LIVING IN SLAVERY IN 2013


end it poster

The truth is, you’re a slave to Sin or a slave to Christ.  This is what the bible affirms.

Jesus said whoever sins is a Slave to sin. (John 8:34)

Paul told the Corinthians that we who are in Christ are now slaves to Him.  (1 Cor. 7:22)

Once we are “set free,” once we are saved and are free from the law of sin and death, we are no longer to live in bondage to sin.  It’s funny though how Christians and even whole churches are willing to overlook the sins that have become socially acceptable.  When’s the last time you heard a sermon on obesity?  Not even just the matter of being overweight, but gluttony.  Gluttony is the soul’s addiction to excess and in our self-indulgent, hedonistic culture here in America, it’s a hard one to escape.

“If I just had a little more… If I just made a little more…If only I could get a bigger one…”

In 1 Corinthians, Paul wrote

“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything” (6:12).

The Apostle made the fact clear that he wanted to do only those things that were spiritually profitable. Part of that entails avoiding those activities that might result in personal enslavement.  Paul knew that his only Master was Christ, and he would not allow himself to be mastered by anyone or anything else.  Too many of us today are mastered by several different things.  And they’re all equally as stupid to be consumed by.

  • Food

  • Sports

  • TV

  • Internet

  • Pornography

  • Alcohol

  • Smoking

  • Gambling

In 2011, 41,682 people died from the use of alcohol (not including accidents.)  An estimated 17.6 million American adults are alcoholics and approximately 4.2 million are addicted to drugs (about.com.)  Think about your kids…according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse – Columbia University, “underage drinkers account for 11.4% of all the alcohol consumed in the United States.”

Obesity killsAccording to the CDC, obesity costs our country about $150 billion annually.  That’s roughly 10% of the national medical budget.  1 in 3 Adults are obese and 1 in 6 CHILDREN are also obese.  1 in 3 children that were born in 2000 will develop diabetes sometime in their life.  At the current rates of increase, health care costs are expected to exceed $300 billion by the year 2018.  The “F as in Fat” report highlights the current glum picture of the U.S. obesity epidemic, in which 35.7 percent of adults and 16.9 percent of children ages 2 to 19 are obese, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported earlier this year.

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT IT

Proverbs 23:2-4 and put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite. 3 Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food. 4 Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist.

It’s ironic that man—the apex of God’s creation—can so easily be enslaved by such simple things as computers, televisions, sports, games, hobbies, and even food and drink. And yet, we don’t seem to care—or even notice—that we have given power to these seemingly insignificant things…power to destroy us.

Paul wasn’t merely warning his readers about immoral addictions.  He wanted them to be on guard against anything that could take control or focus away from the Lord.  Specifically, he is warning us against the kinds of activities that can become controlling desires that dictate and direct our lives.

While I might be free in Christ to do something, I’ll nonetheless avoid it to confirm I am still in control of my desires (1 Corinthians 9:27).  It’s not that the activity is wrong—it’s that I want to make sure I’m still able to turn it down.  If something can be sinfully habit forming, why pursue it?  We cannot allow ourselves to fall into bondage to anyone or anything.  We are slaves of Christ.  Live like it.

Live Love.

Mike Clark

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