Romans Devotional (Romans 1:1) – The Joy of Being a Slave Part 2

The joy of being a slave

Romans 1:1
Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God…

My last post (which you should read first if you haven’t) started asking “what does it mean to be a slave of Jesus”. First though, we had to contrast what it means to be a slave of sin, and it’s a pretty miserable thing. Sin is a terrible master. It controls us and compels us to all sorts of evil, and we can’t stop it on our own.
Now though, I want to look at what it means to be a slave of Jesus. And, just as in my last post, I’ll look at through 3 different points…
1. You belong to someone else, you are not your own.
2.You are not in ultimate control of yourself, someone else is, and…
3.You MUST serve your master.

So what does it mean to be a slave of Jesus?

1. You belong to Christ, you are not your own (1 Cor 7:23).
Already you see the joy here don’t you? See, when we were lost we looked at “belonging to Christ” as a burden, because we thought that we were already free, but the truth is we weren’t, we were under terrible slavery to a terrible master. We’d been deceived by sin into thinking that we to be a slave of Jesus would be tons worse than floating around in the world, lost and without anyone who would call you “their own.” But praise God that He opened your eyes to the truth! I love what 1 Cor 7:23 says… “You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.” That verse tells us that we were purchased, how wonderful is that! Think about it, Romans 6:23 says that the “wages” of sin is death. When we are slaves to sin, we get paid, but payday happens when God says “depart from me, I never knew you.” It goes on though to call salvation a gift, but that verse is only part of the truth. See, our salvation wasn’t simply a gift, because someone still had to pay for it. We were purchased…at a terrible price…the life of Christ. See, the wages of sin is death, but eternal life requires payment also. Our wages for eternal life were earned by another though, they were earned by Jesus! He used His wages to “pay” for us. He paid our sin debt for us with the credit of perfect righteousness that He’d earned during His time here on earth! Think about that….we’ve been “bought with a price!”
Have you ever seen a movie where someone “purchased” a slave? They usually are already the property of a different slave owner, and then they are transferred after payment has been made. That’s what Jesus did! We were already slaves to sin, but Jesus, an infinitely more wonderful master, paid for us, and transferred us into His care, His loving, caring, merciful, gracious, righteous care. Isn’t it wonderful to know that you are not your own?

2. You are not in ultimate control of yourself, God is.
This doesn’t always sit well with people, because, as I said earlier, they’ve been deceived by sin into thinking that they have a will that is free to do anything, but they don’t see that they were enslaved by sin, bound by it’s desires and wishes. They also don’t see though, that simply “not being a slave to sin” isn’t enough. They don’t see that the most wonderful thing God could do for us is to make us subject to His desires and wishes. They don’t see that for God to bind us to His will is truly the best thing that could happen to us, but that’s because they still don’t see that God’s desires are ultimately the best! Now, please don’t think that I’m saying, in either case, that we don’t “do what we want to do”, I’m just saying that what we want to do is determined by our master, either by sin, through wickedness and addiction, or by Christ, through His Spirit working inside us to make us more holy. The Bible of course tells us to “work out” our “salvation walk”, but it goes on to say that they only reason we can do that is because “it’s God who’s at work within” us (Phil 2:12-13).

3. You MUST serve your master.
When we contrast the way in which sin coerces us to do it’s evil will, with the way that Christ compels us to do His perfect will, it’s like night and day, but the truth is the same…we are still compelled and controlled by Christ.
In Matthew 7, Jesus teaches us that if we are His, then we WILL produce good fruit. It’s not an option…well how could Jesus say that? If we still have sinful desires sometimes, and we even fall back into sin for periods of time, how could Jesus say without a doubt that His slaves WILL produce good, Godly fruit? He could only say it if He could guarantee that it would happen…and He can, and He does, through the Holy Spirit! See, when we are Christ’s slaves, then the Holy Spirit works inside us to produce fruit. As a matter of fact, it’s even called “the fruit of the Spirit!” Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are the fruits that Jesus is guaranteeing will be present in us!
Think about it, when God saved you, didn’t your desires begin to change? Didn’t you want to please Him? Didn’t you find yourself being more loving toward your neighbor? Of course you did, because it’s God who’s at work inside of you!
Praise God that He guarantees fruit in that which He plants!

I hope this encourages you. If you are a christian, then surely it does. It makes me so thankful that I can look back at my life, and see fruit, and know that the reason is because the Holy Spirit is working inside me. He’s working in me so much that I MUST serve my master!

So, in conclusion, I agree with Paul, I’m proud to be a slave of Christ! I’m eternally thankful that He purchased me from the wicked master that I used to be bound to. I am daily reminded that I can’t be “fruitful” without the Spirit’s help, and I’m comforted that He compels me to desire Him. I’m comforted to know that, simply the fact that I love Him, is because He’s shifted my desires more and more toward Him with each and every year that I’ve known Him as my Master, and I hope you are to!

I encourage you to spend some time thinking on your former life. To contrast the way that sin enslaved you, with the way that your new Master loves and cares for you, and shows you, and even produces in you, His good and perfect desires. Thank Christ for taking your “wages” and instead giving you His, and thank Him for being a good Master, Savior and Lord!

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