How we define freedom and liberation is always an abstract of our experience. For those repressed by a dictatorial form of government freedom might being able to vote for your government for the first time like we’ve seen in the Mideast in the last several years. To the young person stepping into their new apartment as they venture into their life as an adult, freedom is weighted with responsibility and while thrilling is a bit scary as they wonder what comes next. Every individual can draw a unique perspective of freedom from their life experience.
So when I come to you and declare there is ‘freedom in becoming a slave’ the hair on the back of your neck may bristle just a bit, but remember that this definition of freedom draws so much of it meaning from the context of our lives. So I’m going to make a statement here and then go on to explain the perspective from which we can abstract a definition of freedom so powerful and so relevant to our lives regardless of where we came from or where we ‘think’ we are going.
You can never live free until you have surrendered to a life of servitude to God!
You may have heard that everyone has a boss. As you step up the line from one boss to the next one it seems that everyone reports to someone. Ultimately even the world leaders report to someone even that dictator who rules with an iron fist all of his countrymen and women, they report to someone or some group in the final analysis. So we are never completely free regardless of our situation. We have someone or something that we are subject to.
In that light we can always retain the freedom to choose what/who we will be in authority over us. For the Christian that should always be to surrender and enter into servitude for our Lord and Savior constantly. Day and night, everything we do and say dedicate to the service of the Lord God.
Jesus made this abundantly clear as he was talking about this very topic with his disciples:
Mark 10:42-45 (NIRV)
Jesus called them together. He said, “You know about those who are rulers of the nations. They hold power over their people. Their high officials order them around. Don’t be like that. Instead, anyone who wants to be important among you must be your servant. And anyone who wants to be first must be the slave of everyone. Even the Son of Man did not come to be served. Instead, he came to serve others. He came to give his life as the price for setting many people free.”
Christ paid for us when he took our punishment for our sinful existence on himself on the cross. He paid the price for that sin in accordance with the law of God and by doing so, in accepting that sacrifice we are indentured forever to our Lord as his servants.
1 Corinthians 7:22-23 (NIRV)
Those who were slaves when the Lord chose them are now the Lord’s free people. Those who were free when God chose them are now slaves of Christ. Christ has paid the price for you. Don’t become slaves of human beings.
As we find ourselves in servitude to something or someone prior to our salvation, we are freed from those bondages in Christ’s gift of salvation. So though we were slaves to sin. Bound by the lure of this worlds treasures, when we in faith accept that payment Jesus made for our debt we become free in servitude to him who purchased our salvation.
So how as a slave of Christ do we want to view this freedom?
1 Corinthians 4:1 (NIRV)
Here is how you should think of us. We serve Christ. We are trusted with God’s secret truth.
It is our duty as servants to serve each other, serve our fellow man, and indeed serve our God by being the conduit for his love and truth to all. We are ‘trusted’ servants to Christ. He doesn’t expect to have to prompt us at every turn to speak his truth to the world, to demonstrate his love and compassion, to convey his ‘truth’. Jesus expect us as trusted servants to constantly be in servitude to this will. And if he was himself a servant by his own conscious determination, let us also determine that we will be a servant to those he would serve for in serving them we serve him!
Likewise when we neglect the needs of others we neglect our Lord.
Matthew 25:45 (NIRV)
“He will reply, ‘What I’m about to tell you is true. Anything you didn’t do for one of the least important of these, you didn’t do for me.’
So it is imperative on us to keep a constant vigil of those in need about us. Giving freely of our time, talent and words of encouragement and hope. Serving our Master by serving all those God places in our reach. Knowing that our servitude is the Christians’ definition of freedom in the Lord Jesus Christ. So that on that day that we stand before our master we hear “You have done well, good and faithful servant!”
Matthew 25:21 (NIRV)
“His master replied, ‘You have done well, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’