1 Corinthians 7:22 For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord’s freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ’s slave.
Consider another time and another place. Consider that we and our families are in a society where slavery is commonly practiced and it is not racially based – where anyone could find themselves in slavery, i.e., the Roman world. Finally, consider that slavery is the lot we find ourselves in – and the world we live in it is accepted as a given. There is no anti-slavery movement. We are slaves and will likely remain so for all of our lives.
Maybe our masters are cruel – maybe not. We have to live with what the reality is. Then into our lives comes the Gospel! We become born again, when called to faith in Christ Jesus. We are transformed and become freed men and women, even though we still find ourselves in slavery. Slaves yet free. They are independent of each other!
Our focus becomes sharing the love of Christ with other slaves and becoming the best slaves that we can be. Possibly, God will use us to reach our owners with the Gospel and transform them. This is not done with the purpose of being set free from slavery. It is done in joy because of the wonder of the love of Christ. We want all men and women to come to know Him.
Yes, we might hope to one day be freed from slavery, but just like Joseph, we live our lives in a way that honors our God. Our lives are so transformed we want to share the love of Christ with everyone. This sharing is far more than just words about Jesus. Our lives become filled with acts of kindness and doing the right things by God’s standards. We live to please Him.
Think of slaves shivering outside in the cold and we, as Christian slaves, taking them blankets and something warm to drink. We do it not to tell them about Jesus, although that might result. We do it because it is a kindness that we would want if we were in their situation. We see needs and meet them as we are able.
The Gospel is a ‘Prosperity Gospel’ for all who receive it but not in the sense that we western Christians might first think of. It is not about becoming rich materially. It is about the incredible richness that we have in Christ no matter what our circumstances. We must separate the reality of the Gospel from the cultural trappings that so easily hinder us.
We must fight the tendency to view the Gospel through the lens of our culture and circumstances rather than recognizing that the Gospel enables us to live first as citizens of His Kingdom. We are able to experience His love and prosperity no matter what our situation. We are free – even if we are slaves.