The Lord’s Servant

“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:1),

“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (James 1:1),

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ” (II Peter 1:1)

“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ” (Jude 1),

When introducing themselves to those to whom they were writing, Paul, James, Simon Peter, and Jude, identified themselves as a “servant of Jesus Christ,” The word “servant” means a slave, bond servant, and comes from a word meaning to bind, or to be in bonds. These men considered it an honor to be called the Lord’s servant. While I know that I am to be a servant of the Lord; I wonder if the divine principle is made evident in daily practice. It is imperative to remember that one’s calling and one’s conduct are not necessarily the same!

In his book “Thoughts on Christian Sanctity”, H.C.G. Moule quotes Aristotle’s account of “Nature’s Own Slave.” “He is ‘a chattel that lives’; he is ‘a part of his master; as it were a living, though separated, portion of his body.’ He has, strictly speaking, no existence apart from the master, he is, ‘not only the slave of the master, but the master wholly his’; so that, in no action or relation if life, is he for one moment an independent being. On the other hand said I, there is thus and therefore between the born master and the born slave a relation of common interest and mutual friendship.” While they are not meant to be spiritual in nature, Aristotle’s account is very enlightening with respect to be the Lord’s servant.

In respect to being the Lord’s servant, there are two things that I want to set forth for your consideration. As the Lord’s servant, there’s no such thing as dual possession; “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Corinthians 6:19-20). When these men called themselves a servant of Jesus Christ, they were declaring that they were His purchased possession. In Aristotle’s account, he described the slave as “a chattel that lives.” The word “chattel” means an item of tangible property other than real estate. You are either the property of self or the Saviour! As His property, you do not exist apart from Him!

As the Lord’s servant, there’s no such thing as dual purpose; “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other” (Luke 16:13). When these men called themselves a servant of Jesus Christ, they were declaring that they lived for one purpose; to serve and satisfy the Saviour. In Aristotle’s account of the slave, he is not for one moment an independent being; he is but an extension of the master. You are either living to satisfy self or the Saviour; your satisfaction is found in His satisfaction.

Under the inspiration of God, these men could call themselves the “servant of Jesus Christ.” After considering the truth about the nature of a servant, can you say you are the Lord’s servant?