Freedom or Slavery?

 

What kind of question is that? Choose freedom of course! But wait, what does the Bible say? Perhaps surprisingly the Bible has good and bad to say about each condition. How can that be? Letís take a look.

 

First, what does freedom mean? Most of us would agree it means free to choose. But it can also mean free from experiences we donít want. But what if we make bad choices? What if we need experience we donít want?

 

How about slavery? Most of us would probably first think of being under the total control of another person without our consent. On the other hand there is a form of slavery many people consent to, drug addiction for example. So we see see there are differing possibilities depending on context.

 

Now letís look at some Bible verses.

 

(Mat 20:25-28 NIV)Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. {26} Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, {27} and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-- {28} just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

*†† Reminds me of Sherryís, Backward Logic of God Bible Study.

(John 8:31-36 NIV)To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. {32} Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." {33} They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" {34} Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. {35} Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. {36} So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

*†† Truth will set you free, free from what? Sin, if you apply the truth..

(Acts 2:24 NIV)But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

*†† The author of freedom is God.

(Acts 7:9-10 NIV)"Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him {10} and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt; so he made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.

*†† The author of freedom is God.

(Rom 6:16-22 NIV)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. {19} I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. {20} When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. {21} What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! {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.

*†† Dedication is in our nature. What will you dedicate yourself to?

(Rom 8:15 NIV)For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."

*†† Can our fears enslave us. What else can enslave us?

(1 Cor 8:9 NIV)Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.

*†† With freedom comes responsibility.

(1 Cor 9:19 NIV)Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.

*†† So here freedom leads to slavery and itís not a bad thing.

(2 Cor 3:17 NIV)Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

*†† Can we be free even in chains?

(Gal 5:13-14 NIV)You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve one another in love. {14} The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

*†† Freedom can lead us to slavery if we abuse our freedom. Look at the world we live in and you can see ample proof.

(Col 3:11-12 NIV)Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. {12} Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

*†† Christ abolishes all distinctions that divide us.

(James 1:25 NIV)But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.

*†† So law gives freedom if it is perfect law and if it is obeyed.

(James 2:12 NIV)Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom,

*†† So law gives freedom if it is perfect law and if it is obeyed.

(1 Pet 2:16-17 NIV)Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. {17} Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

*†† Again we see how we can allow freedom to become the means of our enslavement.

(2 Pet 2:17-19 NIV)These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. {18} For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. {19} They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity--for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.

*†† Over and over again we see how men can take blessings and turn them into curses.

*†† Freedom comes from complete obedience to God. Which ironically sounds a lot like slavery. But in fact it is simply a matter of making good choices.

*†† The choice is not really between Freedom and Slavery. It is between good and evil. It is between God and Satan.

*†† Choose well, choose life, chose Christ. Choose freedom by a slavish devotion to God.