Saturday, April 14, 2007

Philippians Study - Servants of Jesus Christ (part 1)

"Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:" (Phil. 1:1)

In the text Paul descibes himself and his companion Timothy as being 'servants' of Jesus Christ. The word for servants in the Greek is δουλοι (pronounced as 'douli' which is the plural from of 'doulos'). It literally means 'slaves.' Paul (and Timothy) considers himself a 'slave' to Jesus Christ. "Doulos" is also translated bond 6 times in other passages (like 1 Cor. 12:13, Gal. 3:28, etc.) and 'bondman' once in Revelation 6:15. I am not an advocate for slavery. I think of the atrocities of slavery and cringe. However, slavery was a historical fact. Back in those days a person could become a slave by three ways: a person could be sold into slavery, conquered in battle and then made into a slave, or a person could be born into slavery. At any rate this illustration can picture our condition prior to faith in Christ. A sinner is sold in the market place of sin (Rom. 7:14). Sin conquered us, thus making every man a sinner, by nature and choice. And sin is passed on to every man since Adam that means we are all born sinners or that we are sinners by birth (Rom. 5:12; Ps. 51:5). All that until Christ came. He bought us with His precious and incorruptible blood (1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). He conquered us by His grace, love and mercy (Jn. 16:33; 1 John 5:4). He taught us the significance of the new birth (Jn. 3:1-15) so that through Him we are born of the Spirit into the family of God. In all reality, every one who has placed their faith solely on the Lord Jesus Christ is classified as a servant, or bondman to Christ. We become Christians by faith and remain under Christ’s Lordship for all eternity. Christ Jesus owns us. Paul declares in 1 Cor. 6:19 “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”

Being servants of Jesus Christ is recognizing His ownership of our lives. God owns everything, including me and all that I posses. It all belongs to God, He simply allows me to be a steward over the things that He so graciously allows me to have. How many Christians don’t live up to this vital Bible truth? In fact, Jesus said in Matt. 6:24 that no man can serve two masters. The only way a person can get away from not becoming a servant to Christ is to not be saved. I suppose many do not want to be saved for this reason, they do not want to give up their lives for the Lord. They are not willing to repent and believe on Jesus Christ. I suppose many Christians are still debating and arguing with God about godliness and pursuing a life that is pleasing to God. They are not living out the reality of their spiritual condition. They are servants, but bad ones. But the truth of the matter is that serving Christ is the best thing a Christian can do. Why? because Jesus Christ is by far a better master. Matt. 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”


CindyMae said...

Serving Christ is such an awesome thing. Since I have given my life to God, I can not imagine not serving Him. This is an awesome post, thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

Since accepting Christ, I have found rest unto my soul! Being a servant for Him is a pleasure! Good post, Brother!