There is a story of two men from a two-dimensional world who visited our three-dimensional world. Both men saw a cylinder, but upon returning to their two-dimensional world, one said he saw a rectangle, and the other said he saw a circle.Which man was telling the truth? Both of them, it was only in their world their stories seemed to contradict.
Our freedom in Christ is an interesting paradox. In Christ, we enjoy simultaneous freedom and slavery. Consequently, true freedom in Christ has become one of the most misinterpreted teachings of the Christian life. The Bible teaches:
You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. – Romans 6:18
What does it mean to be freed from something to become a slave to something else? Martin Luther captured this paradox in his 1520 treatise ‘On Christian Liberty’ – “A Christian man is the most free lord of all, and subject to none; a Christian man is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to everyone.” In other words, we are free from all yet subject to all.
Before Christ redeemed us by His blood, we were slaves to our sinful nature. The Bible says that every sinner is a slave to sin.
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. – John 8:34
When Jesus saved us, he delivered us from the power of sin, But the paradox is, even though we are no longer slaves to sin, we are now slaves of righteousness. What does this mean in practical terms? Before Jesus saved us, the only thing we could do well was sin, and no matter how hard we tried to do otherwise, we found ourselves making the same mistakes over and over again. Previously, sin shaped us into its mold, but now the Holy Spirit is making us more like Jesus.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. – Romans 8:29
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. – 2 Corinthians 3:18
The word slave has a negative connotation, but the principle is, we are now under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The term slave is used to denote our utter reliance to a master. We are now called to live a life of total obedience to God, being transformed daily by His Spirit.
- How can you become more reliance on God?
- How does it make you feel to know that God is daily transforming you to become more like Jesus?
Lord Jesus, thank You for setting me free from the power and slavery of sin. Help me to walk in my new found freedom with the understanding that I am now a slave of righteousness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.