No longer a slave

SERMON TOPIC: No longer a slave

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 25 June 2023


Sermon synopsis: The practice of slavery is used as a type of the bondage sinners are in.

Rom 7:14 … I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.

Moses was a type of Jesus and freedom from slavery is a type of freedom from sin that Christ gives.

Gal 3:7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.

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Collins Concise English Dictionary defines a slave as follows:

a person legally owned by another and having no freedom of action or right to property

a person who is forced to work for another against his will


Slaves were considered property under Roman law and had no legal personhood. Unlike Roman citizens, they could be subjected to corporal punishment, sexual exploitation, torture and summary execution.


In the 20th century slavery has been gradually outlawed in Muslim lands, largely due to pressure exerted by Western nations such as Britain and France. E.g. Saudi Arabia and Yemen only abolished slavery in 1962 under pressure from British colonists, Oman followed suit in 1970. But slavery claiming the sanction of Islam is still present in Africa in the predominately Islamic countries of Chad, Mauritania, Niger, Mali and Sudan. *

Slavery in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania has been called a major human rights issue, with over 150,000 people – proportionally the highest for any country – being enslaved against their will, especially enemies of the government. Higher estimates suggest 10% to 20% of the population (340,000 to 680,000 people) is enslaved. *

* http:// wiki/ Mauritania, http:// wiki/ Islamic_views_on_slavery

Though slavery was abolished in Mauritania in 1981, it was not illegal to own slaves until 2007. A 2013 study by the Walk Free Foundation ranked Mauritania as one of the nations with the highest rate of slavery, alongside Pakistan and Haiti. *

When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt: “They made their lives bitter with hard labour in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their hard labour the Egyptians used them ruthlessly.” (Ex 1:14)

The Bible teaches that God is concerned when slaves suffer.

I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. (Ex 3:7)


God promised to deliver his people from their suffering in slavery.

Ex 3:8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians …

Moses was called by God to be his instrument to free his people from slavery.

Ex 6:6 “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.’”



The practice of slavery is used as a type of the bondage sinners are in.

Rom 7:14 … I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.

Moses was a type of Jesus and freedom from slavery is a type of freedom from sin that Christ gives.

Gal 3:7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.


Collins Concise English Dictionary also defines a slave as “a person under the domination of another person or some habit or influence”.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary: One that is totally subservient to a dominating influence.


… a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. (2 Pet 2:19)

“…everyone who sins is a slave to sin…” (John 8:34 )

Sin and depravity can enslave a person

Gal 3:22 But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin…

Prov 5:22 The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast.

Acts 8:23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.

The slave master is the devil

2 Tim 2:25-26 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Paul describes the human condition as follows:

Rom 7:14-24 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin … For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!



Are you a slave to sin? “Addiction” is a modern word that means a similar thing.

You might know of a drug user who promises the counsellor that he’s kicked the habit for good. Six months down the road, he’s drugging again. That is slavery!

Or take the alcoholic who vows to his wife and children, and even God that he’ll never touch another drink; but a week later, he’s back drinking again. That is slavery!

Medical Definition of Addiction

Addiction is a persistent, compulsive dependence on a behaviour or substance

Addiction has been extended, however, to include mood-altering behaviours or activities. Some researchers speak of two types of addictions: *

substance addictions e.g. alcoholism, drug abuse, smoking, vaping.

process addictions e.g. gambling, shopping, overeating, sexual activity, pornography, Internet addiction, social media addiction.

* http:// medical-dictionary. thefreedictionary. com/ addiction


In the US, tobacco use reportedly kills 2.5 times as many people each year as alcohol and drug abuse combined. According to data from the World Health Organization, there were 1.1 billion smokers worldwide and 10,000 tobacco-related deaths per day. *

* Ibid.


Hallucinogens are drugs that alter the user’s thinking processes and perception in a manner that leads to significant distortions of reality. *

One study estimated over 5.5 Million US adults used hallucinogens in 2019. Past 12-month LSD use rate increased from 0.9% in 2002 to 4% in 2019. **

* https:// drugs/ hallucinogens ** https:// news/ new-study-estimates-over-5-5-million-u-s-adults-use-hallucinogens


Prescription drug abuse involves taking a prescription medication that isn’t yours or taking your own prescription medication in a way that differs from your doctor’s instructions.

In 2022, experts estimate that more than 18 million people ages 12 and older have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons in the previous year. That’s more than 6% of the U.S. population. *

* https:// mental-health/ addiction/ abuse-of-prescription-drugs


Reginald III (1333-1371) was a 14th - century duke in what is now Belgium, who was grossly overweight. After a quarrel, his younger brother Edward led a successful revolt against him. Edward captured Reginald but did not kill him. Instead, he built a room around Reginald in the Nieuwkerk castle and promised him he could regain his title and property as soon as he was able to leave the room. *

* https:// illustration/ prisoner-his-own-appetite

This would not have been difficult for most people since the room had several windows and a door of near-normal size, and none was locked or barred. The problem was Reginald’s size. To regain his freedom, he needed to lose weight. But Edward knew his older brother, and each day he sent a variety of delicious foods. Instead of dieting his way out of prison, Reginald grew fatter. When Edward was accused of cruelty, he answered: “My brother is not a prisoner. He may leave when he so wills.” * Reginald stayed in that room for 10 years … a prisoner of his own appetite.

Edward died in battle in 1371 and Reginald was released (according to the legend, the walls had to be cut away so he could leave); he held the throne for only a short period, dying a few months later ** at the age of 38.

* Ibid. ** https: // wiki/ Reginald_III,_Duke_of_Guelders


Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating, affect more than 5 million American women and men. More than 1,000 women die each year from anorexia nervosa. *

* http:// medical-dictionary. addiction


Gambling has an addictive capacity. A man can find himself under the dominion of this addiction and under its power so quickly.

According to the National Gambling Board South Africans spent R34 billion a year on gambling in FY2021/22.

People were shocked on 24 July 2016 when 47-year-old Peter Williams burnt himself to death publicly at Montecasino after apparently losing R800‚000 gambling. *

* http://

According to the SA Responsible Gambling Foundation, about 22% of problem gamblers have attempted suicide and 52% are considering suicide by the time they seek help. *

The psalmist prayed, “Lord, do not let any iniquity have dominion over me” (Psalm 19:13). If there is anything that has the capacity of bringing you under its influence or under its power, it is best to avoid it.

* Ibid.


But it’s not just substance dependence, food and gambling that causes addiction or slavery – people can be slaves to any type of sin, or even slaves to pleasure.

If we submit to all our passions, we can even be enslaved by desire for pleasure.

Titus 3:3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.


Do your pleasures enslave you and rule your life?

Sport, watching TV, gaming, surfing the internet, materialism (love of money and possessions)

Some are enslaved by their fears and phobias

Phobias are described as an irrational fear, panic, terror, or dread that happens to you in a relatively harmless situation. You may realize the fear you have is irrational and way out of proportion to the event but are unable to control the responses. You may have a racing heartbeat, sweaty hands, shortness of breath, or the urge to run away. You may stand and shake with fear. This response will interfere with your social life, your career and your ability to care for your body. *

Rom 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.

* http:// phobias-stress


Others are enslaved by their fear of death.

Heb 2:14-15 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil– and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.


People can be bound by demons.

Luke 13:10-11 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all.

Jesus referred to her as “a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years” (Luke 13:16).

Luke 13:10-11 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.


We can be enslaved by wrong thinking or by our ungodly world view:

Col 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

You can be enslaved by false religion:

Gal 4:8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.

You can also be enslaved by legalism.

Gal 2:4 This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves.

Gal 4:9-10 … how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!


Gal 3:23 Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.

Jesus said of the legalistic Pharisees:

Matt 23:4 “They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”


John Salisbury Cochran relates how, as a boy in West Virginia, he witnessed a slave auction in 1851. A Quaker in the crowd explained to the boy the evils of slavery, and especially how badly woman slaves might be treated. As two men started bidding for an elderly Negro woman, the Quaker was moved with compassion and stepped to the auction area and began to bid for her.


The bidding went up and up, but eventually the Quaker outbid the prospective slave owner. The Quaker, a man called Joshua Cope, took the bills of sale, read it over and then wrote something across the back. A change come over the face of the slave – she was radiant with joy. He had written, “I, Joshua Cope, the within owner, hereby manumit, release, and forever set free, the within slave, Matilda Taylor.” *

* http:// index. php?section=history&content=30011831

Jesus too purchased freedom for those who were enslaved by sin. In the Nazareth synagogue, Jesus said that he came “to preach deliverance to the captives” (Luke 4:18 KJV).

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me … He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives… (NASB)

How are we freed from slavery to sin?

Hold to Jesus’ teaching

John 8:31-32 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Check the credentials of the one promising you freedom.

2 Pet 2:19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity

Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:35-36)

havE a relationship with the Son

Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together, ” says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

God invites you to talk it over with him, and he promises an outcome of relief for you!

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.



If a slave dies, his master no longer has jurisdiction over him. So we need to die to sin.

Rom 6:6-7 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sinbecause anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

A dead person cannot be tempted to sin!

You are a new creature in Christ:

2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.


Here is another analogy used in Scripture to explain the process of being freed - When a slave is purchased by a new owner, he has no obligation to obey his old master, only the new one.

Rom 6:17-19 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness… Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.

Suppose a person used to work at a warehouse they visit this place where they have not worked for 10 years. As they walk in the door they see their old boss. Upon seeing this person the old boss shouts, I’m glad you’re finally here, get to work. The boss gives the former employee all these orders to fill and then tells them to sweep up the place when they have finished pulling the orders. *

The person then immediately takes off their good clothes and puts on some older clothes and begins to do all that the old boss commanded. *

* http:// faq/ don_stewart/stewart.cfm?id=573

What would you say if someone did something like that? You would say, The person is a fool. Why are they still obeying the old boss? They are not under his authority any longer!

Yes it would be foolish for a person to still obey a boss that has not had authority over them for some 10 years.

Yet believers are just as foolish when they allow themselves to sin. Our old nature does not have authority over us any longer. When we succumb to it, we are obeying a boss who does not control us. *

* Ibid.

So if we have a new master – why are we still taking instructions from the old one? You are no longer under his authority.

Rom 6:12-15 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!


Once we realise that sin, Satan and the Law are no longer our masters, the end result is freedom, holiness and eternal life.

Rom 6:20-22 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.


On 31 July 1838 a man named William Knibbs (1803-1845), gathered 10,000 slaves for a great praise gathering in Jamaica. They were celebrating the New Emancipation Proclamation Act that would abolish slavery on the island.

They had built an immense coffin and into it were placed whips, branding irons, chains, fetters of all kinds, slave garments and all the things that represented the terrible slavery system that was now coming to a welcome end.

At the first stroke of the midnight bell, Knibbs shouted out, “The monster is dying.” At each stroke of the bell that followed this cry was repeated and the great crowd began to join in the cry.

At the twelfth stoke 10,000 voices cried out, “The monster is dead, the monster is dead, let us bury him.” They then screwed the coffin lid down and lowered it into a huge grave and covered it up. That night, every heart rejoiced and 10,000 voices grew hoarse, shouting and crying with joy. Once they were in bondage to slavery, but now they were free.

There is a tragic side to this story. While many rejoiced in their new freedom, there were some slaves, that lived in remote areas of the island, that did not know they had legally been set free. Because they didn’t know, for many years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been made a law, they still continued to serve their slave masters.

Their former masters successfully kept the news from them as long as they could. By law they had been declared free men and did not have to live as slaves any longer. However, ignorance of the truth kept them in bondage.

With his victory against sin on the cross, Jesus has issued an Emancipation Proclamation of liberty and freedom from sin to everyone on this earth.

But just like some of the Jamaicans, there are those today who don’t realise that they no longer have to live as slaves to sin any longer, because their slave master - the devil - is keeping them in that mindset.

The message of the cross is this: Satan has been defeated and sin’s penalty has been paid. We no longer have to surrender to sin or be controlled by Satan. We can belong to Christ and live in freedom. *

* http:// illustrations


Watchman Nee writes:

Romans 6 lays the foundation for the Christian's deliverance from sin. Such deliverance God provides for every believer; all may enter in. Moreover, let us be unmistakably clear that this liberation from the power of sin may be experienced the very hour a sinner accepts the Lord Jesus as Saviour and is born anew. He need not be a long-time believer and undergo numerous defeats before he can receive this gospel.

Delay in accepting the gospel according to Romans 6 is due either to the incomplete gospel he has heard or to his unwillingness in wholly accepting and fully yielding to it. Whereas actually this blessing should be the common possession of all the newly born. *

* Watchman Nee “The Spiritual Man” Volume 1: Chapter 10 “Deliverance From Sin And The Soul Life” – “The Way Of Deliverance”


In their Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Half the Sky, Nicholas Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn report on the worldwide slavery [in sex trafficking], telling stories of girls who had been kidnapped or taken from their families on a ruse and then sold as sex slaves. These girls, many under 10 years of age, are drugged, beaten, raped, and forced to sell their bodies night after night.

Kristof tells of rescuing Momm, a Cambodian teen who had been enslaved for 5 years. Momm was on the edge of a breakdown—sobbing one moment, laughing hysterically the next.

She seized the chance to escape, promising she’d never return. When Kristof drove Momm back to her village, Momm saw her aunt, screamed, and leapt out of the moving car. A moment later, it seemed as if everybody in the village was shrieking and running up to Momm.

Momm’s mother was at her stall in the market a mile away when a child ran up to tell her that Momm had returned. Her mother started sprinting back to the village, tears streaming down her cheeks… It was 90 minutes before the shouting died away and the eyes dried, and then there was an impromptu feast.

Truly it was a great rescue—and there was singing and dancing and celebrating, reminiscent of the singing and dancing of Miriam and the Israelite women when they were rescued out of their slavery in Egypt.

But the celebration didn’t last long. Early one morning Momm left her father and her mother without a word and returned to her pimp in Poipet. Like many girls in sex slavery, she had been given methamphetamine to keep her compliant. The craving had overwhelmed her. No doubt she thought, I just have to have this or I can’t go on.

Kristof reports that the drug addictions or the shame they feel, is enormously challenging. They keep returning to their abusers.

Why would this young girl freed from slavery return to her pimp? Yet some people that Jesus has set from slavery to sin and the devil – return to their former cruel master. *

* http:// illustrations/ 2012/ july/ 2073012.html

Maybe, after being freed by Christ, Satan and the system of the world is trying to enslave you again?

Paul writes to the Galatians who had been saved by grace, but were returning to the slavery of legalism:

Gal 6:1 (NKJV) Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Gal 5:1 (NIV) It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery



Some return to slavery because of guilt and condemnation from past sins.

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit

Remember that Jesus said that “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17).


Ps 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Heb 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.

If God doesn’t remember it, why do you?


Biblical illustrations by Jim Padgett, courtesy of http:// & http://

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation; Used by permission. (http://

Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

AUTHOR: Gavin Paynter

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Biblical illustrations by Jim Padgett, courtesy of http:// & http://

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation; Used by permission. (http://

Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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