While beginning my study in Philippians I became fascinated by the way Paul describes himself. He calls himself a bond-servant to Christ. In the Greek bond-servant is Doulos and means a slave or one devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interest. I began to wonder if any of the other followers of Christ considered themselves bond servants. In my search God began to speak to my heart. Here is what I found.
Paul refers to himself as a bond –servant of Christ many times. (Rom 1:1; Gal 1:10; Phil 1:1; Titus 1:1; Rev 1:1) In the book of James he also calls himself a bond-servant (1:1) along with Peter (2 Peter 1:1) and Jude (1:1). In Revelations 15:3 Paul refers to Moses as “the bond-servant of God”. And in Phil 2:7 Christ is said to have taken on “the form of a bond – servant”.
Its interesting that the slaves would choose to become bondservant. Which means they would remain a servant, but this time it is forever. In other words, he is released from bondage by his lord, but for love of his lord, he gives up his freedom to become a servant of his master all the days of his life. This servant is no longer a slave, but definitely not a hired, but a willing bondservant, like Paul and the other New Testament Apostles. In the Old Testament these bondservants often became heirs in families who had no heir. So in some ways they became like sons.
What does this say to us? The servant was willing to give up his freedom out of love for his master. That was a decision based not on fear, not on intellectual assent, but upon the condition and attitude of his heart. This seems to be the message that the Father conveys in this principle and that tells me that God isn't focused primarily on what my hands do as much as what is in my heart to do. In other words, he may have my hands and even my mind, but if He doesn't have my heart, then He doesn't have me. Many ‘serve’ God, but not really, because they are not doing His Will or His desire, but their own with a religious covering they have made for themselves. It is what they choose to do for God and not what He has asked them do in, as a servant of His master.
So, I have to ask myself:
Am I a servant?
Am I a servant of my fellow Christians?
Am I a bondservant of Christ?
Am I prepared to say, “I’ll do whatever where-ever whenever you want me to, Lord”?
Am I prepared to hand over my will to the Lord and let Him take care of me?
Am I prepared to obey my Lord regardless of what He asks?
Am I willing to trust the Lord - no matter what happens?
Thanks for this bit of history. I didn't know this about bondservants and it really helps me understand the passage better.ReplyDelete
Interesting post. It really made me think. Truly the heart is the most important to the Lord.ReplyDelete
I've always loved and been challenged by the concept of a bondservant. Thanks for the reminder of what this means.ReplyDelete