From Slavery to Slavery
All men are slaves, but not everyone is a slave to the same slave master. When God created man in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were spiritually free. They knew God. They did what was right in God’s eyes. They were very good and pleasing to God.
As creatures, Adam and Eve were not in the best place, even though it was Paradise on earth. The potential for them to sin posed a very real threat to their God-provided status. The rest of their story is the beginning of the history of man’s existence, as a slave in a world of sin (Gen 3).
Moral corruption, coupled with ethical corruption, was the new way of life for Adam’s progeny. His inheritance, bequeathed to his offspring, was sin nature. The inclination to lawless rebellion, against God and His holy Law, is embedded in every conception. Even aborted babies die with inherited sin (Ps 51:5). This, in spite of the chagrin expressed by the inventors of the age of accountability, denies all men the status of “innocent,” regardless of age. God treats all of humanity, as one, under the federal headship of Adam.
As a slave to sin and Satan, man does absolutely no good, in the assessment of Almighty God (Rom 3:12). Man’s motive is always self-centered lust, and his works are filthy rags (Is 64:6). His ambition is to gain more of the world, in order to have his best life now (Mk 8:36). In his relentless lawlessness, man is positioned at utter enmity with the righteous God (Eph 2:16). Man is also incessantly striving with his neighbor. He lusts, but he fails, and so he lies, cheats, and steals.
Man in sin has no will for God. He imagines that God is just like him. God is just another competitor to be cursed at, in man’s self-designed rise to the status of king of the mountain. Man does not and cannot seek after God (Rom 3:9–18). With no will nor ability, man stews with his sin nature, deviant will, and filthy works, as he awaits the righteous judgment to follow his death (Heb 9:27). For death is his reward for his sins against the infinite majesty of God. There is no hope for man, without God, in the world (Eph 2:12). His slavery only worsens in the eternal fire of hell. Woe is man!
“But God…” are some of the sweetest words in holy writ. In the eternal counsel and purpose of God (Eph 3:11), He ordained some to eternal life by choosing them as an elect people entrusted to Christ, the Son of God, before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4–5). Jesus Christ came into the world to set His captive people free from enslavement to sin and bondage to Satan (Is 61:1; Lk 4:18). He has paid their ransom price to God’s Law (Jer 31:11, Mt 20:28), which justly kept them incarcerated in the domain of darkness (Col 1:13).
From slavery to sin (Jn 8:34), God’s beloved church, the Israel of God, has become the slave of Christ (Rom 6:6; Eph 6:6). How different is this slavery of love, in contrast to the mass human trafficking of man’s wicked abuser.
The slave of Christ is loved with His everlasting love (Jer 31:3). She is set free to love the One who demonstrated love toward her (Rom 5:8), in dying on the cross for her (Eph 5:25). The Spirit given to her loves submission to Christ. Thus, she chooses good, in faith, to please the Lover of her soul (Heb 11:6). She is a slave to Love, for God is love, and Christ is God, incarnate and glorified.
God in Christ is to be praised, in Spirit and truth, for so great a salvation, willed by Him, worked by Him, for His glory, alone (Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rev 19:1). Christ has delivered us from wretched slavery unto the glory of being a people of God’s own possession (1 Pet 2:9). From slavery to slavery we have come, and for which we bear witness, “He came to set me free, and for this act of love, I am His, forever.”
Spokane Valley, Washington
September 9, 2021