Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 1 Study # 3
June 24, 2012
Dayton, Texas
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<183> Thesis: Since several New Testament authors delight in casting themselves in terms of "slaves of Jesus Christ", we need to clearly understand what Paul's threat of "bondage" actually is. Introduction: In our last study, I gave you a "nutshell" definition of "bondage": a lifeless forced compliance under threat of death. However, it is an undeniably clear fact that several New Testament authors seemed to delight in calling themselves "bondslaves" to God/Jesus. This sets up a potent argument that there is a "bondage" that is significantly fearful and horrifyingly evil and there is a "bondage" that is pretty much a fundamental characteristic of godliness. Since Paul's argument in Galatians is that "bondage" is "bad" and "freedom" is "good" and was at least one of the objectives of redemption (5:1 and 13), it stands to reason that we need a more comprehensive grasp of the nature of the "bad bondage" so that we may participate in the "good bondage" while remaining determinedly "free" of everything that brings death into the mix. So, this evening we are going to look into what Paul meant by the phrase in 4:3 that "we ... were in bondage under the elements of the world".