Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Slave

As the book's title suggests, it is a book about the Christian's relationship to God as His slave.  Macarthur explains that the Greek word 'doulos' has not been accurately translated in many(or rather,most) Bible versions.  'Doulos' is usually translated as 'servant'.  But Macarthur points out that 'doulos' actually means 'slave'.  Passages like "well done, good and faithful servant"(Mat 25:23)and, "Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ..."(Tit 1:1)should actually translated, "well done thou good and faithful slave."  and "Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ..."

Macarthur shows that the difference between a slave and a servant is significant.  A servant does a job, has a choice as for whom he works for, what work he will do and ultimately works to support himself.  A slave is owned by someone else, does not have a choice for whom he works, but is chosen/bought by someone else.  A slave does not have a choice as to his occupation, does not ultimately provide for himself, the master gives him what he needs. A slave's focus is on pleasing his master. 

This applies to the Christian as well.  A Christian does not have a choice as to whom he serves, he started out as a slave to sin.  But he was was chosen and 'bought' out of the slave market of sin by Christ's blood.  He is now owned by God, and lives to please Him, following Christ's example, Who, "emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross."(Php 2:7-8)  And, quoting from the book, "Unlike free persons, slaves did not have to worry about finding something to eat or somewhere to sleep.  Because their needs were met, they could focus entirely on serving the master...As believers, we can focus on the things God has called us to do, trusting Him to meet our needs.  "Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink'?  or 'What will we wear for clothing?'  Jesus told His followers, "Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you"(Matt. 6:31-33).  Those who make pleasing God their highest priority can be confident that He will take care of them."

And, amazingly, God also adopts His slaves, making them His sons, His 'heirs'.  "To think that we, who were once the slaves of sin, the subjects of Satan, and the sons of disobedience, are now and forever the slaves of Christ, the citizens of heaven and the children of God...As His enemies, we did not even deserve to be His slaves.  Yet, He has made us both His slaves and His children.  The incomparable reality of adoption is this: If God is our Master, then He is also our Father.  As Alexander Maclaren, the great Scottish preacher explained, 'If we are slaves, then we are sons and heirs of God through Jesus Christ.'" And here's a quote that Macarthur put in his book by Charles Spurgeon that I really like:"Where our Authorized [King James] Version softly puts it 'servant' it really is 'bond-slave.'  The early saints delighted to count themselves Christ's absolute property, bought by him, owned by him and wholly at his disposal.  Paul even went so far as to rejoice that he had the marks of his Master's brand on him, and he cries, 'Let no man trouble me for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.' There was the end of all debate:  he was the Lord's, and the marks of the scourges, the rods, and the stones were the broad-arrow of the King which marked Paul's body as the property of Jesus the Lord.  Now if the saints of old time gloried in obeying Christ, I pray that you and I...may feel that our first object in life is to obey our Lord." 


This is a very good book, and very interesting in discovering more about the Christians true relationship to Christ. This is in my list of favorites.  


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