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If This is Slavery, Are you a Slave?

The fear of death mars the quality of life. We can't enjoy life if we fear an impending death. This fear is...

Written by Dr. Rei Kesis
· 3 min read >

Hebrews 2:15
and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

New Living Translation
Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.

Amplified Bible
and [that He] might free all those who through [the haunting] fear of death were held in slavery throughout their lives.

Contemporary English Version
But he also died to rescue all of us who live each day in fear of dying.

Good News Translation
and in this way set free those who were slaves all their lives because of their fear of death.

Hebrews chapter two tells us about the humanity of Jesus. Jesus was one hundred percent God and one hundred percent human. This chapter helps us understand the value of Jesus being human.

Jesus became human in order to defeat the devil, Hebrews 2:14. Jesus also became human so that He can be a merciful High Priest, Hebrews 2:17. Jesus became human so that He could be tempted and consequently He could help those who are being tempted, Hebrews 2:18.

What captures our attention today is that Jesus became human so that He can set slaves free. Which slaves, you ask? It’s true that sinners are slaves to sin, Romans 6:6. However, the slavery in question today is a slavery of the fear of death, Hebrews 2:15.

The fear of death is a serious problem we all face. Many of us are slaves to the fear of death. We fear that we will die. We fear that our loved ones will die. We fear that death will visit us. We seem ok but deep within us, we fear that death hovers around us. We are slaves to the fear of death!

Slaves do things for their masters by force involuntarily. Since we fear death we have panic attacks. Since we fear death we keep checking on each other. Since we fear death we spend too much money on medical care even when the end is certainly inevitable. Since we fear death we eat unpalatable substances that we imagine will delay death. Since we fear we spend money on security gadgets, etc. We are slaves to the fear of death!

The fear of death mars the quality of life. We can’t enjoy life if we fear an impending death. This fear is the reason why we lack complete peace. Jesus knows all our troubles and He knows that one of our fears is the fear of death. Jesus became human so that He can set us free from slavery to the fear of death!

Anyone who is converted and in a deep relationship with God does not live in fear of death. We don’t fear death because Jesus has the keys to death- meaning He has power over it.

Revelation 1:18
I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

We don’t fear death because nothing can harm us unless God allows it to harm us. How can we fear death when God has the power over death and He has promised that nothing can harm us?

Luke 10:19
I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; NOTHING WILL HARM YOU.

Matthew 10:29-31
(29) Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. (30) And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (31) So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

We do not fear death because even if we die, it is not the end, we will resurrect. The assurance of salvation means death is not permanent and one day death will be defeated.

John 11:25-26
(25) Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; (26) and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

1 Corinthians 15:54-55
(54) When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
(55) “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

We do not live in fear of death because we are under the best security. God has His angels watching over us. God, Himself is watching over us. God has even built a hedge around us and our loved ones and our properties. With such elaborate security, how can we fear death?

2 Kings 6:16-17
(16) “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
(17) And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Psalms 34:7
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.

Proverbs 15:3
The eyes of the LORD are everywhere,
keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

Job 1:9-10
(9) “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. (10) “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.

Thank you, God, for setting us free from the fear of death. I confess that once in a while that fear grips me again, set me free. Give me courage over death. The courage that martyrs had. Set me free from fear of death, in Jesus’ name, Amen!

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Written by Dr. Rei Kesis
Rei Kesis is an ordained Pastor of the SDA Church and A Senior Lecturer of Applied Theology and Religious Studies. Profile

8 Replies to “If This is Slavery, Are you a Slave?”

  1. AMEN.
    My takehome today:
    a) The fear of death mars the quality of life;
    b) We do not fear death because even if we die, it is not the end, we will resurrect;
    c) We do not live in fear of death because we are under the best security.
    Much thanks pastor and God bless you abundantly!

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