1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
Romans 1:1-6 (ESV)
In the NJKV this passage reads, “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ,” the NLT uses the word slave; you might wonder what the difference is and why it is what we are talking about. You know the difference between a slave, bondservant and servant in the English language they are synonyms but the actually have differing meanings. A slave is most often in their position not by choice; they are at the mercy of their master and no matter how they act or perform they have no control over their lives. They live in fear of the master always worrying about their needs. A servant is often in the employ of their master receiving payment with the choice of what they will do and when they stay or go. A bondservant is in the middle of all that. They are in their situation by choice living in complete obedience to their master. They are important to the master and they are well taken care of .They are either honor or duty bound to the person or persons they serve. Today I ask you which are you. Are you serving God out of your own desires taking what you want doing as you see fit and then when it is no longer profitable moving on to the next place. Or are you a slave living your life in complete submission not understanding who you serve living your life in fear of what he might do to you if you fail to do just the right thing. Or are you a trusted bondservant who has chosen to give your life over to another serving Him in all things. Knowing you are going to be taken care of as you do what he has called you to do. As a bondservant you are a skilled labor and have value in the eyes of the master. As you serve in obedience you will bring glory to His name before all nations. That is what we are called to do as Christians. We should only fear God with the understanding that He is the master if we serve him not out of that fear but out of a desire to see His name glorified and His kingdom expanded than we have done a good thing. Have a blessed day in the Lord as you walk in the light of His Word.
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Rev. Mathis--You brought up an excellent question that everyone should ask themselves--Are you serving the Lord because of fear of what He might do to you or have the "fear of God" which is loving Him with awe and out of respect for Him. Thank you for sharing your translation and an important question.