In the greatest days of the Roman Empire, there were five slaves to every three citizens. The world of that time lived by the laws of slavery. The sheer degradation suffered by the men, women and children who were treated as goods and wares to be sold and bought by Romans cannot be even imagined by modern civilized people.
Romans were a pitiless people and slavery was big business. The majority of the economy was based on the slave trade. The people of Paul’s time understood the concept of being bought. They fully understood that the slave had no personal autonomy. He was the chattel or property of the one who had purchased him.
When Paul used the ownership of slaves as a metaphor of how we are purchased by our Lord, the people of his day fully understood him. He wrote to the Corinthian church, “You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price.” (1 Cor. 7:19-20) Paul is teaching that with His own blood Jesus has bought us from the slave markets of sin.
“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)
When we were still sinners, Christ died to buy us back from sin. Because he bought or redeemed us from sin, we belong to Him not to ourselves.
Unlike slave owners, Jesus did not redeem us to keep us in bondage. His purpose in redeeming us is to give us freedom. So as souls bought back from sin’s slave market, we do not serve Him in fear and bondage but in the liberty and freedom of the Spirit.
We serve Him not just because He bought us and made us His own. We serve Him because He bought us and set us free giving us the choice to serve him in love and gratitude for His salvation.
www.firstagcc.org. Write the Pastor at PastorBill@firstagcc.org.