Whose Slave Are You?
Scripture religion is variously represented. Sometimes it is a glorious privilege — and sometimes a solemn duty. It is in reality, both. A more glorious privilege man cannot enjoy — than to be the adopted child of God; a more solemn duty cannot devolve on a creature — than to be the slave of the Son of God. Slaves are known often by their uniform — and God's slaves are to be known by their holiness. Slaves of old, were often known by their master's brand — and the slaves of Christ were often known by their sufferings. Like the Apostle of old, they "bear about in the body, the marks," or the brand, "of the Lord Jesus."
There are two distinct classes of slaves in the world, and it is important to know to which we belong. The apostle teaches us how to do this, especially when he says, "Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey — whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?" Romans 6:16.
This passage SUGGESTS AN INQUIRY. Who is your Master? There are but two great masters in the world — and we all serve one or the other. Who then is your master?
Is it SATAN? If so — then sin is your service. You neglect what God requires — and you do what God forbids. You . . .
indulge the lusts of the flesh,
enjoy the lust of the eye,
and walk in the pride of life.
The world is your home! Only give you enough of the world, and health and opportunity to enjoy it — and you need no more. You would rather have your portion in Paris — than in paradise.
If so, then Hell will be your wages! For the wages of sin is death. If you obey Satan, you love sin and live in its indulgence. You follow the multitude in the broad road that leads to destruction. You yield to the flesh, and allow it to tyrannize over your conscience and affections.
Who is your master? Is it CHRIST? Then holiness is your delight, and obedience to gospel precepts is your joy. The Church of God is your home, and believers in Christ are your brethren. Eternal life will be your reward, not as merited or deserved by you — but as freely given you by your generous and gracious Master. The gift of God is eternal life — if you obey Christ, you reverence the divine word, both the holy law, and the gracious Gospel. You hallow your Savior's name, never using it lightly, or uttering it without reverence. You rely on his precious blood and glorious righteousness, as the ground of your acceptance with God. You yield to his Spirit — speaking to you in the word, or working within you, and prompting you to perform good works. You unite with his people — whom you esteem the excellent of the earth, and in whom is all your delight. You look and long for his glorious appearing, and as you anticipate his second advent, you often exclaim, "O to see my Master!"
The passage also EXHIBITS A DISTINCTION. If you obey SATAN — then you are his slaves. He works in you. He rules over you. He leads you captive at his will. You know nothing of liberty — but are tied and bound by the fetters of sin, and chained with unbelief. You are his property. He dwells in you. He lays claim to you. He often appoints you to the most degrading services. You are his companions — gladly walking with him in the broad way to eternal destruction. You are Satan's child — and to you the language of Jesus may be applied, "You are of your father the devil — and the lusts of your father you will do!"
If you are CHRIST'S — then you are a free man, for whom Jesus employs he liberates, and if the Son makes us free, then are we free indeed. Our freedom is worthy of the name. You are his brother, as he said," Whoever shall do the will of my father who is in Heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."
If you are Christ's — then you are his co-heirs. "Heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ." O how wonderful for a slave to be a free man — -not only a free man — but the master's brother — not only the master's brother — but a joint heir with him of his vast property, and magnificent estates!
How much then depends on the question, "Who is your master?" How plain is the answer, "You are slaves to the one whom you obey."
Let us then examine — whose are we? Christ's or Satan's — we must be. To belong to both at the same time is impossible. Therefore Jesus said, "You cannot serve both God and mammon."
Who has our hearts? What engages our thoughts most? Whom do we habitually aim to please? If Jesus is our master — then . . .
he will have our affections,
around him our thoughts will gather, and
our great aim and desire will be to please him.
Let us then prove to whom we belong. This is to be done by our service. Mere profession proves nothing — but obedience does.
If the will of Jesus is our law,
if the precepts of Jesus are our rule,
if the smile of Jesus is highly prized by us, and
if the approbation of Jesus is sought before anything else —
then there can be little doubt but that Jesus is our master!
Let us beware, lest we should be mistaken. "Be not deceived," is a divine caution. Satan is a great deceiver. The heart is deceitful above all things. And we read, "Exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."
With a deceitful heart within us, a deceitful devil practicing upon us,
and the deceitfulness of sin in action all around us — we may well exhort one another to beware! Especially when we consider what we have at stake!
All the slaves of Satan, will at last be commanded to depart from the Savior — into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his demons. All the slaves of Jesus, will be invited by the all-glorious King to accompany him, and take possession of the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world. Do not wonder then, that we press home the question, "Whose slave are you?"