Free the Slaves

Bill Brinkworth

When speaking of slavery, most immediately think of those taken against their will from Africa and other countries in the early-to-mid 1800’s. However, forced labor still continues today and is more prevalent than that which occurred in the 1800’s. 

The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates today 20.9 million men, women, and children around the world are “forced to work for little or no pay and at the complete mercy of their ‘employer’” ( Some estimates make the count at closer to 30 million.

The numbers of those forced to work in mental or physical slavery, or owned or controlled by an “employer,” are not even close to the numbers of those in bondage in a different, less obvious way.  Those in this type of slavery outnumber the 30 million many times over.  To make matters worse, those in this common type of bondage do not even know they have lost their freedoms!

The Bible has much to say about this type of oppression:

Although one may choose to serve God, it is servitude out of gratitude and love, not out of forced control.  When one choses to surrender his control of his own selfish desires and live the way God commands, he will have a life that is blessed and honored by God! God looks at his servant not as a bond slave, but with special love — as a friend.
“Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” John 15:15
“If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” John 12:26


The most dangerous and ever present threat to anyone, even a saved person, is commission of sin.  It always has a price tag that no one ever dreamed would come with the commission of that sin. The charge for the sin usually continues for longer than anyone would ever want to pay.  Its wage often comes due at a time that the sin’s commission is forgotten, but there is always a payday for sin.  No one avoids its cost.

When a believer sins, he can always go to the Father in prayer, seek forgiveness, and plead with God for strength not to commit the trespass again. The guilt may be gone, and of course he will not have to answer for the sin; however, its temptation will often appear in one’s life again, and be a future difficulty he must battle to avoid.

An unsaved person can also go to God in prayer.  However, unless one realizes and admits one’s sin and fully trusts that Christ’s death on the cross is the only payment God will recognize to cover one’s sin, the eternal payment for sin will not be removed.  All the good intentions and halting of sin’s commission will not remove sin’s payment one day.  Without God’s help one will still be a slave to sin. You must be born again (John 3:3) to have the free pardon from all sin.

Do you realize that your sin is against what God desires for your life?  Confess it to God (He knows about it already, but wants you to humble yourself and admit it), and seek to live the way God commands in His Word, the Bible. Serving God, and living the way He desires you to live, will break the chains of sin that are keeping you in bondage to it.  You can be free.  There is hope!

The way to keep the heart quiet is to keep ourselves in the love of God and to do nothing to offend him.”  — Henry

This lesson was featured in the Bible View #424.

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