Set Free!

Mitch Cariaga

“But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin… you have been set free…!” Romans 6:17-18

I have a good friend named Buddy who works as a driver for a wealthy family.  Buddy gets up every day at 3:30 in the morning to be at work by 4:30 a.m.  As soon as he arrives at work, he washes the cars of his employer to get them ready for the day’s activities.  Then throughout the day, he drives the family to any of their work or personal related events.  He usually arrives home between 8-10 p.m.  He goes to bed immediately so he can get up at 3:30 a.m. to start the next day of work.

Buddy works 28 of the 30 days in the month, getting off only 2 Sundays for church.  For his work, the wealthy family pays Buddy $162.00 per month.  This does not include a food allowance.  Buddy has to bring his own food to eat. This is the only pay that Buddy gets to take care of his family consisting of his wife and 3 children.  Buddy is glad he has a job.

At dinner time recently, I told my children the story of Buddy.  They were shocked.  One of them exclaimed, “This is modern day slavery!”  I said, “No, it’s mistreatment, but not slavery.”

I think that it’s common in our culture to mistake mistreatment for slavery.  Mistreatment might be shocking to our conscience, but it’s nothing like the horrors of slavery.  Even under the best conditions of slavery, a person is not free. The slave is bound, shackled, and held against his human desire and natural right to be free.  The mistreated person can walk away.  The slave is not given that option.

The distinction between mistreatment and slavery is an important one in our spiritual lives.  Sin does not just mistreat us, it enslaves us.  Sin becomes our master and we become its slave.

This is where the good news of Jesus meets the chains of our sin.  Jesus has never met a slave that He hasn’t been able to set free.

How does He set us free?  It’s simple.  He purchased our freedom.  That’s the economics of slavery.  There’s always a price that the slave master will take for our freedom.  In our case, the price was a life for a life.  Jesus gave his life for our freedom.

So, today the choice is ours.  The price has been paid, the exchange has been made.  Now we must decide.  Do we want to remain under the domination of our old slave master, or do we want to walk out of our old life a free man? Too many today are choosing to remain in slavery.  Too many choose prison over freedom.  The choice is ours to make.

“But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have been set free!” Romans 6:17-18

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