Christians in American LOVE talking about Freedom and Slavery. For one reason or another we tend towards themes of bondage breaking, “freedom to captives,” and so on. And yet, for all that we are very happy to discuss freeing ourselves from the evils of this world and the domination of our own flesh, the conversation seems to stop there.
You ever notice that?
“Father, free this man from the oppression of his lust, from the chains of depression that weigh him down.” But then what? It is a great failing of the culture of the United States that we assume, or maybe it’s just me, that people need help to be free, but once they get over that, they can handle themselves. Good ol’ Horatio Alger still tell us that we can pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and get on with ourselves. I mean we’re free to make mistakes as we are to prosper right?
And to some degree there is a strong biblical backing for this position. In Galatians 4 Paul says that we are Redeemed by the law, where the word redeemed is actually a very specific Greek word from the slave trade that means “bought for the expressed purpose of being set free.”
But let me tell you something else the Scripture says about those of us who have been delivered from this old life.
- “You belong to Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:23
- “A person should consider us this way: as servants of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 4:1
- “Don’t you know your body is a sanctuary for the Holy Spirit…? You are not your own, for you were bought for a price.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
- “Therefore, submit to God.” James 4:7
- “Having been liberated from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness.” Romans 6:18
It’s really easy to stop doing something. The mark of Christian is not in the things that he or she has stopped doing. There are recovering alcoholics who are atheists, and there are reformed prisoners who are Muslim. The mark of a Christian is in those things that she or he has STARTED doing. The mark of a Christian is in submission to Christ and serving Him. As Christians, we are not free to do as we please but simply free to better serve our Lord and Savior. We have been freed from an evil master so that we may serve a righteous one.
Therefore, submit to God.