“But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life.” Romans 6:22
Slavery is not a concept that peaks the interest of too many people. In fact, it repels most. Our country still suffers the indignity of “slavery” and its consequences even to this day.
At the time Paul was writing to the church in Rome, it would have been no different. It’s true, the OT concept of slavery was much kinder that what we would think of, but the Roman’s idea of slavery was not kind at all. It is hard to think that his readers would have had an immediate flash back to Old Testament tradition without first passing through their present cultural conditions. So why use that term at all?
Does it make a difference that the term may mean “bond servant”. This is a slave who once gaining their freedom, chooses voluntarily to stay with their “master” and serve him for the remainder their lifetime. As a bond servant they will be kept by the master, own no land and earn no wages. In order to signify this new relationship, the slave has an awl driven through their ear lobe. (Exodus 21:6)
According to the ISBE, there is no historical recording of any one actually choosing this option for their life. Now I don’t know if that’s accurate or not, but I can believe that to be true. No one willingly chooses to be another man’s slave – for life! Or do they?
Paul says that is exactly what we do in our relationship to Christ. We are “freed from sin” and the become “enslaved to God”. It is no easy matter. It truly means self must step aside. That the LORD must truly be lord and master. My pride takes a pretty big hit on that one —- everyday.
Father, there is no easy way to step aside when it comes to my pride. No magic formula. It has to be a conscious choice every day. And I struggle with that. Help me keep in mind the Master that I serve loves me beyond measure – His yoke is easy and his burden is light.