(Article for publication week of 1-30- AD 2013)
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:32). It is a wonderful thing to enjoy political and civil liberty. To live in a commonwealth where we have some liberties in our homes, properties, and churches is a wonderful thing. To have freedom of speech and freedom of assembly is wonderful indeed. To have the liberty to keep and bear arms that helps keep our other liberties is a great blessing. But if you have all these liberties, and have not Christ, you are in reality a slave of the very worst kind.
To be a slave of sin is the worst of all slavery. The Apostle Paul was inspired to write in Romans 6:20, “when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.” Now that is slavery of the worst kind. To be enslaved by your lusts; to be enslaved by dope or liquor; to be enslaved by your awful pride; to be enslaved by envy; to be enslaved by a terrible temper; to be enslaved by laziness; these are indeed awful masters. And just as bad, is to be enslaved by self righteousness so you do not see your need of a Saviour.
You see sin is a terrible kind of slavery. Most of you are in this kind of slavery. Though you think you have your freedom, you are a slave to your sin nature, the world and the Devil.
A political slave may perhaps have hope the political system may change. A domestic slave may have hope that his master will look kindly and find him worthy of emancipation. A prisoner in jail has hope of an end of his sentence, or perhaps a pardon from the governor. But a slave of sin is without hope in this world, or the world to come. And one of the worst aspects of sin slavery is that you do not even realise you are in slavery, nor do you even desire to be free from it. You prefer to live in sin and/or self-righteousness, vainly imagining you are “free”.
Oh! But here is a glorious declaration from the lips of Christ Himself! If Christ, the Eternal and Coequal Son of God shall make you free, you will have true freedom. When the saving work of Christ is applied to a poor sinner, then that sinner is set free indeed. The emancipated sinner is freed form the bondage of sin and becomes free to live a holy life. He is free to love and follow Christ. He is free to serve a better Master. He is free to worship God in Spirit and in Truth through the Mediation of Christ. He is eternally free and can never be re-enslaved.
Why don’t you cry out to the Great Emancipator right now and beg Him to have mercy on your enslaved soul and set you free. He is very pitiable towards such as yourself. He is full of truth and grace. He has mercy on poor sin slaves. He sets slaves free!
Now I want to say a word to Christians before I close. It looks like the days of civil and political liberty in our country may soon come to an end. Our nation is under the judgment of God. Now dear brethren, don’t fret. No tyrant can take away your liberty in Christ, and that is far more important. He who is free in Christ is truly free. And he who is without Christ is an abject slave unless he is freed by Christ the Great emancipator.
(I give credit for the title chosen for this week’s article to Brother Gilbert Barr from Simmsport, Louisiana who I heard preach from this text and gave his message a similar title.)