Slave or Free?
By Eli Stutzman
September 1, 2007
After the end of the civil war, all the slaves in the United States were set free by the thirteenth amendment. The ability to read was not as widespread as it is now and slaves in particular weren't able to pick up a newspaper and see that indeed they were no longer slaves. The news was spread mostly by word of mouth and the slave owners were not likely to try to convince their slaves that they were free. It was in their interest to try to convince them that they were still bound to their old owners so as to get as much free labor as possible. If a slave believed in his heart that he was still a slave, he would remain in bondage.
The law of the land changed and when a slave woke up the next morning he was a free person even though he didn't feel any different. While the law that bound him remained in effect, he could be punished if he tried to escape. Doubtless many were punished quite severely and would hesitate before attempting to escape again. But now the law was on their side. But one thing lacked; the full realization of what had happened kept some from exercising their freedom. Silently, an earthshaking event had occurred.
Any slave now had the law on his side when he wished to take advantage of his freedom. Hearing that freedom was at hand was not enough, the news needed to be acted upon to receive any benefit. Previously some slaves had fled to Canada, and when they set foot there, a new law that forbid slavery protected them as soon as they arrived. Law is so very important; we need to pay close attention.
A similar situation exists in our life that keeps us from understanding that we are set free from sin's bondage when we make Jesus Christ the Lord of our life. If I doubt the power of God's law to redeem my life, I will live as though I were not redeemed. I am therefore like a slave that has not taken advantage of the new law. But if I should decide to try my wings, I would find out that the old slave master is only bluster and can only intimidate me to the point that I allow him. In other words, he has no more real power over me. When I confessed I was a sinner, and called upon the name of the Lord, I came under the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Paul tells us in ROM 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. We are all under the law of freedom or the law of bondage.
God tells us in Romans 10:9 that if I would believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the son of God and confess him with my mouth, I shall be saved. The old master wants me to not believe this deep down in my heart. So like a slave that decides in his heart to put his trust in the new law, I decide to act as though I was a new creation. I meet with others that believe and tell them that Jesus is now my Lord. I tell them that I confessed my need and turned away from what controlled me before. The same word that told me of my need also said I was a new creation, now that I had decided to put off the old and put on the new man. How can this be, you say? I don't seem to feel like a new creature, I still have my old fears and doubts. But feelings do not always tell the truth. The real truth is deeper. It is bound in the new law of freedom that has just set me free. The same God who gave the Word that saves also says we are made new creatures in the image of Christ Jesus.
GALATIANS 5:1: Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Confess your need now. Even if you feel nothing has happened, Heaven takes notice. And that is what counts.
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