October 02, 2018

Redeemed From Slavery

Micah 6:1-4

Everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

—  John 8:34

The exodus from Egypt was a pivotal event in Israel’s history. The prophets and psalmists refer to it often. For the people of Israel it brought an end to over 400 years of slavery.

It’s surprising, then, that the Pharisees said to Jesus, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” (John 8:33). They prided themselves on their ancestry, and to them slavery was just something in their people’s distant past. In Jesus’ teaching, Israel’s slavery in Egypt was a symbol of slavery to sin, a problem for every person in all times.

Even the Israelites in Micah’s day felt that God somehow cramped their style. The Lord asked them, “My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me. I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery.”

Many people today, when offered the gift of freedom from sin and release from death to life, prefer the “freedom” to engage in any kind of behavior they desire. Even while dragging chains of sin, some think they can save the world. But, as Jesus said to the Pharisees, unless we believe in him we will die in our sins (John 8:24). Only in Christ can we be set free from slavery to sin and death.

How about you? Are you a slave to your sins and addictions, or have you been set free through faith in Jesus Christ?

Thank you, Lord, for freeing us in Christ, giving us salvation from all that enslaves us. Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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