Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Gordan Runyan
Religion columnist 

Christians should defend freedom

 

July 4, 2018



1 Corinthians 7:23 says, “You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants [or, slaves] of men.”

The first half refers to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, where the price He paid was His life, offered voluntarily on the rough-hewn wood of a Roman cross, to buy sinners out of their bondage to things like sin, death, and Hell. The concept of rescuing them by purchasing them goes back to provisions made in the Old Testament law, by which a family member could “buy back” what his relative had lost.

A man could lose his land, for instance, through foolish business dealings. He might even lose his freedom, having been reduced the level of selling himself into slavery to pay his debts. In this sorry state, a wealthier relative was allowed to come in and pay for what was lost. This concept has given us the word, “redemption.” To redeem means to buy back. The family benefactor came to be known as the Kinsman Redeemer.

Paul applies that imagery to you. Christ has redeemed you, paying not with perishable things like gold and silver, but with His blood. (1 Peter 1:18-19)

As today is the 4th of July, let's also consider the second half of our text. It is highly relevant. Do not become slaves of men. The concept is, since the Lord has purchased your freedom, protect that.

In the preceding verses, the apostle teaches a vital, and maybe surprising, concept. That is, on some level, slavery is inescapable concept for each of us. The question is not really about slavery vs. freedom. The only question is, “Who is your master?”

Bob Dylan had it right. You've got to serve somebody. It may be the devil, or it may be the Lord.

We are surrounded by people who enjoy political freedom and yet are slaves in horrific ways to any number of cruel masters, like drugs, drunkenness, sexual sins of various kinds, greed, hopelessness, etc. There is spiritual slavery, as well as physical slavery. The good news is that Christ paid to purchase your freedom-from both.

Many modern Christians are happy to proclaim spiritual freedom as a benefit of the gospel of Jesus, and then stop there. They will not touch the encroachment of political/governmental slavery with a ten foot shepherd's staff.

Today is a day to be thankful to God that the founders of this nation were not that short-sighted. They took verses like 1 Corinthians 7:23 to heart, and realized it meant they had instructions to guard their liberty, and to pass that on to the next generation.

No one has the right to bring you into either spiritual or political bondage. Many villains try to enslave you, and they will all answer to God for that. Nevertheless, who is responsible for your freedom? That's on you.

The Word of God is the authoritative guide that allows you to draw a line in the sand; stare down tyrants of every stripe; and say, “Thus far and no further may you go!”

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

Gordan Runyan is the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Tucumcari. Contact him at:

[email protected]

 
 

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