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Does the Bible Condone Slavery?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
January 6, 2022 6:30 am

Does the Bible Condone Slavery?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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January 6, 2022 6:30 am

Episode 875 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode

1. Can I still take communion if I smoke cigarettes?

2. I have a question about Exodus 21:20-22. What do you think about what the Bible says about slaves being someone’s property?

3. Does 1 Corinthians 15 teach that our bodies will be spiritual or natural at the resurrection?

4. Should Christians refer to Jesus as ‘Yeshua’?

5. What does James 5:13-16 mean and should we practice this with those who are sick?

6. Please explain the unforgivable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. What exactly is it and why is it the only unforgivable sin?

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Core Question – Does the Bible Condone Slavery?


What is the Bible's view of slavery? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can post your question on one of our social media sites. In fact, you can watch Adriel live on our YouTube channel right now, and you can send us a message through YouTube as well. And you can always email us your question at questions at core Christianity dot com. First up today, here's a voicemail we received from one of our listeners named Brian. I was wondering, I'm still struggling with smoking cigarettes.

Is it okay for me to participate in committee? Thank you. Brian, thank you for that question. Thank you for that question. That's not a good thing. That's not a healthy thing.

And so you have to be careful. Whatever is not from faith, the Apostle Paul said, is sin. Now, that doesn't mean if this is something that you're struggling with, that you shouldn't be taking the Lord's Supper, though.

In fact, I would say just the opposite. I would say we go to the table, not because we're perfect, not because we've been obedient to God's law perfectly over the previous week, or because we're not struggling with certain things, certain habits. We go as those who struggle to receive God's grace. And that's precisely what's offered to us in the Lord's Supper. It's the grace of God in the gospel through Jesus and his work for us. And so I would encourage you to take communion still, to go to church, humbling yourself before the Lord and saying, God, with whatever it is that I'm struggling with, have mercy on me and help me, Lord, to honor you with the decisions that I make and the way that I live my life, especially to obey your law.

Help me, Lord, to obey your law. And so receive, brother, the grace that the Lord has for you in the table, at the table. You know, one of the most beautiful pictures I think that we see in the New Testament is when Jesus restores Peter after Peter had denied him. And you remember what Jesus did? He met him on, you know, the beach and cooked breakfast for him. And there he said, you know, Peter, do you love me?

And he asked him that question three times. It was this restoration that the Lord was working for Peter, but Peter had just, I mean, denied the Lord. It was this tragic thing that took place when Christ was being crucified. And yet Jesus invited him to breakfast. And after we've sinned, after we've quote unquote denied the Lord, God invites us to the table to receive his grace and forgiveness as we come repentant and saying, Lord, I need you.

And so take advantage of that meal because it's for you. God bless. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open right now. If you have a question about doctrine or theology, the Bible or your Christian life, give us a call. 833-843-2673.

That's 833 The Core. You know, there's a lot of uncertainty in our world today. So here at Core Christianity, we want to offer you a helpful book that is really written for times like these. Yeah, the book is called All That Is Good. It's by Hannah Anderson. I just want to read you a quick description of the book.

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What if you're a part of that plan? In All That Is Good, Hannah Anderson invites you to embrace discernment as part of God's work of redemption. By learning to see the world as he sees it in all its brokenness and beauty, you'll learn to navigate it with confidence and hope.

Friends, we need that, especially in today's day. And so get a hold of this resource. Again, the book is All That Is Good by Hannah Anderson. It's yours for a donation of any amount. Sounds like such a valuable book right now for these times, and we'd love to have you get a copy of it. Just go to our website at forward slash offers. That's forward slash offers. And look for the book All That's Good, Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment. Well, let's go to another voicemail we received.

This one came from one of our listeners named Deb. I just have a question about Exodus chapter 21 verses 20 and 21. Just some confusion over the slavery thing, you know, that they could be beaten because it was their property.

Thank you. Yeah, thank you for that question. So Exodus chapter 21, laws about slaves, in the context you have all sorts of laws in this chapter related to slavery. And in verse 20 it says, When a man strikes a slave, male or female, with a rod, and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money. So a couple of things here just with regard to scripture, the Bible, and slavery.

First, I think one thing is clear. I think we can say according to the Bible that slavery is never a good thing, we might say. I mean, I think of it much like I think about divorce. In the New Testament when Jesus was asked a question about divorce in Mark chapter 10, it's sort of interesting how he responded. He's speaking to the religious leaders, and in verse 2 of Mark chapter 10 it says, The Pharisees came up to him in order to test him and asked, Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?

And Jesus answered them, What did Moses command you? They said, Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away. And Jesus said to them, Because of your hardness of heart, he wrote you this commandment, but from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife. In other words, God has made provision, if you will, for divorce, but this was never God's intent.

This is not how things are supposed to be. And so even though you have laws related to this, they're really laws that come from the hardness of our own heart, from the fact that we live in this fallen and sinful world. And I think that the very same thing could be said about divorce. This is never God's intent, if you will. Now, in Scripture, another thing that we have to say, because there's a lot of, you know, I think oftentimes when we hear about slavery, we're thinking the American slave trade and the sort of ugly history in our own country. And so we can sort of mix these two things up. And the Bible slavery was not something that was racially driven, per se.

It was more rural, more domestic. You see this actually earlier in Exodus chapter 21. It says, these are the rules that you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh year he shall go out free for nothing. And so there was still this essentially provision for emancipation. This is something that was very clear. And it was very different, again, when we're thinking about, when Scripture talks about slavery, it's very different than things like the American slave trade.

You didn't have stealing people. I mean, in fact, that was condemned later in the same chapter in Exodus 21, 16. It says, whoever steals a man and sells him and anyone found in possession of him shall be put to death. And then even a little bit later in verse 26, it says, when a man strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys it, he shall let the slave go for free because of his eye. If he knocks out the tooth of his slave, male or female, he shall let the slave go free because of his tooth.

And so what you have here in the Bible are these provisions that were made for that society in particular. And one of the things that was unique about these provisions in that time is that the slaves were essentially being protected here by God's law. If you hit your slave and you knocked out his tooth, he would go for free. He would be freed.

He would be emancipated. And at the root of it is this sort of biblical understanding that all people are made in the image of God. That just this idea of ownership, of owning another person, that's out of line with how we were created as image bearers of Almighty God. We are the property of the true and the living God. We're not to be the property of one another.

And so those are a few things I'd say. And just another thing that makes it absolutely clear that this is never part of God's intent from the beginning is in the new creation there is no slavery. There is no hierarchy like this, if you will. In Christ, the apostle Paul said in the book of Galatians chapter 3 verse 28, there is no slave or free. And it was passages like that and some of the provisions in scripture that led to the abolishing of slavery in so many places and led to Christians, men like Gregory of Nyssa in the fourth century, really making a strong stance against the practice of slavery. And so we have to understand these passages in their context and I think we also have to realize, as I said at the outset, that this wasn't something that was a good thing. These were provisions that were made for that time in light of living in a fallen and broken world. And all those things are done away with by Christ and ultimately are done away with in the new creation.

Thanks for that question. Great points, Adriel. I think it's so important for us to remember just because the Bible describes something doesn't mean that it's necessarily something that God condones or approves of, correct?

Yeah, yeah. Again, and I think of divorce as the example there in Mark chapter 10 because Jesus makes it clear, look, Moses allowed this because of the hardness of your heart. That's why you have these laws pertaining to this, but this is not how God's world was set up to be from the very beginning. And so we're looking for something better, for something else, and that's what we should fight for in our lives and in the world around us. Amen. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible, the Christian life, doctrine, or theology, you can hop on the phone right now. We'll be taking calls for the next 10 minutes or so. And here's the phone number. It's 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE.

Let's go to Russell in Kansas City, Missouri. Russell, what's your question for Adriel? Yes. The explanation of 1 Corinthians 15, 44, please, is sown a natural body, is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, then there is also a spiritual body. Okay, so 1 Corinthians 15, 44. Let me just begin in verse 42. And for those of you who are not familiar with 1 Corinthians chapter 15, in this chapter, Paul is making a case for the resurrection of the dead, for the bodily resurrection. Part of the issue was it seems like there were people teaching in Corinth that there was no resurrection. Some have suggested that maybe they were teaching that the resurrection had already happened.

So Paul is correcting some false teaching that was probably floating around during the days of the Corinthians. And so in verse 42, he begins and says, So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory, it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power, it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, the first man, Adam, became a living being, the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

But it is not the spiritual that is first, but the natural, and then the spiritual. Now here's where people can get confused about these verses. Is Paul saying that the resurrection body is just a sort of spirit body, that it's not a real physical body?

No, that's not what he's saying at all. And the proof of that is he makes it clear earlier in 1 Corinthians that our resurrection follows the resurrection of Jesus. And Jesus in his resurrection was bodily, physically raised.

I mentioned earlier on the program how he's sitting down with Peter after his resurrection eating a fish breakfast by the beach. He's there, he can say to his disciples, look at my body, Thomas, feel the scars in my hand. And so this idea of being raised a spiritual body doesn't mean that we're not physical. It's spiritual in the sense of new creation, raised by the spirit, perfected, glorified. That's the resurrection that we look forward to.

And here Paul is just getting the order straight. He's saying, look, we begin, this is a natural man, this physical body, but we're raised incorruptible by the grace of the Holy Spirit. And that's what we look forward to, brothers and sisters. As Christians, too many people when they think about salvation, they assume that salvation, what Jesus did for us, is he made it so that we could go to heaven when we die. You ask Jesus in your heart, and then you get to go to heaven when you die, and then we're gonna float around as disembodied spirits for all eternity, and heaven is the end goal.

No, actually, being disembodied spirits is, I mean, that's the intermediate state we refer to it as. It's not the end goal. The end goal is the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.

That's why Jesus rose from the dead so that we might be raised, and that's what Paul is looking forward to here in 1 Corinthians 15, the perfection of our bodies, the consummation, if you will, the very end of our redemption at the resurrection from the dead. And that's what he's highlighting there in those verses. And so, Russell, thank you for that question. God bless. Great explanation. Thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Nathan in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Nathan, what's your question? Hi, I had a question concerning the name. So I've heard a lot of people, like I grew up hearing the name Jesus, and here recently I've been hearing the name Yeshua a lie, and I guess I'm just confused on why there are so many different names concerning to our Lord, basically. Why would we have to translate the name Yahweh? I might be wrong that they never translated the name Yahweh, but why would we have to translate the name Yeshua to Jesus and all these other names?

Thank you. Hey, Nathan, I would say, look, there are some people out there who will give you a really hard time if you're saying Jesus and not Yeshua. Well, his name is Yeshua. That's the Hebrew way of saying it or whatnot. Also, Jehovah's Witnesses do this with the divine name of God, Yahweh. They'll say, well, it's mistranslated. We say Lord, but we should be using the divine name, that kind of a thing.

I think all of this sort of misses the point. Yes, God does have, I mean, reveals himself as Yahweh in the Old Testament, but there are also a number of different names by which God identifies himself, and each of them, I think, highlights something about who he is. The divine name, as it's revealed, reveals to us, highlights that God is the self-existent one, that he has being, essence, that he's the one who is. He told Moses at the burning bush, I am who I am. Really, that's what's being highlighted there, but you also have these other names, essentially, that God gives as he reveals himself, and certainly even with regard to Jesus.

I mean, what does the New Testament say? His name will be called Emmanuel, which means God with us, or Jesus because he will save his people from their sins, or he's identified in other ways. He's identified as the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, or the prince of peace, right? The wonderful, the counselor in Isaiah chapter nine.

I think that we shouldn't get lost in saying, well, you have to say it this way, or pronounce it this way. The question is, who is Jesus, and what did he do for us? That's even what's highlighted in the New Testament. His name will be called Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

If we're so focused on, are you pronouncing it the right way? Are you using the divine name Jehovah? I think we can lose sight of really the most important thing, which is who he is, and what he's accomplished for us, and for our redemption. That's what God wants us to know.

However you say it, that's fine. The question is, who is Jesus, and do you believe in him? Are you resting in him? Are you trusting in him for your redemption?

That's how I'd approach this question. God bless. Great point. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity. Just a reminder, we have that wonderful new book to offer you. It's called All That's Good, Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment, just perfect for the times we are living in now. It's available to you for a gift of any amount. You can find that by going to our website at forward slash offers.

Just look for the book, All That's Good. Here's a Facebook question we received from one of our listeners who is listening online. Denise is her name, and she says, What is your take on James 5, 13 through 16?

I am asking this for a sick friend. James 5, beginning in verse 13, says, Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. And then verse 16, Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Here's what I would say.

I mean, I think this is pretty clear here. James is saying, Look, if you're sick, call the elders of your church. Ask them to pray for you, to lay hands on you, to anoint you with oil in the name of the Lord, and pray in faith that God would heal. And so, Denise, this is something that we do in the church that I pastor, and I, in fact, encourage people when they're sick.

I'll say, Hey, would you like the elders to come and pray for you? And we ask the Lord, and we say, God, would you heal? We know that God can heal.

He's the Lord. I mean, he can work in miraculous ways. Now, that doesn't mean that God is always going to heal, and I don't think that that's what James is saying here. We know that there are instances where God doesn't choose to heal miraculously, where we just depend on medicine or other things, or maybe just for whatever reason, it's not God's will for us to get better. I think of, for example, in 1 Timothy 5, verse 23, Paul encouraged Timothy to take a little bit of wine because of his frequent stomach ailments.

It's interesting. He doesn't say, Hey, you don't have enough faith because you haven't been healed yet. Didn't I tell you you need to pray for divine healing, and it hasn't happened? He's just saying, Look, use some common wisdom. Maybe take a little bit of wine to settle your stomach.

It sounds like you're having these pretty bad stomach ailments. We can go to the Lord. We pray for healing.

We also take advantage of the best of modern medicine and what's out there and just using wisdom in terms of taking care of ourselves. But ultimately, we're entrusting ourselves to God and saying, Lord, your will be done. I'm going to come to you. I'm going to pray for healing, for your help. But I'm going to trust ultimately that you know what's best for me and that you're going to work in me for your glory and for my good, whether you grant me healing or not.

There are two, Denise, I think, ditches that we can reckon. One ditch is the ditch that just says, Oh, God never wants to heal, can't heal, doesn't have the power to heal, that kind of a thing. And so we're just sort of faithless. We don't come before him believing that he is. And as the author of the Hebrew says, he's the rewarder of those who diligently seek him. So I think we ought to come with faith and say, God, have mercy, heal.

If that's what your friend is being prompted to do, pray in that way according to James 5. The other ditch is we can assume that it's always God's will to heal. And if we're not healed miraculously, it's because there's something wrong with us. Maybe I don't have enough faith. Maybe there's some secret sin in my life.

And that is also just as destructive, just as damaging. There are theologies out there that have tried to make this argument that you should always be healed. If you're not healed, it's because you're just not naming it and claiming it strongly enough. You don't have enough faith.

But that, too, is false. I think we approach the Lord with humility, not with presumption. We're doing things according to his word. And James 5, I think, seems very clear here. And so for your friend, if this is something that they're wrestling through, I would say call the elders of your church and have them pray for you and seek the face of the Lord.

And maybe the Lord will heal, but trust in him and know that he loves you and that he has your best interest in mind. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Earlier, we had a question about slavery from one of our listeners named Deb. And we wanted to mention we have a core question available on that. It's called, Does the Bible Condone Slavery? You can find that at forward slash free downloads.

Here's an email question that came in from one of our listeners named Dan. Dan says, Please explain the unforgivable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. What exactly is it and why is it the only unforgivable sin?

You know, a lot of people are terrified. A lot of Christians are terrified at one point or another in their life that they've committed the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit because they read these passages in the Gospels that talk about this sin that is unforgivable. If you do this, you cannot be forgiven. Now, in the context of the Gospels, when Jesus brings us up, when he says this blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, it's in the context of the religious leaders basically saying, Jesus, you're casting out demons by Satan himself. And so they're associating the work of Jesus Christ with the devil. This isn't sort of struggling with sin or falling into sin or falling into the same sin over and over again. That's not what the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is. The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is rejecting Jesus and the work of his spirit, the Gospel, and going as far as to, with a hard heart, consistently, persistently identified as the work of the evil one. It's essentially rejecting Jesus and not believing in him.

If you don't believe in Jesus, if you reject the Gospel, well, there is no forgiveness because it's only found in him. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-01 07:13:36 / 2023-07-01 07:23:50 / 10

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