Last weekend we went to a conference where I was able to hear Paul Washer speak in person for the first time. I have been listening to him preach for about 5 years, but I must say that watching him in person was very different for me. In one of the sessions he spoke about being a slave to Christ. The word pictures he created really stuck in my mind and I have spent most of the week contemplating them.
The term bond-servant is defined as, “a slave”, “one who gives himself up to another’s will”, “those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men” and “devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests.” In Ex 21:5-6 the example is given of a servant who willing stays indentured to his master, having his ear pierced with an awl demonstrating his permanent servitude.
How could Paul (Rom 1:1 & Titus 1:1), Peter (2 Peter 1:1) and James (James 1:1) all call themselves bond-servants? Haven’t we been told that we have liberty and freedom in Christ? Does Christ truly expect us to be His slaves? The answer to both of those questions is, yes. We have liberty and freedom in Christ . . . freedom from the bondage of sin. Christ does want us to give ourselves up for His will. In Luke 9:23 we are told to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and to follow Him. That doesn’t really sound like a suggestion of something we might want to consider. If we look at the first part of that verse it begins with, “Then he said to them all, “If anyone would come after me. . . ” Jesus was plainly stating that in order to be followers of His, we are to deny ourselves.
I have been asking myself some questions all week.
“Do I act as a bond-servant or a slave who wants to escape?”
“Do I serve Him willingly?”
“Where do I focus my attention?”
“Where is my joy?”
“What do people see in me?”
The answers to some of these questions change moment by moment. My hope is that I will continue to ask myself these questions in an effort to keep my focus where it needs to be.
I am a slave of Jesus Christ. My desire is to serve Him with all that I am and with all that I have. I don’t have a Master who is beating me about the head to force me to obey. My service is willing, and paltry in comparison to what He has done for me. I fail Him daily but He is a loving Master who is quick to forgive.
I am no longer a slave to sin but a slave to Christ alone! I freely and joyfully put on the chains of servitude, out of gratitude!