Monday, April 25, 2011

Slave or Self: Is it About Me or Him?

Excerpt from Slave by John MacArthur, p. 14-15, 21

We don't hear about that [slave] concept much in churches today. In contemporary Christianity the language is anything but slave terminology. It is about success, health, wealth, prosperity, and the pursuit of happiness. We often hear that God loves people unconditionally and wants them to be all they want to be. He wants to fulfill every desire, hope, and dream. Personal ambition, personal fulfillment, personal gratification--these have all become part of the language of evangelical Christianity--and part of what it means to have a "personal relationship with Jesus Christ."

Instead of teaching the New Testament gospel--where sinners are called to submit to Christ--the contemporary message is exactly the opposite: Jesus is here to fulfill all your wishes. Likening Him to a personal assistant or a personal trainer, many churchgoers speak of a personal Savior who is eager to do their bidding and help them in their quest for self-satisfaction or individual accomplishment.

The New Testament understanding of the believer's relationship to Christ could not be more opposite. He is the Master and Owner. We are His possession. He is the King, the Lord, and the Son of God. We are His subjects and His subordinates.

In a word, we are His slaves.

Scottish pastor Alexander Maclaren, a contemporary of Spurgeon, echoed these same truths: "...the blending and the absorption of my own will in His will, is the secret of all that makes manhood glorious and great and happy...In the New Testament these names of slave and owner are transferred to Christians and Jesus Christ."

1 comment:

The Keierleber Characters said...

I'd prefer being a slave to Christ over a slave to sin any day! :)