Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Chains of (Spiritual) Slavery

Contrary to what you might think, slavery is still in existence today. There are about 10 - 30 million of slaves in the world at present. Most of these are human beings trafficked into various countries--no country is really immune of this problem.

Victims include men, women and children who are in less developed countries and are economically vulnerable and undocumented. These slaves find themselves in either forced labor, involuntary servitude, or sexual exploitation. Most often, the use of force or coercion is what's keeping a person in bondage.

Although the chains of slavery and human trafficking exploits the body and is indeed repulsive, there is a much deeper form of slavery that is more hideous than what destroys the body. This form of slavery is the worst and most gruesome thing a human being could be bound into. 

This type calls for the chains of Spiritual Slavery. Billions of people around the world are in bondage of this kind of slavery. People are bound in spiritual chains that force them to labor for their salvation, to serve other gods apart from the God of the Bible, and prostitute their souls to different practices and ceremonies that glorifies self and a created being rather than God the Creator Himself!

Unlike the slave who knows they were trafficked across international borders and are being abused, the sad thing about being a spiritual slave is that the person is not even aware that they are enslaved and bound in chains. The spiritual slave is blind of his depravity, unaware of the TRUTH of his soul's state and is ignorant of the TRUTH in God's Word. He/she is a hopeless case when freedom is offered because each individual does not believe in the chains that bind them.

The chains of spiritual slavery is masked in the ways of Religion. Religion is defined as a set of beliefs usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. It is man's attempt to reach God, and even man's laboring to appease the reality of God's wrath. It is man's striving to get right with God and man's trying to do God's job!

The chains of religion puts a person in BONDAGE. They will always have this striving to attain perfection or at least be "good enough" in order to please and appease God. They are enslaved with the striving and the attempts at piously and sincerely observing rituals and devotions in order to attain some form of soul cleansing. They are enslaved with the idea of trying their very best to be a good person. But there really is no end to this striving because the only standard called for by God is perfection. No-one will be able to attain that no matter how devoted a person is to the ceremonies and devotions of his or her religion! And because perfection is required, the person who is a spiritual slave is driven by wanting to do more for the sake of their own soul's salvation.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. (Colossians 2:20-23)

The chains of religion gives a person a sense of PRIDE, SUPERIORITY and an elevated opinion of SELF. The spiritual slave depends on the amount of good works he or she is capable of doing in this lifetime, and eventually gets puffed up with pride when they consider their "religious effort and accomplishment" in this lifetime. In the end, the spiritual slave asks this very question:

"Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" (Matthew 7:22)

You see, it results in a person's elevated opinion of Self. They get puffed up in their minds about their capabilities, their wisdom, their effort, their achievement in terms of religiosity and spirituality in this lifetime. They boast of their own strength, ability and power to accomplish that which was required of them by religion. They trust in their own effort to save themselves by penance, sacrifices, and by how much they've given of their finances, their time in prayer, their power in praying for themselves and others. Their confidence lies in the SELF. And because of that, they are blind to their NEED for a Savior.

We have to come to a point in our lives where we should examine ourselves if we have the chains of religion around our souls. Because unless we acknowledge the fact that we are slaves, we will never come to the point of accepting the offer of FREEDOM IN AND THROUGH JESUS CHRIST the Savior. Unless we accept that we are lost and depraved and hopeless on our own, we will never come to terms with the way of salvation that GOD offered through His One and Only Son.

Lastly, we ought to know that there are no slaves in the kingdom of God. Whoever remains a spiritual slave by the time JESUS CHRIST returns, he/she will face a tragic end to their story as one realizes that those bound with the chains of religion will be cast out in the end...

"And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'" (Matthew 7:23)
(Insights in this post are courtesy of the teachings of Pastor Barry Jeffries of Humble Area's First Baptist Church.)


  1. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, by His Grace we are saved. But Jesus also said, "love one another", "be the good Samaritan". These are all call to actions to me. Jesus is telling me to act. We can't just sit on our chairs all day and do nothing. I don't think that the Lord will tell Mother Theresa, "I have already saved you, why are you trying to love your fellow man?".

  2. Hi Anonymous!
    I praise the Lord for your visit to my blog. Thank you for this comment, too. James 1:22 reminds us that we should be "doers" of the Word and not just hearers of it. It is indeed a call to action for christians to LIVE a life that show the fruit of the Spirit that has been deposited in us when we become born again in Christ Jesus.
    This post mainly concentrates on the spiritual slavery that entangles those who are not yet saved. Millions of people are enslaved with a belief system that teaches them to DO in order to gain salvation. Many are blinded to the Truth that we are saved ONLY BY GRACE. Thus, this post was written to address such case.
    Salvation is not something we can STRIVE FOR and ACHIEVE. It is an undeserved favor from a Merciful God. There is a very fine line here because many have long been programmed to believe that doing "religious stuff" CAN and WILL help them get to heaven. There is ONLY one Way to the Father and that is through Jesus Christ our LORD and Savior. HIS FINISHED work on the cross is all that a sinful soul will need to TRUST into and believe in.
    When we do become new creatures in Christ, our lives MUST reflect the life we now live in Christ Jesus. Spiritual slavery in this postfocuses its spotlight on one's Salvation rather than way of living. :)

    May God bless you and yours always!

  3. For me religious traditions or any cultural or civic tradition as long as it aligns with what is pleasing to the eyes of God is ok. I guess the question is then, what traditions have been programmed into people that is not God-centric?

  4. Hi Anonymous!
    There is honestly NO religious tradition or any other tradition for that matter that ALIGNS with what is pleasing before God. Even God's OWN CHOSEN PEOPLE--the Jews--failed greatly in this matter when they upheld traditions from of old. God SENT JESUS CHRIST to SHOW US THE WAY and BE THE WAY that pleases the Father. His work breaks EVERY chain of spiritual slavery... The book of Hebrews explains beautifully the difference between the Old covenant that the Jews kept as given by the Father and the NEW one that is in CHRIST JESUS. I highly recommend you read through it. :)
    I can only leave you with these passages from the Word of God:

    "But he (Jesus) answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" (Matthew 15:3)

    "Stand fast therefore in the LIBERTY wherewith Christ hath made us free, and BE NOT ENTANGLED again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified BY THE LAW; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love." (Galatians 5:1-6)

    Encounter God's Truth. God's Word IS Truth. (read John 17:17)



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