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Freeman and Freedman

In the ancient Greek and Roman world, a "freeman" was someone who was born free, while a "freedman" was an emancipated slave. The principle also applies, in a religious sense, to everyone who has ever lived through time. All people are born free to accept or reject God's love and offer of salvation, but only those who choose to accept that offer, by genuine repentance and obedience to Him, will be freed from the consequences of the slavery to sin that, ironically, all "free" people are imprisoned by until such time that they make themselves "slaves" to Christ.


Holy Bible Throughout the New Testament, the followers of Jesus Christ referred to themselves in various ways, such as the "faithful," the "elect," the "saints," the "believers" and the "church" (the literal meaning of the original word for church meant ones who are called, i.e. church actually means repentant and converted people, not a building or a corporate organization). Christian, from the Greek Christianos, was originally a term used by unbelievers to describe the followers of Jesus Christ as slaves (i.e. the suffix ianos was popularly used to specify the slaves of the one whose name with which it was compounded i.e. Christianos meant slaves of Christ), and was the name given to the church by the Greeks and Romans who most often intended it in a derogatory manner - although Paul, in referring to himself, made reference to that slave, or servant, label in a positive way by honorably calling himself a "a servant of Jesus Christ" (Romans 1:1).

The apostle Paul was a free man; he exercised his civil rights as a Roman citizen (e.g. Acts 22:25-29) that made him a free man throughout the Roman empire (well, at least until he started preaching the Gospel, see also Paul's Ministry). But even when he was "free," he knew he was a prisoner, a slave, to sin. It was only through the Christ that he could look forward to being truly free.

What Paul described of himself, applies to everyone.

"For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me."

"I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." (Romans 7:14-25 KJV)

Fact Finder: When will freedom come?
See "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit"

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