Q5: Why Do Some Christians Believe That They Are “No Longer Slaves”?

Why do some Christians believe that they are “no longer slaves”?

Maybe it is our frenzied, fast-food, convenience-driven world or maybe just a little bit too much self-entitlement, but I’ve noted a trend since I’ve returned to church of “we are no longer slaves”.  I feel that this subject of self-entitlement and “identity” is one that I’ll have to spend a few blogs on, but I want to concentrate on the idea of “no longer slaves” today.

While it is true that once we accept Christ, we are no longer “slaves to sin”, it is written more than once that we are still “slaves”… slaves to obedience, and slaves to righteousness.  Paul calls himself a “slave to Christ” in Romans 1:1.  Many try to say that Paul meant a “servant”, but the Greek word “doulos” literally translates to “a male slave”.  So, why are so many Christians on this strange high in worship and in life talking about no longer being a slave?

Scriptural references:

Romans 6:15-23 – 

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord.

They are getting “no longer slaves” from Galatians 4:

7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

But Paul goes on in Galatians 5:16-18 to say this:

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 
17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 
Really what Paul is getting at is that we are accountable to the Holy Spirit and to each other to do what is righteous.  To be a “slave to righteousness” is easy as long as we follow what the Holy Spirit tells us.  Paul called himself a “slave to Christ”, because he knew that nothing within himself was worthy of the calling, but all of the good that came from him came from Jesus Christ.  As soon as we sin, we are slaves to that sin, until we repent.  But if we submit to the Spirit of Righteousness, that is where we will find His freedom, because of grace.
Why do I even bother contradicting this doctrine?  Because that is how God made me, and has called me to do- to try to find the truth in a situation.  I won’t always get it right, but I study in order to attempt to find it.  I try to obey what He tells me to do.   I’m His slave, willing to trust Him, and do His will.  And none of it has to do with Erisa Rei Kopp, but Him.

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