by Pat Cooper
June 08, 2019
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.
— Romans 1:1 ESV
When Paul spoke of himself as being “a servant of Christ Jesus.” A better translation of the text would find Paul identifying himself as “a slave of Christ Jesus.” What’s the difference?
A servant is someone who serves another and may be hired and receive financial compensation to perform a job or task such as the butler, the maid, a ranch hand or the stable boy. On the other hand, a slave is a purchased possession, the property of his or her owner who has bought and paid for him.
Paul (beforehand an arch enemy of the church and of God) came to realize that more than a servant, he had been redeemed from the bondage of sin, “bought with a price, and no longer his own” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Understanding the significance of the work of Christ in his life he happily saw himself a slave, and his response of gratitude to God’s eternal gift of mercy and grace was to fulfill his commission proclaiming the good news (the gospel of God) to everyone in earshot all the days of his life.
Do you understand that as the purchased possession of Jesus your future is secure in him? You too have been bought with a price and are no longer your own. Today, by virtue of your belief in Jesus’ gift of himself on the cross, his death, and resurrection, you are a fully forgiven child of God with nothing to fear and assured that When the Roll is Called Up Yonder you’ll be there?
As Paul would later say, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” – Roman’s 8:1.
Are you thankful for God’s gift to you? How might you show your gratitude?
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