Monday, 28 July 2014
For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave. 1 Corinthians 7:22
In the previous verse, Paul said, “Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it…” That may seem uncaring about the plight of the slave unless one understands the freedom of those in Christ, even if they are in bondage to another human. In an exchange with the Jews of His time we read these words between Jesus and them in John 8 –
“‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’ 33 They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?'” 34 Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.'” John 8:31-36
The premise of the Bible is that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Because we are in our father, Adam, we inherited his sin. Further we eventually come to the age where we commit our own sin on top of the inherited sin in our lives. Because of this, we are in bondage to the devil, and he is a cruel and harsh taskmaster. But once in Christ, we have become free of the devil’s power. Thus, “he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman.”
Regardless of the burden of being bound to a human master, it is nothing in comparison to the freedom that is found in Christ. The earthly master may have temporary say over the earthly existence of the believer, but Christ has eternally set those in Him free from a much greater bondage. Building on that, Paul then says, “Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave.” In other words, we are all slaves in some way. Nobody is truly free to act in complete independence.
Therefore, in Christ the slave and the one who is free are actually on the same spiritual level. We are bound to His laws and the freedom that we have in Him is equally shared regardless of our fleeting time on earth. In this then, a sense of complete contentment should be shared by all. In Christ, we have all been freed from the power of Satan and we all are slaves of the One who created us, redeemed us, and has complete and eternal control over the endless future which lies before us.
Life application: If you feel the weight of day to day trudge and toil because of your work or because of those who are appointed over you in some way or another, let that not overly displease you. Rather, if you are in Christ, you are the freest of all beings. Whatever temporary displeasures you face will be erased for all eternity when you are glorified at His return.
Heavenly Father, I long for the day when Jesus returns for His people. The thought of no more grief, pain, toil, or sleepless nights is a wonderful hope which I can almost taste. Moment by moment I wait in antici…….pation for that wondrous sound when the trumpet blows and we are gathered to be with Him. May that fantastic moment be soon. Even so, come Lord Jesus. Amen.