Holding Fast as Slaves of Our Repurchaser
TODAY all humankind is born under sin as slaves of sin. How did this unhappy state come about? It came because our first parent, Adam, sold himself to sin and death for the selfish pleasure of keeping continued company with the selfish transgressor, Eve, for a few short years. What folly! Since all his offspring were in his loins when he sold himself, he sold all of us with him under sin at the same time.—Rom. 5:12.
But thanks to Jehovah God’s great love, we do not need to remain slaves of sin nor slaves of sinful men! As his Word tells us: “For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were constituted sinners, likewise also through the obedience of the one person many will be constituted righteous”—set free from the bondage to sin.—Rom. 5:19.
As believers we have turned from willing slavery of sin, accepted the righteousness that comes through the merit of Jesus’ sacrifice and have dedicated ourselves to do Jehovah’s will. The first ones thus to be constituted righteous are those who comprise the spiritual congregation of Jesus Christ, the 144,000 Kingdom heirs of whom a mere remnant are left upon the earth. However, the “great crowd” of “other sheep” among us also benefit even now in that they are shown as ‘washing their robes and making them white in the blood of the Lamb.’—Rev. 7:9, 14.
Since we have been bought with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, whether of the ‘remnant’ or the “other sheep,” we belong to the one who ransomed us, Jesus Christ, our Repurchaser. Having been purchased by him, we may no longer be slaves of sin, slaves of ourselves or slaves of other men. How appropriate, then, our theme for the month of March that we should keep “holding fast as slaves of our Repurchaser”! Yes, as the apostle Paul warns us, “you were bought with a price; stop becoming slaves of men.”—1 Cor. 7:23.*
To keep “holding fast as slaves of our Repurchaser” is by no means an easy thing to do. Today totalitarian rulerships and fanatical nationalism are taking control, and ambitious, power-hungry men and institutions demand our abject obedience and our very lives. Since upon no just basis they lay claim to or demand our lives as their slaves, we dare not yield to their demands.
Others, again, such as greedy commercialists, would like to bring us into bondage for financial gain. They use “the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life” to ensnare us. How important that we keep strict watch against this spirit of the world!—1 John 2:16; Eph. 5:15.
There are also those foes of God’s truth and kingdom who by ridicule or threats would lead us to become their slaves instead of holding fast as slaves of our Repurchaser. But we may not let fear hold us back from going from house to house with the good news, or from offering it to passersby on the street or from making opportunities for incidental witnessing. Therefore, whenever tempted to yield thus to the fear of men, let us remember Jesus’ words about fearing God rather than men.—Matt. 10:28.
We must also hold fast as slaves of our Repurchaser against those that would ensnare us by false doctrine or wrong conduct. Selfish, ambitious men today, even as in the days of the apostle Paul and the disciple Jude, worm themselves into God’s organization and seek to use unsuspecting ones for their own advantage. Against all such we must likewise be on guard!—Jude 3, 4.
If we would ‘hold fast as slaves of our Repurchaser’ in spite of the efforts of all such men to make us their slaves, we must make good use of all the aids that Jehovah God has provided for strengthening us spiritually, including prayer, personal study and meeting attendance. And in particular will activity in the field ministry strengthen us so as to be able to keep “holding fast as slaves of our Repurchaser,” Jesus Christ, our Ransomer. Let us make good use of our opportunities in this respect during the month of March, especially in endeavoring to start Bible studies with lovers of righteousness who are conscious of their spiritual need!
For details see The Watchtower, December 1, 1965.