Monday, July 25, 2011

Slavery, Early Christianity, The Great Fire In Rome, And Nero (Part 1) - Romans 1

This is a fictional piece of writing (although historically based) and is designed to mimic the perspective of someone living in first century Rome. This is part one in a two part series.

My name is Titus, and I am a slave. I belong to my master: Gaius.

I live in Rome, the capital of the world. The year? 4778, according to our Julian calendar. Almost 70 years have passed since the birth of— well, that brings me to my next subject: Jesus Christ.

Most people see me as nothing. I am, as I mentioned, a slave. But not too long ago... something big happened: I switched masters. But I did not switch masters in a physical sense, I am, after all, still a slave of Gaius. Instead, I switched masters in a spiritual sense.

Two years ago from today, I was converted by a man who also happened to be owned by my master Gaius. (And this man, believe it or not, spoke to the Apostle Paul himself while he was imprisoned here in Rome!)

I'll say this right up front: I am a follower of The Way, or, to use the term that many in the general population use today: I am a Christian.

I am no longer a slave of sin. I am no longer enslaved to darkness. Instead, I am now enslaved to righteousness. I have become a slave of God— a slave of Christ Jesus.

My conversion, like any other, was a miracle— but mine especially was a miracle. Why? Because for a slave, I've lived a rather luxurious life— and I was completely blinded by that luxury. I was educated from birth, and I have played an important role in my master's business as long as I can remember. I used to spend all my time working towards buying my freedom because of greed, but now I spend all my time working towards buying freedom because of Christ.

Once I am free, I will have more time to devote to the cause of Christ... but, I do always keep in my mind that my master might not let me buy my freedom— which means that I would obediently stay. I may be living a life of luxury for a slave, but the one thing I have in common with all slaves is this: my master is the one who has control of me.

I think there is a good reason why Paul began his letter to us Romans with the words: Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus. Slavery to Christ really is an accurate illustration of the Christian life. As a Christian, my ultimate Master is Christ Himself— He is the one who has full control of me. It really is a beautiful illustration. I do not have to worry about myself... all I have to do, as a slave, is concern myself with one thing: doing the will of my Master: Jesus Christ— and everything else will fall into place.

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Related Posts:
Slavery, Early Christianity, The Great Fire In Rome, And Nero (Part 2) - Romans 1
Nero Blames Great Roman Fire On Christians (Part 1) - 64 AD (Church History)
Matthew 1:1-17 - The Lineage of the Messiah
The Gospel (1 of ∞)
Psalm 1:2 - Delight in the LORD's Instruction

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