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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Slave by John MacArthur

"Author and pastor Dr. John MacArthur reveals one crucial word that revolutionizes what it means to follow Jesus.

Throughout the Bible, followers of Jesus are commanded to submit to Him as their King. They are told to obey and follow, faithfully and without hesitation. Every time Christians utter the word Lord, they make a subtle yet profound declaration—that God is their Master and that they belong to Him. In fact, the Bible describes believers as His slaves. They have been bought with a price and now live for Christ as a people for His own possession.

But go into most churches today, even flip through most Bible translations, and you won’t see or hear the word slave anywhere. That’s because it has been lost in translation. In this gripping book, Dr. John MacArthur uses deep Bible teaching and historical evaluation to expertly uncover the one forgotten word that restores the Bible’s definition of true Christian freedom."

The concept of being a slave to Christ was not a new one to me, I am fortunate enough to not belong to "the contemporary evangelical movement (that) has lost its interest in doctrine, (one that) is driven by pragmatic concerns, not theological ones, (one that) worries about what draws a crowd, not about what the Bible says." (pg. 74) My pastor has preached on many occasions a similar call to be a slave to Christ.  MacArthur, however does a phenomenal job of giving a picture of what this truly means.

MacArthur goes into detail of what slavery meant to those that the New Testament was written to, those living in an environment where Roman slavery was the norm.  He explains the difference between the modern view of slavery and that of Roman slavery so that we too can understand what the writers were truly talking about.

Slave is also FULL of scripture references to illustrate his points.  When he talks about how often Jesus used the image of slavery in his parables MacArthur gives you specifics.  In my book this is a definite plus. If you are going to make a point, back it up.

 I also like that MacArthur takes the time to explain what it is to be a slave to Christ and contrasts that with what it is to be a slave to sin.  We are a slave to one or the other and I believe it is important to understand the difference.

The only thing that I was disappointed in was that the Hebrew concept of slavery was never brought out.  The Jews also had slaves, however the Jewish law required that the slaves (sometimes referred to as indentured servants because of this law) be released every 50 years during the year of Jubilee.  This, for me at least, is a beautiful illustration of being a slave for Christ also.  We serve him because he paid our sin debt, but is a servitude with an end in sight, not a burden.  That end is spending eternity with God.

All in all, I felt like this was a great book with many truths in it.  It is one I plan to pass on to my pastor and then add to our church library so that others can learn from it as well.

 This book was received for free from the publisher, however my thoughts are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.

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