Slave – The Hidden Truth About Your Identity
“A metaphor commonly associated with scorn, oppression, and abuse, slavery has been gloriously transformed, in Christ, to signify honor, liberty, and eternal bliss!”
The word slave brings different pictures to different people. Many English Bible translations, including the King James Version, incorrectly substitutes the word servant for slave (doulos or ebed). He notes that the Greek language has at least a half a dozen words that can mean servant and that the word doulos was not one of them! In “Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ“, MacArthur looks at the definition of each word, especially as it relates to first century AD Rome. This is important because to be a slave in Roman times can not be compared to the slaves in the 1700’s in America. The very basic difference between the two words is that servants are hired and slaves are owned.
MacArthur brilliantly points out the huge flaw in Catholicism. The Pope fancies himself to be the infallible leader, the ultimate authority, and the head of the Roman Catholic church. Heck, the Catholic church is probably the richest entity in the world! The Catholic church even states that Peter is the one that the foundation of the church was built on. But, they are so wrong! The apostles never claimed to be anything but a servant of Jesus Christ and Jesus is “the chief cornerstone” of the Christian faith.
We learn that through Jesus’ blood sacrifice on the cross (redemption), our acceptance of His Lordship over our lives, and the turning away from our past life, we cease being slaves of sin. We become slaves of Jesus Christ; “free to obey, to live righteously, and to pursue holiness”, but we also become children of righteousness. We are adopted into God’s family and given the privileges of sons and daughters. We then obey God because we want to and not because we feel like we have to due to punishment or fear of losing our salvation. It’s not because of obligation, it’s because we want to obey God because we love Him. MacArthur puts is succinctly when he says, “Our priorities, passions, and pursuits have all been changed because our very identity has been transformed.”
I can’t even begin to explain this book as well as I would like to and I highly recommend reading it. It has opened up my eyes to my position in God’s Heavenly household as well as made it plain what my responsibilities are. This book is a wonderful gift for a pastor or someone grounded in the Word. It might be a little overwhelming for a new believer. MacArthur shares a good bit of the history of the Reformation, many of the earliest writings on this same topic, and first century AD Rome.