Slavery Good and Bad

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : Romans 6:15-23

But now . . . you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God. (v. 22, NIV)

We have a deep revulsion against the notion of slavery. Realizing the atrocities that took place in centuries past to African slaves brought to America, our human hearts rightly say, “Never again!”

The essence of slavery, of course, is to be owned by someone else, so that you have to obey whatever your master says. Paul insists that for Christians, Christ has become our Master; thus, he draws the correct conclusion that we have become his slaves. Many of his letters begin, “Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ . . .”

But this slavery is a good slavery—because our Master loves us deeply. In fact, he loves us so much that rather than use the lives of his slaves for his pleasure or convenience, he gave his own life for us. Now the only thing that he wants from us is that we live for him in righteousness and holiness.

Living that way is indeed possible, because the “benefit we reap” from believing in Jesus is the ability to live in holiness, “and the result is eternal life” (v. 22). Rejoice! In Christ you have been set free from sin so you can become a slave of God!


Dear Jesus, I accept you as my Master. Help me to serve you in righteousness. Amen.