“Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus…” – Romans 1:1
We often gloss over the first verse or two in each of the epistles. After all, it’s just Paul giving a standard greeting. Right?
Actually, there is more than that packed into those verses than just “Hi! This is Paul. Hope things are going well for you …” For instance, look at the first phrase in the book of Romans: “Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus.”
A bond-servant. There’s a challenge right there. A bond-servant was one who made a choice to be a lifetime slave to another. You heard that correctly: a slave. That means the person made the choice to give up their rights and decided voluntarily to do – 100% of the time – the will of the other person.
We use a lot of terms to describe our relationship with Christ: Friend to friend, Shepherd to sheep, Groom to bride, Savior to sinner. All of those are absolutely true, and together begin to provide a picture of what our relationship really involves. But we need to add one more to our list to fill out that picture. One that is gritty, and sometimes hard to wrestle with: Master to slave.
Say aloud, “I am a slave of Christ.” What emotions does that statement bring up? Why?
What rights do you find it most difficult to give up to Christ? Why?
When is it most difficult for you to be obedient to Christ? Why?