Titus 1:1 – Paul, a bond-servant of God.
What does it mean to be a bondservant? In the Old Testament, a Hebrew man or woman could indenture themselves as a servant for six years, but by the laws of God, he or she must be set free in the seventh year (Exodus 21:1-6). There were various reasons for becoming a slave. Perhaps you owed a debt you couldn’t pay. Perhaps you had no trade to support yourself or had been left a widow without resources. In order that no one would be taken advantage of and forced into slavery indefinitely, God put the seventh year of freedom into place.
But what if you liked your position? Perhaps you grew to love your master. Maybe you had married another slave and had children, who still belonged to the master and were not yet free? In that case, you could become what was known as a “bondslave.” You were brought before the city judges, and your ear was pierced with an awl, and you would serve the master for the rest of your life.
The Greek word in the New Testament translated as both “servant” and “bondservant” is doulos. Our modern-day Bible translations use the word “servant” whenever they refer to our position as a doulos of God as Christians, and the word “slave” in parables and illustrations referring to an actual slave. But as you will see, there is essentially no difference. We avoid the word “slave” because of its negative connotations, and in doing so, we may have missed something very important about our spiritual identity as believers.
We are slaves of Christ.
John MacArthur does a great job of telling us exactly what this word means, so I am posting a link to his article here. Please click over and read it, and then come back and post your reaction in the comments below.
Are you a slave of Christ?