TITLE: “Unshackled From the Tyranny & Cruelty of Sin”
GREEK WORD WITH ENGLISH TRANSLITERATION: δούλος (doulos)
STRONG’S CONCORDANCE #: 1401
MEANING: slave; servant
ENGLISH WORDS DERIVED FROM: None
BACKGROUND OF WORD (ETYMOLOGY): used to describe the highest (or more accurately “lowest”) level of slavery
HOW TRANSLATED IN KJV, NASB AND/OR ESV: slave; servant
# OF TIMES USED IN THE GREEK NEW TESTAMENT: 127
KEY VERSE IN THE BIBLE WHERE GREEK WORD USED: Romans 6:17
“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves (doulos) of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed.” ESV
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK:
When Paul writes that we were previously the servants of sin, he uses the Greek word “doulos”, one of the most wretched expressions for a slave in the ancient Greek language. It described a servant who was so totally sold into slavery that he had no destiny of his own; rather, he was perpetually obligated to do the bidding of his owner — fulfilling the whims, impulses, quirks, urges, and desires of his master for the rest of his life. In other words, the word “doulos” depicts one whose very existence is to fulfill the commands of his master. Or as one expositor explained, the word portrays one whose will is completely swallowed up in the will of another.
This is the word Paul uses to describe our slavery to sin before Jesus came into our lives. Paul is saying that prior to our salvation experience, we were completely consumed, swallowed up, devoured, and engulfed in the will of Satan and according to the desires of our flesh. We may have thought we were in charge of our lives; we may have assumed we were “calling the shots” ourselves. But in reality, you and I were in the grip of sin, and our sin nature was controlling our lives and destinies. We were like captives sold into the depravity of slavery. As the slaves of sin, our destinies were being masterminded by an unseen, diabolical spirit that wanted to destroy us.
Because of the word “doulos” in Romans 6:17, one section of this verse could be taken to read:
“…In the past you were the wretched slaves of sin — sold out entirely to sin — and you had no ‘say-so’ about your life, your future, or your desires. At that time, your entire existence on earth was centered around fulfilling the whims, impulses, quirks, urges, and desires of your master — sin….”
Our prior slavery to sin and Satan was so deeply rooted in our nature that we became inseparable from the sinful nature that so constantly worked in us and controlled us. Indeed, this pervading demonic presence in our lives was so absolute and supreme that Paul described it this way in Ephesians 2:2: “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.”
CHALLENGE FOR THE WEEK:
Would you like to more fully appreciate how the grace of God has changed you? Why not take a little time today to recall what your spiritual condition was like before His grace touched your life? As you do that, I think you’ll realize that before Jesus Christ came into your heart, life was doomed to failure. In fact, it was so unpromising that Romans 6:17 says you were in reality a “servant” to sin. Recommit yourself today as a slave to Christ and claim victory for being Unshackled From the Tyranny and Cruelty of Sin!”
PRAYER FOR THE WEEK:
Lord, I thank You for coming into my life and for breaking the power of sin that used to hold me captive. I remember the futility I felt as I tried to change myself but couldn’t do it. But when You came into my life, everything changed! I praise You for loving me so much that You left Heaven and descended into a world filled with sin and depravity. You did that for me, and I thank You so much! I confess that I am positionally free because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The shedding of His blood paid the ransom for me. The hold Satan used to have on me is broken, and I am liberated and set free! I no longer have to sin. Now God’s divine power operates mightily in me, and I have authority over the enemy who used to control me! I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name! Amen.