Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, (ESV)
What is the first word that you would use to describe yourself? Doctor? Wife? Food Connoisseur? Paul begins his letter to the church at Rome by describing himself. What is the first word that he chooses? Servant. I imagine that few of us would use that word to describe ourselves. That word seems to have a negative connotation.
For Paul, the word servant was a term that he was honored to have. Paul lived in the time of the Roman empire. Many people were servants. They had been bought and sold on the market. Some were treated better than slaves. Others were not. They did not, however, have the choice as to whether or not they would be a servant.
Paul used the word servant in a Hebrew context, not a Roman one. He was not purchased by anyone in the Roman Empire. He voluntarily submits himself to the authority of Jesus Christ. He gladly places himself in the service of the King. He is able to serve with a heart of joy and gladness because it is service out of love for his savior.
Paul was many things. He was a teacher. Most of the teaching of doctrine in the Christian faith comes from the writings of Paul. He was an apostle. God used him as a great leader of the Church. He was a missionary, traveling all over the world to deliver the good news of the Gospel. But, in Paul's heart of hearts he was a servant.
What are you? I am sure that you are many things. Would you consider yourself a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ? Tell him that you are willing to serve in any way that he desires.
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