Messiah Lutheran Church 6201 W Patterson Av
Chicago IL 60634
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June 2018

The Privilege of Being a Slave of Christ

Usually when we hear the word "slave" it brings to mind the lowest possible status you can have in life! Who in their right mind would voluntarily become a slave? And yet Paul proudly refers himself several times as being a "slave" of Christ, and in 1 Corinthians 7:22 he declares to those of us who have been set free from the slavery of sin, "you are Christ's slave"

Correspondingly, 1 Corinthians 6:20 tell us, "You are not your own, you were bought at a price", and 1 Corinthians 7:22 states, "You were bought for a price, don't become slaves of men" ... Can you picture yourself being auctioned off to the highest bidder and wondering what kind of Master you're going to end up with?

Thank God that Jesus has purchased us with his shed blood on the Gross and has made us his own, delivering us from the cruel masters of the devil, the world and our own sinful flesh. In biblical times, slaves would often enjoy the benefits of the generosity of their owner. In fact, slaves would even be given positions of power by their owners.

Consequently, not only do we enjoy the benefits of the generosity of the Lord, we have been entrusted with the Good News of the Gospel that alone has the power to save, souls for all eternity! Hence, when we read in the Bibles the words "a slave of Christ" it should not be interpreted as someone living under the oppression of a stingy and merciless Master.

Instead, being "a slave of Christ" describes someone of high status, who has been given the privilege of representing the most Powerful Master of them all! We volunteer to become slaves of Christ in response to His love for us, demonstrated by His sacrificial death on the cross. Correspondingly, our desires now become His desires.

Which is why Paul, in addition to being a slave to Jesus, was able to say that he was willing to become a slave to others. Because, he knew that the greatest desire of His Master was that all would be saved by using him as an instrument of the Gospel message. Similarly, we have been called to fulfill our Lord's mission by becoming slaves to all, in order that they might be slaves of Jesus, as well!

Wayne Watson in his song, "The Touch of the Master's Hand" describes an auction for an old violin. As you read the lyrics of this song, I invite you to prayerfully reflect how they apply to your life, as someone whom Jesus has redeemed with his holy, innocent, and precious blood, and what a difference this has made to your value and worth to this world:

Touch Of The Masters Hand

Well, it was battered and scared,
And the auctioneer felt it was hardly worth his while,
To waste much time on the old violin but he held it up with a smile,
Well it sure ain't much but its all we got left
I guess we ought to sell it too
Oh, now who'll start the bid on this old violin?
Just one more and well be through.
 
And then he cried one, give me one dollar,
Who'll make it two only two dollars who'll make it three,
Three dollars twice, now that's a good price,
Now who's gonna bid for me?
Raise up your hand now don't wait any longer the auction's ebout to end,
Who's got four? Just one dollar more to bid on this old violin?
 
Well the air was hot and the people stood around as the sun was sitting low,
From the back of the crowd a gray haired man,
Came forward and picked up the bow,
He wiped the dust from the old violin then he tightened up the strings.
Then he played out a melody pure and sweet, sweeter than the angels sing
And then the music stopped and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low he said now what am I bid,
For this old violin and he held it up with a bow.
 
And then he cried out one give me one thousand,
Who'll make it two only two thousand who'll make it three,
Three thousand twice you know thats a good price,
Come on, who's gonna to bid for me?
 
And the people cried out what made the change we don't uderstand,
Then the auctioneer stopped and he said with a smile,
It was the touch of the Masters hand.
 
You know there's many a man with his life out of tune,
Battered and scared with sin and he's auctioned cheap,
To a thankless world much like that old violin,
You know there's many a man with his life out of tune,
Battered and scared with sin and he's auctioned cheap,
To a thankless world much like that old violin,
Oh, but then the Master comes,
And that old foolish crowd they never understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is rought,
Just by one touch of the Masters hand.
 
And then he cried out one give me one thousand,
Who'll make it two only two thousand who'll make it three,
Three thousand twice you know that's a good price,
Common who's gonna bid for me?
And the people cried out what made the change we don't understand,
Then the auctioneer stopped and he said with a smile,
It was the touch, that's all it was; it was the touch of the Master's hand,
It was the touch of the Master's hand; oh, it was the touch of the Master's hand.

In the auction of life, the Master has purchased us with his blood, and he made us his slaves to the glory of His name! He has transformed us from being cheapened, battered and scarred by the cruel masters of this world, into His workmanship, created for Good Works in Him, thereby giving us infinite value and worth! Far from giving us low status in life, being a slave of Jesus is the pathway to Greatness. As Jesus says in Matthew 20:26, " ... whoeverwants to become great among you must be your servant".

May all of us fully grasp the high status of what it means to be a slave of Jesus, as we fulfill our Master's desire in sharing the Gospel with others, so that all would be saved,

Your servant,
Pastor Wendt

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