“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a *servant of Christ.”
*servant = doulos, or “slave” in the Greek
Everything changes for the autonomous creature (the unmonitored, self-governing, self-ruling, self-determining human) at the moment of justification. Justification is the moment of conversion. Justification is the moment “Embracing Slavery” happens. It’s the moment autonomy from God suddenly no longer matters… as it always had. It’s romanticism now fades. It’s allure now grows dim. Justification is the moment when autonomous desires within the autonomous creature begin to decay and rot. It’s the moment where a natural obedience to God is now birthed and nurtured, where adoption is realized, and where rest is assured. It’s the moment that the autonomous creature, the angry rebel against God, begins to embrace the absolute antithesis of their former essence of being: slavery. It’s the instant where slavery somehow becomes comfortable and attractive, and where being tethered to and now also lovingly swaddled by God, unexpectedly satisfies the absolute inner core of the autonomous creature. It’s the first time the foreign God makes Himself a familiar Father to the estranged orphan, through the inward persuasion of the Holy Spirit.
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!””
1 Corinthians 7:22
“For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.”
Slavery, is a four letter word to the unregenerate (the autonomous). To be a slave or a “bondservant” (doulos), as referenced above in 1 Corinthians 7:22, in anyway shape or form, is to be the victim of pure evil according to the autonomous mindset. We (brethren) must always remind ourselves that unless God grants the autonomous creature repentance (2 Timothy 2:25), unless God changes the heart and mind of the autonomous, the autonomous will forever remain… autonomous.
Don’t be mistaken by the common thinking within the church that autonomy from God ends with the autonomous creature’s choice, or their sudden abandonment of their own nature due to an independent recognition of their fallen nature in comparison to the holy God. Such is not possible. One cannot abandon one’s nature (Romans 8:7-8, Jeremiah 13:23). Such a change doesn’t happen by them simply choosing to stop being who they are at their very core: haters of God. It happens by God’s choosing, according to His good pleasure (John 15:16-19), through evangelism (Romans 10:17). God is not in any way bound by the autonomous, nor does God acquiesce to their choosing, nor does He leave it up to them, as some brethren teach. God is sovereign over the autonomous (Revelation 1:17), even though the very essence of autonomy is rooted in denying such (Romans 1:18). It is God who has already decided in eternity past which of the autonomous creatures He will convert from autonomy to acquiescence. It is God who gathers His children: the predestined since before the foundation of the world for His glory (Ephesians 1:3-14). It is God who commands all of the autonomous to walk away from autonomy (Acts 17:30), yet the autonomous, in purely autonomous fashion, fulfill their autonomy by knowingly suppressing this call (Rom 1:18-22).
There is NOTHING that we can do to convert a lost soul. Only God can cause the autonomous mind to change and embrace slavery. When God passes over the autonomous, such is judgement. Judgement is God’s leaving of the autonomous alone (Romans 1:28). Judgement is God’s non-interference of the autonomous heart and mind. Judgement is God’s allowance of the libertarian banner to be raised by the autonomous, when they know that raising such is wrong, for His good purpose. Judgement is God’s allowing of autonomy:
“Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
The autonomous (the unregenerate) will only bear their own image, unless God intervenes.
“It is God who justifies.”
So, what do we do with this?
Encourage the autonomous to plead with the God they know, to grant them repentance. Evangelize them!
“How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!””
Brothers and sisters, pray to God that the autonomous may be “Embracing Slavery” as you do.
Godspeed, to the brethren!
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