δουλος

παυλος δουλος ιησου χριστου…” — Paul, Romans 1.1

The first message that Paul drives home to the church at Rome is his credentials. He is a “servant”, δουλος, of Christ. His first credential is his enslavement…

The word δουλος, translated here as servant, means far more than just being a servant. It means a slave that is totally possessed by his master. It is a bond-servant bound by the law to a master.

A look at the slave market of Paul’s day clearly shows what Paul meant when he said he was

“a slave of Jesus Christ”

  1. The slave was totally possessed by his master. This is what Paul meant. Paul was purchased and possessed by Christ. Christ had looked upon him and had seen his degraded and needful condition; Christ bought him, therefore he was now the possession of Christ.
  2. The slave existed for his master, and had no other reason for existence. He had no personal rights whatsoever. It is the same with Paul: he existed only for Christ. His rights were the rights of Christ, and Him alone.
  3. The slave served his master, and he existed only for the purpose of service.  He was at the master’s disposal at any hour.  It is the same with Paul:  he lived only to serve Christ, hour by hour, day by day, night by night.

There is one last thing that Paul meant by “a slave of Christ”, and it is by far the most precious.  He meant that he had the highest and most kingly profession in all of the world.  Men of God, the greatest men of history, have been called “slaves of God.”  It is the highest title of honor.  The believer’s slavery to Christ is not cringing, or cowardly and shameful.  It is the position of honor — an honor that bestows upon a man the privileges and responsibilites of serving the King of kings, and the Lord of lords.

Moses was a slave of God (Deut. 34.5; Ps. 105.26), as was Joshua (Josh. 24.29) and David (2 Sam. 3.18; Ps. 78.70).  In fact, all Christian believers are said to be slaves of Christ (Acts 2.18; 1 Cor. 7.22; Eph. 6.6; Col. 4.12; 2 Tim. 2.24).

But are we really enslaved to Christ?  I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that I’m not.  I’m caught in bondage to a myraid of things…

So who are you serving?  Whose slave are you, really?

Advertisements

About this entry