January 11 The Slavery That Frees

“In [Christ] we have redemption” (Eph. 1:7).

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Slavery to sin is bondage; slavery to God is freedom.

Freedom is a precious thing. People throughout history have prayed, fought, and even died for it. Our Declaration of Independence upholds it as one of our inalienable rights.

But the truth is, no matter what one’s political situation might be, everyone is a slave—either to sin or to God. Jesus said that “everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin” (John 8:34). Paul added that all of creation is in slavery to corruption (Rom. 8:21). However, believers have “been freed from sin and enslaved to God” (Rom. 6:22).

The Roman Empire had as many as twenty million slaves; slave trade was a major industry. For a slave to gain his or her freedom, a redemption price had to be paid. The Greek word for such a transaction is lutroō, which Paul uses in Ephesians 1:7 to speak of our “redemption” from sin’s bondage.

Slavery to sin is bondage; slavery to God is freedom. That sounds paradoxical, but God is the Sovereign King, and true freedom means having the ability to bend your will to His and thereby become all He created you to be. Even though you will fail at times, your greatest desire and highest pursuit as a believer is to be like Christ (1 John 2:5–6). Those enslaved to sin cannot do that, nor do they want to.

Today you will have many opportunities to demonstrate your submission to Christ. Let your attitudes and actions speak clearly of your love for the Master.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank the Lord that He is a faithful and just Master who always does what is best for His servants. ✧ A self-seeking slave is a contradiction in terms. Ask the Lord to guard you from thoughts and actions that are contrary to His will.

For Further Study: According to 1 Corinthians 4:1–2 what key characteristic is required of a servant of Christ? ✧ Read Matthew 24:42–51. How does Jesus describe a wise servant? ✧ Read Philippians 2:5–11. How did Jesus demonstrate the heart of a servant? What implications does His example have for your life?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 23). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

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