Monday, April 13, 2009

A Slave to Christ

This morning I started reading Romans. I made it through verse one before I had to stop and meditate on a specific word. Paul uses this term all over the New Testament, primarily when he is introducing himself. He calls himself a "servant of Christ Jesus" (Romans 1:1). For whatever reason this phraseology stuck out to me when my eyes glanced over the text. If we are honest, many of you reading this post have done the same thing.... "Oh yeah... Paul is a servant of Christ... I know that... no big deal." We never stop to consider what that actually means. Well... this morning I set out to understand that particular word in more detail.

I started by looking up the verse @ Blue Letter Bible (fantastic resource that provides the Greek). I found that the word servant is translated from is Doulos. This term can have a wide range of meanings. It is translated slave, bondman, man of servile condition. Basically, this word describes someone who is devoted to another to the disregard of his or hers own interests. John MacArthur provides a great definition when he writes, "It was sometimes used of a person who voluntarily served others, but most commonly it referred to those who were in unwilling and permanent bondage, from which often there was no release but death." Although this sounds extreme to most reading these words it was the reality that Paul lived within. He had given himself wholeheartedly in love to the divine Master who saved him from sin and death. This claim by Paul should not be taken lightly. He considered himself a bond-servant or slave to Christ and the furthering of the Kingdom. It is obvious that if Paul claimed to be a slave that Christ was his life... everything he did was for the advancement of the Gospel... what a radical yet amazing description... to be a slave to Jesus!!

I don't think I am the only one that would say it is hard to find a believer who would describe themselves or be described as a slave of Christ. In an individualistic culture we are not prone to use terminology relating to slavery or being a slave to anything. We want to be in control... not slaves. However, the reality is we will be a servant of something. As humans we are designed to make something ultimate (to worship something). This will happen whether we like it or not. If you are not a bond-servant to Christ you will be a slave to an addiction, your own ego, even sports etc. So.. stop thinking that you are not mastered by anything... you will serve something... I would suggest it be Christ.

Honestly, I often think it would be wonderful in theory to be a bond-servant of Jesus. However, I am still a long ways from describing myself as a slave to my Savior. This truth is evident when I consdier the actions of my life... I often claim that Christ is my ultimate, however, my deeds loudly proclaim something else. My desire is to truly be a slave to Christ... where every aspect of my life is centered on proclaiming the Gospel and Kingdom of Jesus.

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