On the Auction Block

auction block

“There was a time when we were all on the auction block”

The very idea of “slavery” is repugnant to the Western mind. I say “the Western mind” simply because slavery is still very much practiced where the worldview inherited from ancient Christendom has not yet shaped the outlook and practices of those who have power to exert their wills over others. T.M. Moore

““Slavery is the next thing to hell.” Harriet Tubman

Slavery has existed almost as long as humans have been on the earth. In the ancient Roman world, and throughout history being “on the auction block” sold into slavery, brought fear, despair, hopelessness. A person’s destiny, freedom, life, even their family was no longer in their hands, but in the hands of the highest bidder.

In the western world of the 21st century the idea of slavery, whether it is human trafficking, governments that deny liberty and freedom, or the dark past of our nation, is looked at with disgust and revulsion. As well it should. It is an affront to human dignity, and clearly contrary to Biblical principles on many levels.

As I sat in church this past Sunday the pastor spoke these words.

“There was a time when we were all on the auction block”.

There is a slavery that is far worse than the denial of freedom or liberty. And there is no government, political power or physical action that can free us from it. Jesus spoke these words to the Jewish believers gathered around Him:

Jesus: (To the new Jewish believers) “If you hear My voice and abide in My word, you are truly My disciples; you will know the truth, and that truth will give you freedom. Jewish Believers: We are Abraham’s children, and we have never been enslaved to anyone. How can You say to us, “You will be set free”? Jesus: I tell you the truth: everyone who commits sin surrenders his freedom to sin. He is a slave to sin’s power.” John 8:30-34

This is the slavery that affects and infects every man, woman and child born on Planet Earth.
Even those of us who enjoy the freedom we have in the United States. It is a slavery that began with the sin of Adam, and continues to this day.

But God, looked down on the world and saw us all on the auction block of sin.

But God,  loved us so that He gave His Son, Jesus, to stand on the auction block in our place, and pay the price of the bid on the Cross for all of us, that we might go free.

The apostle Paul writes about this wonderful news. “In the days when you lived as slaves to sin, you had no obligation to do the right thing. In that regard, you were free. But what do you have to show from your former lives besides shame? The outcome of that life is death, guaranteed. But now that you have been emancipated from the death grip of sin and are God’s slave, you have a different sort of life, a growing holiness. The outcome of that life is eternal life. The payoff for a life of sin is death, but God is offering us a free gift—eternal life through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King.” Romans 6:20-25

Scripture is clear that we cannot acknowledge the gift of freedom from sin, and then continue to live our former life. To do this brings death and puts us back in the grip of slavery. But if we embrace this freedom, and allow God through the unfathomable richness of His love and mercy to unite us with Jesus we are infused with life! Ephesians 2:4

What will we choose? Will we remain on the auction block of sin, preserving our will against all else refusing the freedom we are offered?

Or will we choose to be free, surrendering our will to the One who makes us free indeed?

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it” Luke 9:23-24

The choice is yours…

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About HCliffCraig.com

“Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the great story no one on earth has read: which goes on forever”. I love this line at the end of the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Everyone has a story to tell and ultimately we are all part of a greater story that someday will be revealed in full. “ For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things”. ( 1 Corinthians 13:12). My story is not remarkable, although the events I have had the privilege in my life to witness have been. I grew up in the south “the land of cotton” and the old times there were definitely not forgotten. I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK and Martin Luther King were murdered in Dallas and in Memphis. I remember the Civil Rights movement, a time of great unrest and change. I remember the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” in the late 1960’s. It was also the dawning of my love for playing music, a love that has stayed with me throughout my life. If my life were chapters in a book one would tell of my precious bride of 20+ years who endured so much and stood beside me through the good and the bad. One would describe the blessings of being a father and a grandfather. One would tell about how despite being “the wretch” the song sings about God was able to change me, and use me to make a difference in others lives, make me a servant in His church, and surround me with friends all because of His goodness. All part of a story that has had many twists and turns. I think of the words Jimmy Buffet wrote in one of my favorite songs "As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man I have chalked up many a mile Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks And I learned much from both of their styles" And so it is true for me. But in all of my travels and all I have read and experienced nothing compares to where I am headed. The place where my story here ends and the story that goes on forever begins! "" I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day He returns". Philippians 1:6 My hope is that as we all run our race that in some small way my words will encourage and speak to you, as your story is being written. And draw you ever closer to the One who loves you. Further up and further in!
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