Slavery Part 1

“The true position, for a man is to be God’s slave. The harsh, repellent features of that wicked institution assume an altogether different character when they become the features of my relation to Him. Absolute submission, unconditional obedience, on the slave’s part; and on the part of the Master complete ownership, the right of life and death, the right of disposing of all goods and chattels, the right of separating husband and wife, parents and children the right of issuing commandment without a reason, the right to expect that those commandments shall be swiftly, unhesitatingly, punctiliously, and completely performed-these things inhere in our relation to God. Blessed the man who has learned that they do, and has accepted them as his highest glory and the security of his most blessed life! For, brethren, such submission, absolute and unconditional, the blending and the absorption of my own will in His will, I the secret of all that makes manhood glorious and great and happy.

Remember, however, that in the New Testament these names of slaves and owners was transferred to Christians and Jesus Christ. ‘The Servant’ has His slaves; and He who is God’s Servant, and does not His own will but the Father’s will, has us for His servants, imposes His will upon us, and we are bound to render to Him a revenue of entire obedience like that which He hath laid at His Father’s feet.”

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Slavery Part 2

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“Such slavery is the only freedom. Liberty does not mean doing as you like, it means liking as you ought, and doing that. He only is free who submits to God in Christ, and thereby overcomes himself and the world and all antagonism, and is able to do that which is in his life to do. A prison out of which we do not desire to go is no restraint, and the will which coincides with law is the only will that is truly free. You talk about bondage of obedience. Ah! ‘the weight of too much liberty’ is a far sorer bondage. They are the slaves who say, ‘Let us break bonds asunder, and cast away His cords from us’; and they are the free men who say, ‘Lord, put Thy blessed shackles on my arms and impose Thy will upon my will, and fill my heart with Thy love; and then will move freely delightedly.’ ‘If the Son makes you free, ye shall be free indeed.’

Such slavery is the only nobility. In the wicked old empires, as in some of their modern survivals today, viziers and prime ministers were mostly drawn from the servile classes. It is so in God’s kingdom. They who make themselves God’s slaves are by Him made kings and priests, and shall reign with Him on earth. If we are slaves, then are we sons and heirs of God through Jesus Christ…

The Servant-Son makes us slaves and sons. It matters nothing to me that Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled the law of God; it is so much the better for Him, but of no value for me, unless He has the power of making me like Himself. And He has it, and if you will trust yourselves to Him, and give your hearts to Him, and ask Him to govern you, He will govern you; and if you abandon your false liberty which is servitude, and take the sober freedom which is obedience, then He will bring you to share in His temper of joyful service; and even we may be able to say, ‘My meat and my drink is to do the will of Him that sent me,’ and truly saying that, we shall have the key to all delights.”

-Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910), Expositions of Holy Scriptures, the Acts (n.p.: Bibliolife, 2007), 148-49.