“Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey—whether of sin unto death or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin, but have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you, being then made free from sin, you became servants of righteousness.”
If repentance is a “turning from” and a “turning to,” real redemption is a “being freed from” and “surrendered to.”
When it comes down to it, the real question in life is “Whose slave am I?” That’s really what Paul’s asking in today’s Manna, for the Greek word “doulos” is used here for “servant” and basically means “slave (voluntary or involuntary), bond-servant, to be bound, tied to, etc.”
Now, we know that we are slaves to Self and sin by nature, always fulfilling “the lust of the flesh, eyes and pride of life” (I Jn. 2:16). Our theme song is “I Did It My Way” and we resist every attempt to enslave us to anything or anyone else.
Yet, without realizing it, yielding to our natural, sinful desires makes us a slave to them. That’s why a person who’s “hooked” on drink, drugs, pornography, etc., or obsessed with greed, power, popularity, possessions, etc., is basically controlled by them, even though those things are inanimate and have no will of their own. It’s simply a fulfillment of “being drawn away by our own lust and enticed—and when that lust has conceived, it brings forth sin, which ends up bringing forth death” (James 1:14-15).
Likewise, the real “slave-driver” behind the scenes is the devil himself, who has “blinded the minds of them who believe not” (II Cor. 4:4) and has “ensnared them and taken them captive at his will” (II Tim. 2:26). That’s why they cannot just up and quit, continuing instead to act like the “pig that returns to its wallow and the dog to its vomit” (Prov. 26:11; II Pet. 2:22).
They’re powerless to change—UNLESS/UNTIL Jesus, the “Stronger One” comes in, “binds the sin-master, spoils his house and sets the captive free” (Mt. 12:29). And, dear Pilgrim, that’s exactly what Jesus came to do (Is. 61:1-3; Jn. 8:36). Hallelujah!!
Truly, He specializes in “soul-liberation” and helps us to “obey Him from the heart and become willing slaves to the Savior.” Glory!! Thus, true conversion is living with a new Master, motive and mission. The Lord Jesus is our Master. His Love is our motive. And, doing His Will is our mission (Mt. 28:18-20; II Cor. 5:17-21).
Why not pause right now and spend a few minutes thanking the Heavenly Father for setting you free from sin, Self and satan? Ask Him to reveal any “strongholds of sin” in your life and then to help you in destroying them (Ps. 139:23-24; II Cor. 10:3-5)? While none of us will be totally free of them in this life, we should be striving to that end (Rom. 7:7-8:1; Phil. 3:10-14). And, we should also be helping others know how they can also be free.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated November 16, 2010