Nothing but a slave!
(J. C. Philpot, "Obedience
from the Heart" 1844)
"Once you were slaves of sin!" Romans 6:17
What a picture does this draw of our sad state, while
walking in the darkness and death of unregeneracy!
The Holy Spirit here sets forth Sin as a harsh master,
exercising tyrannical dominion over his slaves! How
this portrays our state and condition in a state of
unregeneracy—slaves to sin!
Just as a master commands his slave to go here and
there—imposes on him certain tasks—and has entire
and despotic authority over him—so sin . . .
had a complete mastery over us,
used us at its arbitrary will and pleasure,
drove us here and there on its commands.
But in this point we differed from physical slaves—
that we did not murmur under our yoke—but gladly
and cheerfully obeyed all sin's commands—and
never tired of doing the most servile drudgery!
Thus some have had sin as a very vulgar and
tyrannical master, who drove them into open acts
of drunkenness, uncleanness, and profligacy—yes,
everything base, vile, and evil.
Others have been preserved through education,
through the watchfulness and example of parents,
or other moral restraints, from going into such open
lengths of iniquity—and outward breakings forth of
evil. But still sin secretly reigned in their hearts . . .
love of the things of time and sense,
hatred to God and aversion to His holy will,
selfishness and stubbornness,
in all their various forms, had a complete mastery
over them! And though sin ruled over them more
as a gentleman—he kept them in a more refined,
though not less real or absolute slavery! Whatever
sin bade them do, that they did, as implicitly as the
most abject slave ever obeyed a tyrannical master's
What a picture does the Holy Spirit here draw of
what a man is! Nothing but a slave!—and sin,
his master, first driving him upon upon God's sword,
and then giving him eternal death as his wages!
"He has rescued us from the dominion
of darkness—and He has brought us into
the Kingdom of His dear Son!" Col. 1:13