Read: Romans 6:15-23
Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now . . . you are free. (vv. 17-18 NLT)
The most common form of modern slavery is bonded labor. Bonded labor victims are enslaved until they repay a debt. Here’s one example from the International Justice Mission. Five families were freed from bonded labor at a brick kiln in India. Each family had been held there for as many as seven years, working off ever-increasing false debts. They were lured under false pretenses to the brick kiln, thinking they would be working to support their families. Instead, they were forced to work seven days a week from sun up to sun down. They were afraid to leave because the owner threatened their lives. After the families were rescued, each person received official release certificates abolishing their false debts and declaring them free.
We have all been slaves to sin, but Jesus paid our debt to set us free (v. 23). We must repent and believe this good news. Nobody can earn this gift of new life and freedom in Christ, but God freely gives it because he loves us (John 3:16). So it should be for our fellow humans.
How should we respond to this grace? People trapped in modern slavery are people. They are loved by God and should be loved by us. We were slaves to sin but now are free; we were taught to obey God and live holy lives. When we know better, then we should do better. How can we help bonded workers be set free today? —Kelly Brace
As you pray, thank God for your freedom.