Leviticus 25:47-49 ESV
“If a stranger or sojourner with you becomes rich, and your brother beside him becomes poor and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner with you or to a member of the stranger’s clan, then after he is sold he may be redeemed. One of his brothers may redeem him, or his uncle or his cousin may redeem him, or a close relative from his clan may redeem him. Or if he grows rich he may redeem himself….
Leviticus 25:53-55 ESV
….He shall treat him as a worker hired year by year. He shall not rule ruthlessly over him in your sight. And if he is not redeemed by these means, then he and his children with him shall be released in the year of jubilee. For it is to me that the people of Israel are servants. They are my servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
In the book of Leviticus we find imagery of servitude or slavery and redemption. The simplicity of the terms of it was that in Israel there was not to be any forced servitude among themselves but if one became destitute that you could in a way contract yourself out to another man who would treat you as a servant in his house with a wage paid toward your contract. However ownership wasn’t given to said master because god had brought them from forced labor and slavery in Egypt. The condition of said servitude was that the master had to treat his servants fairly and there were punishments up to death for those who broke the terms.
For us and what it means to christians is ever present today. For we are born into bondage to sin. We have no choice in the matter. To be born means we serve sin until we are served the wages which is death physically and spiritually. We can be redeemed through Jesus Christ through his sacrifice. Now the hairy part of it is we really have free will to accept or remain in our sin. In truth that is all we have. We can no more choose to not sin than choose to be good when we become Christians. We ourselves can do nothing. This is why we must fall in love with the Holy Spirit. This is why we can not boast in our works this is why this quasi free will we have been given must be surrendered. Indeed all that we have must be from Christ.
John 3:26-30 ESV
And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness-look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John the Baptist knew this indentured servitude all too well. When he came to make way for the messiah, he came in knowledge that one day his ministering would come to an end and his redemption would come. He was but a servant until the end. Much like him we have been called to serve a purpose, to make straight the way of Jesus Christ second coming. To serve within whatever capacity he sees fit but to do so we must decrease so he can increase. How can we do such thing in this flesh? We can not. Our flesh holds onto its free will and uses it to sooth itself with pride. In the same breath that we say, look at what I have done in tour name lord, Jesus will say look at what you have done in my name Jimmy, it is not good. So what can we do? We throw up the white flag of surrender and defeat. This how we become more than conquerors. In failure we are rewarded. John ran his race, lived by denying himself and though he was beheaded for his righteousness that he only had because he received it from God himself, he found paradise.
Free will is both a gift and a curse. A gift to those who surrendered to the will of the father and a curse to those who cling to it. Once you have waived the white flag you can start your life. When we give free will away then we can be filled with the richness of heaven. If we choose to follow Christ and don’t give it away then we become poor and in essence sell ourselves to the sojourner and strangers though we have been taken out of Egypt. In his faithfulness Christ will give you to them until you return to be redeemed. If you never truly gave yourself to him then you will not feel his pull back to him, for the chastens those who he loves.