Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Church

January 18, 2014

Freedom: God's intention for all of his children

(Continued)

Freedom is God’s intention for all of his children; for all people. The theological word for freedom is “ransom,” and it was a favorite term of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament. In Paul’s day, slavery was as common as in the American South in the 1800s. Ancient society, being what it was, forced the poor, orphaned, weak, conquered, and otherwise discriminated against into servitude. Chains were a constant until the slave’s life was wrung out by hard labor.

The exception to this state of affairs was adoption. A tradesman or head of household could, graciously, adopt a slave – no matter his or her age – as a son or daughter. This ended the injustice and granted to the adoptee all the rights and privileges of family. It was a revolution of status and a literal salvation. It was ransom.

Ransom means, in its most literal form, “To remove from the marketplace.” It is a term straight from the slave trader’s auction block. For someone to be ransomed in that day meant that they had been liberated from bondage. They had been removed from the auction, or in the immediate context of most of Paul’s writings, they had been transacted from a house slave to an honored child of the household.

What God has lovingly planned and what Jesus has dramatically accomplished is far more than a change in the human perspective; it is an actual change of status. It is more than the alleviation of the feeling of hopelessness; it is the alleviation of actual hopelessness. It is not psychosomatic therapy; it is actual rescue from slavery – in all its varied forms.

Spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physical: All aspects of captivity are eradicated in the liberty of Christ. In the elegant words of Placide Cappeau, “Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother; and in his name all oppression shall cease.” Put more bluntly, as Harriet Tubman would say it: “You will be free.” May it be so for all of God’s children.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author. His newest book is “The Gospel According to Waffle House.” You can read more at www.ronniemcbrayer.me

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