that they were not in bondage.
“They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?” John 8:33
Then Jesus pointed out to them that they were indeed slaves to the sins they had committed.
“Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” John 8:34
- Those given over to sin have no permanent desire to live a life that pleases the Lord.
“For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.” Rom. 6:20
- Trusting Christ’s payment for all our iniquities is the only way one can be free of sin’s control and from the ultimate price for committing them — the Lake of Fire!
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Rom. 8:2
- The choice is always up to the individual! One does not have to serve sin, although many choose to continue committing it. We have the liberty to do right.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Gal. 5:1
“For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.” I Cor. 7:22
- When free from the desire to sin, one should strive to live righteously. However, the longer one is involved in sin, the harder the battle will be against the temptations it will present. Halting sin can be changed to a lifestyle that is pleasing to God.
“Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” Rom. 6:18
“But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” Rom. 6:22
“Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.” Mat. 12:18
- One freed from the desire to sin has the opportunity to serve God freely, and in so doing, one should get their sights off themselves and desire to help others.
“And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.” Mark 10:44
- Although one may choose to serve God, it is servitude out of gratitude and love, not out of forced bondage. When one decides to surrender control of selfish desires and live the way God commands, one will have a life that is blessed and honored by God! God looks at his servant not as a bond slave but with special love — as a friend.
“Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” John 15:15
“If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” John 12:26
- Jesus, our example, was this type of servant also.
“But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:” Philippians 2:7
“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Mat. 25:21 Also: Mat. 25:23.
The most dangerous and ever-present threat to anyone, even a saved person, is the commission of sin. It always has a price tag that no one would ever dream would come when committing it.
The charge for getting involved in iniquity usually continues longer than anyone would ever want to pay. Its bill often comes due when the sin’s commission is forgotten, but there is always a payday for sin. No one avoids its cost.
When a believer sins, one can always go to the Father in prayer, seek forgiveness, and plead with God for strength not to commit the trespass again. The guilt may be gone, and one will not have to answer for the sin. However, its temptation will often appear again in one’s life and be a future difficulty one must battle to avoid.
All the good intentions and halting of sin’s commission will not remove sin’s payment. One must realize one is a sinner and trusts Christ’s death on the cross as the only payment God will recognize to cover one’s wrongdoings. When one does that and asks God to save him, the eternal wage for sin will be removed. You must be born again (John 3:3) to have the free pardon from all sin.
Do you realize that your sin is against what God desires for your life? Confess it to God. He knows about it already but wants you to humble yourself and admit it. Seek to live the way God commands in His Word, the Bible.
Obeying God and living the way He desires you to live will break the chains of sin that are keeping you in bondaget. You can be free. There is hope!
“The way to keep the heart quiet is to keep ourselves in the love of God and to do nothing to offend him.” — Henry
Sin is composed of naught but subtle wiles,
It fawns and flatters and betrays by smiles;
‘Tis like the panther, or the crocodile,
It seems to love, and promises no wile,
It hides the soul and hates when it vows most love.
It plays the tyrant most by gilded pills (unpleasant people),
It secretly ensnares the souls it kills.
Sin’s promises they all deceitful be,
Does promise wealth, but pays us poverty;
Does promise pleasure, but doth pay us sorrow;
Does promise life today; pays death tomorrow.
No thief so vile, nor treacherous as sin,
Whom fools do hug and have much pleasure in.
“Sin will keep you from the Bible. The Bible will keep you from sin.” — D. L. Moody