by Peter John Herder
While seeking to end slavery in the 21st Century, I find myself digging deeply into what I am really after. Is it enough to actively engage in breaking up human trafficking rings and expose the darkness behind this evil industry? If we set a teenage girl free from slavery, what will allow her to truly be free and not slide back into the bondage that is destroying her? The answer to this question is a shocking paradox. The ultimate answer to slavery is slavery.
The Biblical paradigm is unmistakable. The only way to freedom is slavery to God. The key to understanding this paradox lies in an Old Testament law that made a provision for freed slaves to willingly and freely pledge themselves to their master forever (Deut. 15,16). To enter this relationship was to become a “bond-slave”. This is how the Apostle Paul referred to himself as Jesus’ bond-slave (Rom. 1.1). The only true emancipation from slavery is to become a bond servant of Christ.
This is why the child prostitute has hope to escape slavery! Jesus Christ has come to set the captives free. He wants to set every human being free from slavery so that true freedom can be found in serving God.
“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.” Romans 6.17-18 (ESV)