You Are Not Your Own

If I was to ask you how you would describe your relationship with God what words would you use? Loving? Graceful? Beautiful? Strong? Great communion? Distant? Last week I answered the question of, if we are to serve God. The bible clearly teaches that we are to do so. Now I am going to answer the “Why?” of service. Why should we serve Him? We are busy, aren’t we? You go to church, give in the plate and read your bible when you can. Isn’t that enough? God doesn’t need me! He is all powerful, all knowing and is everywhere, so why does he need us? He’s not even restricted by time! It is true that God doesn’t need us, but that doesn’t mean we do not need to serve Him .There are actually three answers to “Why serve God?”; we are not our own, loving others and loving Him. I will address the first one in this article.

So going back to my question of how do you describe your relationship with God. Did the word “slave” come to your mind? More than likely not. It is a dirty word in our society today and understandably so. But did you know that a “slave” is how God describes your relationship with Him? The word slave appears in the New Testament 130 times! Now that might be hard to believe but this has to do with our english translations. Our english bibles most of the time use the word bondservant or servant. Yet the greek word translates to slave. For instance; we are familiar with the passage in Matthew 25 that states, “well done good and faithful servant.” It correctly translates, “well done good and faithful slave.” Or look at Matthew 6 that talks about not serving two masters. You can not serve God and money. The correct translation is “no man can be a slave to two masters.”

How can this be? Don’t we have freedom in Christ? We aren’t just some piece of property before God, are we? I thought God loves us? I thought He is our father, not a slave master? Well let's look at why the bible describes our relationship with Him this way. What are slaves? What makes a slave a slave?
  1. They are owned
Slaves do not have any freedom. They are bought and sold and then owned by someone. Yet that is exactly what happens when we become saved! “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:20 “...a people for His own possession” 1 Peter 2:9

  1. They work for their master
A slave is to serve and work for their master only. They do not do things for themselves. Their existence is to obey and honor their master. Isn’t that the same for us and God? “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…” Colossians 3:23 “When you eat or drink or do anything else, always do it to honor God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

  1. They are dependent on their master 
A slave does not make a wage. They do not provide for their family. They are completely dependent on their master for life's essentials (food, shelter & clothing).  And are we not even more dependent on God to provide for us? “And my God will supply every need of yours…” Philippians 4:19 “...apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

But I don’t want to be a slave! This isn’t right, I’m not some piece of property! This gets to the matter of why some don’t serve in the body of Christ. Their relationship with God is not viewed biblically. They are not “slaves for Christ” (Ephesians 6:6) but live for themselves. I say, if you are not a slave then how can God be your Lord? The answer is He’s not. You want to be free of God and just use Him when it’s convenient for you. It is not a biblical relationship, but a self centered one. Instead of God being your Lord, He’s your buddy.  But do you honor and glorify a friend or a buddy? He’s someone that gives you nice things, not someone you have given your life to. Remember what Jesus said about those that would come to him? “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:24-25

The reality though is that we are always a slave to something. The bible teaches us that we are never free. If we are not slaves to God then we are slaves to our sins (Romans 6:15-23). So while so many may think they are being free to do what they want, they are actually enslaved to their own sinful desires. Why not be a slave for God?! It is so much better than being slaves to sin! Because we are not just slaves to God when we become saved. We are sons and daughters too! After He bought us He then adopted us (Romans 8:15). Our master is not a tyrant, but a loving Father. But we are still slaves nonetheless. When you serve Him, it is not because God has an unemployment problem. It is not because there is a volunteer shortage at church. You serve Him because when you became saved you died to yourself and gave your life to your master. And you are now a living sacrifice for Him (Romans 12:1). Serve God because a true Christian doesn’t serve themself. 
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