Noth­ing wrong with be­ing a ‘Slave of Christ’

The Covington News - - OBITUARIES - Andy Butts was born and raised in New­ton County. He is the youth pas­tor at Jour­ney Church in Ox­ford, GA. He loves God, his wife, his chil­dren, food, Ethiopia, and Star Wars.

In my last col­umn I wrote about my friend that was re­think­ing his faith. He took a long look at con­vert­ing to Is­lam. Through his jour­ney, God has taught me many lessons. The one les­son that stands out the most is be­ing a slave. I know. That is an emo­tion­filled word. There is a lot that comes with that word; hate, anger, guilt, re­morse and more.

The New Tes­ta­ment refers to be­liev­ers as slaves a num­ber of times. Eph­e­sians 6:5-6 says, “Slaves, be obe­di­ent to those who are your mas­ters ac­cord­ing to the flesh, with fear and trem­bling, in the sin­cer­ity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eye­ser­vice, as men­pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, do­ing the will of God from the heart.” 1 Peter 2:16 tells us, “Act as free men, and [a]do not use your free­dom as a cov­er­ing for evil, but use it as bond­slaves of God.”

Aren’t we also re­ferred to as chil­dren of God, Andy? Yes, we are chil­dren of God, but we are also slave to him. Dic­tionary.com de­fines a slave as, “a per­son who is the property of and wholly sub­ject to another; a bond ser­vant.” Some of us au­to­mat­i­cally re­sponded to this say­ing, “I am not any­one’s property!” I had that ex­act thought when I heard this.

Slaves are property. Peo­ple are still sold and pur­chased for a price all over the world. This is a ma­jor prob­lem in the world and we as the Church should be do­ing much more to end slav­ery, but that is a dif­fer­ent ar­ti­cle for a dif­fer­ent day.

If you con­sider your­self a fol­lower of Christ then YOU ARE A SLAVE. We were bought for a price. That price was Christ’s blood. Je­sus paid our debt in full and if you call your­self his fol­lower then you are a slave to him. Je­sus was a ser­vant dur­ing his time here on Earth. He came here to serve, not be served. Matthew 20:26-28 tells us, “It shall not be so among you. But who­ever would be great among you must be your ser­vant, and who­ever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ran­som for many.”

Chris­tians as a whole need to ac­cept this way of think­ing. We love be­ing told that we are “Chil­dren of God” but our feel­ings get hurt when we are told we need to be “Slaves of Christ”. Many of us have be­come spoiled brats when it comes to serv­ing our King and His King­dom. We want all of the perks and none of the work. We need to get our hands dirty. Some of us don’t look at it as our job to serve oth­ers. It is our job. As slaves of Christ we are called to serve.

Ro­mans 8:16-17 says, “The Spirit him­self bears wit­ness with our spirit that we are chil­dren of God, and if chil­dren, then heirs — heirs of God and fel­low heirs with Christ, pro­vided we suf­fer with him in or­der that we may also be glori- fied with him.” We are God’s chil­dren, but we are also his slaves. What a beau­ti­ful pic­ture of re­demp­tion; that a King makes his slaves his chil­dren.

John Wes­ley once said, “One of the prin­ci­pal rules of re­li­gion is, to lose no oc­ca­sion of serv­ing God. And, since he is in­vis­i­ble to our eyes, we are to serve him in our neigh­bour; which he re­ceives as if done to him­self in per­son, stand­ing vis­i­bly be­fore us.”

Let us serve our neigh­bors and in do­ing so, let us serve our King.

ANDY BUTTS COLUM­NIST

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