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Fight for Freedom

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Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1

The Slavery Abolition Act officially eliminated slavery throughout the British Empire on this day in 1834. Many of the men and women in England’s Anti-Slavery Society were spurred to action by their Christian beliefs, notably William Wilberforce—who spent the last twenty years of his life fighting for abolition.

Slavery in the biblical world was a different matter than the kidnapping variety that conscripted free labor for growing empires in the second half of the past millennium. The Bible, however, specifically condemned kidnapping another person (See Exodus 21:16).

Now, the New Testament refers to believers as “slaves” to Christ several times (Romans 1:1; Ephesians 6:6; 1 Peter 2:16), but the imagery the Bible often uses, such as in today’s verse, is of Christ setting believers free from bondage. Paul addressed this paradox when he wrote, “The one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave” (1 Corinthians 7:22).

Jesus came to set you free from the “yoke of bondage,” but then urges you to voluntarily join Him in serving others, saying, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me….For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30).

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