What did I just say? Do I have your attention yet? Calm down. Let me explain what I mean.
I was listening to a message by Dr. John MacArthur a few days ago (originally broadcast back in 2008) about Slaves. I thought that was a weird enough title for a sermon so I listened to it. Boy, was I glad I did. His message changed my outlook on what it means to be a follower of Christ. I hope it does the same for you. Let's begin this blog post with a little scripture.
"20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." - Romans 6:20-23 KJV
The word "servants" in this passage is from the Greek duolos, or some form of that word. But duolos does NOT mean servant. According to my Greek Interlinear Bible it means . . . slave. There are over 150 uses of the word duolos, or some form of it, in the New Testament. Except when the writer is talking about actual slaves, the word duolus is translated as servant. Question. Why didn't the translators simply say slaves then? Well, perhaps because of the negative connotation throughout history. Who knows. The fact remains that the word "servant" should really be translated as "slave." And that gave me a whole new understanding to my role in God's Kingdom. I am not a servant. I am to be a slave!
What characteristics do slaves have? Well, for one, they have no rights at all. They have been purchased by someone. They follow orders, doing just what their owner demands. Here is a list gleaned from the MacArthur sermon.
- Exclusive Ownership
- Complete and Constant Availability and Obedience
- Subject to One Alien Will
- Complete Dependence on the Master for Everything
- All Discipline Comes from that One Master
Are we "owned" by someone? Yes. "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." - Psalm 24:1
Are we to be obedient to God? Yes. "If you love me you will keep my commands" - John 14:15
Are we subject to God's will? Mhmm. "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." - Matthew 6:10
Do we depend on God for everything? Yes. "19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:19
Does our discipline come from God? Yes. "It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?" - Hebrews 12:7
Have we been purchased for a price? Yes. "19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price." -1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Servants have options. They can quit their jobs if they want to. They earn a wage. They pay taxes. They are NOT slaves. Being a slave, to Christ, is an entirely different commitment level! This is huge in my eyes. Being a slave to Christ is a MAJOR commitment WAAAAAAY beyond saying a prayer and "accepting Jesus into our hearts." Being a slave to Christ is surrendering all we have - all our possessions, all our rights. It means surrendering control of our very lives. It is surrendering our hopes and dreams for our hope is in Christ, our dreams become God's will. We are nothing. God is everything.
So . . . let me ask you . . . . are you a slave? For Christ? From this day forward, I am. Lord, help me surrender my WHOLE self . . . to You.
In the movie The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader got down on one knee in front of the Emperor. Vader asked, "What is thy bidding, my Master?" Have we ever asked God that question? Or do we give God a laundry list of requests in our prayers. Perhaps if we became slaves instead of servants we would hear these words from OUR Master.
"Well done, good and faithful . . . slave." - Matthew 25:21
Slaves For Christ - John MacArthur
You Can Have Me - Sidewalk Prophets