“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God” (Romans 1:1)
The word here translated bondservant is actually the word slave (doulos). It is a strong word, carrying the following meanings:
- It refers to one born into slavery.
- It refers to one who is in a relation to another which only death can break
- It refers to one whose will is swallowed up in the will of another.
- It refers to one who serves another even to the disregard of his own interests.
The word slave is an unpopular word….and for good reason. Throughout the history of humanity, the stronger have conquered the weaker and subjected them to the most horrific indignities. The first goal of a slave is simply to survive. But a close second would be to obtain freedom. Yet the Apostle Paul willingly made himself a bond-slave of Christ.
Born a slave to sin, he was born again a slave to righteousness. At the moment of new birth, he entered into a relationship with the Lord Jesus which not even death could sever, for the power of death was broken on the cross. He was a man whose will was utterly swallowed up in the will of God, demonstrated by his utter disregard even for his own life that he might preach Christ.
This disgraceful word…..slave…..has now been given an air of dignity by all of those who, like Paul, have gladly chosen the title of slave for themselves because of the exceeding greatness of the Master. Head high, chin up, eyes lifted heavenward…….we serve with gladness.