In our lives everyone will fall a slave to something. The question is, what have you become a slave to, or more appropriately, what has enslaved you? Have you become a slave to your career? To your money, drugs, or sex? What about the things that aren’t so obvious, the things that go on in your mind? Have you become enslaved to movies, fast cars, beautiful women? Whatever form of slavery you find yourself in, one thing can be sure, if you are not a slave for Christ, then you’re a slave to this world. Many of us either know someone personally or have heard of someone who was actually a part of american slavery. Our society shines a bright light on breaking free from slavery and places it on a “freedom” we think has value in it. Our freedoms sometimes condemn us without us believing it to be true. I want to present a different idea of slavery and let you decide for yourself those things to which you are enslaved.
The Term slave can be defined as; one who gives himself up to another’s will or men devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests. That’s exactly what a slave does, he does not have his own agenda, his own will, rights, or actions. He gives himself completely to the will of another so that in doing so the slave may please the master. Some do it out of respect and utter submission while others do it out of fear of consequences. The latter do so under the scrutiny and dictatorship of a master who is ultimately wicked, the former do so knowing that in please their master they will receive a just reward and will regain their joy in doing the will of someone greater than themselves.
There is a word used 120 times in the New Testament that has been translated as the word slave. The word for slave in Greek is Doulos, pronounced doo-loss. Many times this word is used to actually describe the scene of slavery, in some passages it’s designed to paint a picture that we are slaves to something, more often than not, the NT portrays that we are slaves to sin. Paul uses this term, Doulos, to introduce himself to the readers of his letters(Rom 1:1, Titus 1:1), he uses it of Timothy, his pastoral trainee (Phil 1:1), and he uses it to tell of Epaphras who has helped him tremendously in the work of the Gospel (Col 4:12). Jesus uses the term slave to describe the relation of a slave being lower than his master (John 13:16), to describe that this body of flesh is a slave to sin (John 8:34), and to tell us that if we endure to the end we will, as slaves, receive our reward (Matthew 25:21)
I believe some translations of the Bible simply place an incorrect word in place of slave. For example many of the modern translations will bear the word servant instead of slave. Some translations place the word bond-servant, which is by far closer in meaning but still a ways off from the intended meaning set for by the writers. The term servant indicates that payment is being made and the servant may quit at any given time. The servant is not completely given over to the will of another, nor can he be. Only one who gives up his rights and seeks to take on an alien will other than his own can be a slave.
So I ask you again, what has enslaved you? Has the sin in your life taken over become the master which you serve? Trust in Christ as the faithful master who he says he is and lean onto these words of Jesus. “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).