Tag: Slave

Slaves of Righteousness

John MacArthurby John MacArthur

“But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:17-18).

True freedom comes from being a servant of Jesus Christ.

I once knew a man who, though intellectually convinced that the gospel was true, balked at committing his life to Jesus Christ. When I asked him why, he replied, “Because I don’t want to give up my freedom.” He understood clearly that genuine saving faith requires submission to Christ’s lordship. But he was tragically deceived in thinking that non-Christians are free—they aren’t. Unbelievers are slaves to sin (John 8:34). Only Christians have true freedom (John 8:31-32)—the freedom not to sin.

Paul reminded the Roman Christians that before they were saved, they ”were slaves of sin.” The apostle’s use of the imperfect tense indicates that the Romans, like all unbelievers, had been in a continual state of slavery to sin. Every human ever born—since Adam and Eve plunged the human race into sin—has been born enslaved to sin—except of course, for Christ.

When a person comes to faith in Christ, he or she becomes “obedient from the heart” to the Lord Jesus Christ. A Christian’s initial act of obedience, repenting and believing the gospel message (Mark 1:15), is the first step in a lifelong path of obedience. In the words of the apostle Peter, Christians are those who “have in obedience to the truth purified [their] souls” (1 Peter 1:22).

Paradoxically, it’s only those who have made themselves servants of Jesus Christ who are truly free. They alone are free to do what is right; even unbelievers’ “good deeds” are sinful, since they aren’t done to glorify God. Christian liberty is not the freedom to choose to sin, but the freedom to choose not to.

Renew today your commitment to be an obedient servant of God, knowing that “you are not your own. For you have been bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

by John MacArthur

Christ as a Servant

John MacArthurby John MacArthur

“Taking the form of a bond-servant” (Philippians 2:7).

Christ submitted Himself to the Father’s will.

When Christ emptied Himself, He not only gave up His privileges but also became a servant.

First, He was a servant by nature. Paul used the Greek word morphe (“form”) again to indicate that Christ’s servanthood was not merely external but His essence. It was not like a cloak that could be put on and taken off. Christ was truly a servant. The only other New Testament use of morphe is in Mark 16:12. There Jesus appears in a resurrection morphe—a form fully expressing the nature of a resurrection body. In Philippians 2 Christ is shown as a true bond-servant, doing the will of the Father. He submitted to the Father and to the needs of men as well. Jesus was everything that Isaiah 52:13-14 depicted—a Messiah who was a servant.

Second, Christ was a servant by position. As God, Christ owns everything. But when He came into this world, He borrowed everything: a place to be born, a place to lay His head, a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee and preach from, an animal to ride into the city when He was triumphantly welcomed as King of kings and Lord of lords, and a tomb to be buried in. The only Person ever to live on this earth who had the right to all its pleasures instead wound up with nothing and became a servant. Although He was the rightful heir to David’s throne and God in human flesh, He had no advantages or privileges in this world. He owned little but served everyone.

Christ, the perfect servant, said to His disciples, “Whoever wishes to become first among you shall be your slave” (Matt. 20:27). What about you? Are you seeking greatness by wanting others to serve you, or are you being truly great by serving God and others? Make it your ambition to be a true servant.

by John MacArthur