A son or daughter; not a slave

In the first century A.D., slavery was everywhere. According to estimates, 30-40 percent of the population of Italy were slaves.

Slaves did not have relationships with their masters. No master ever let a slave know his business. Slaves were considered living tools for the master. Slaves obeyed their masters or faced the lash.

It is important to realize Jesus did not want slaves. He told his disciples everything they needed to know to discharge their responsibility to preach the gospel to the world. He made his disciples partners in helping others find salvation.

The preaching of the gospel was so important that in an age in which there were no telephones, televisions, cars, airplanes or trains, the gospel was taught to the known world by the time the apostle Paul wrote the book of Colossians probably in A.D. 55-60 (Colossians 1:23).

Why did God decide on a system of salvation communicated by ordinary persons? If he communicated the gospel miraculously to every person, then the charge could be made that people did not have the freedom to accept or reject it. God wanted each person to make his or her own decision (Philippians 2:12).

God wanted humans to decide to obey the gospel based on the truth of the gospel preached. One of the interesting arguments the apostle Paul made in the book of First Corinthians is that God chose the preaching of the gospel to save those who will believe it and obey it (1 Corinthians 1:21).

Jesus placed the truth before the apostles for three years before he had a cadre of people who could take the truth to the people of Jerusalem on Pentecost and the Gentiles in Cornelius’ house (Acts 2, 10).

It is possible to take the Old and New Testaments of the Bible and see the mind of God in how he executed his plan to redeem people from sin through a system of obedient faith (Romans 1:5; 16:26). He wanted obedient sons (Romans 8:14-17).

God offers rest from the slavery of sin (Matthew 11:28-30). Come and obey the gospel taught in the Bible today and take your place as one of his sons or daughters.

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John Henson

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, John Henson has been a husband for 43 years and a preacher for 34 years. He currently serves as the preacher for the Dibrell Church of Christ in McMinnville, Tennessee.

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