Year 3 Day 162
Read — Romans 1:1
Message - Alan Burke
Today we think about Paul who is a servant and what that means, but as we come to the passage remember that what you have before you is but a translation of the original language and for Romans the language is Greek not King James English. I mention this because translators often have challenges conveying the full meaning of what is being said or an English equivalent doesn’t exist. Here though there is a word used and translators have used a substitute to avoid negative connotations and modern sensitivities. The word is translated as servant but it means slave.
The word servant doesn’t capture the significance of what Paul is saying. He’s not a hired servant, but rather a slave . The reason why he uses the word slave is because a slave was one who was bought with a price, and as Paul writes, he is fully aware that he was purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ, that he became the possession of another, he became Christ’s slave. For any self respecting Roman citizen, identifying ones self as a slave would have been unthinkable, but Paul understood in a way that many of us miss the wonder off. By our nature we are slaves to sin and the flesh, when we are redeemed by Christ Jesus then we are set free from that slavery to sin and the flesh but it comes at a price.
There has been a price paid for us, we have been bought with a price, we have been purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ that was spilled for us, he bore the wrath that we deserve and we now belong to him, we are the possession of Christ Jesus. As a result we are called to live our lives not as our own, not as autonomous or independently from God but instead to live for him, for his glory. We must understand the great cost, in how the only begotten Son of God Jesus Christ gave up the realms of glory and condescended, taking on our flesh so he could pay the price for our sin, thusly he had redeemed us by His blood, it is this great price that has been paid for us, we have been bought with the blood of Jesus and thusly are to live in the privileged position that we have.
Because we are bought with a price, no longer are we slaves to sin and the flesh and when we die we face the pains of hell forever, instead because of the price that was paid for our salvation. Of course the imagery of slavery in our relationship with God is not everything that there is, we are called friends, children, heirs. There are also some aspects of slavery that are not fitting analogies, but that of how we were bought, that we have a master that is not ourselves is the significance that Paul is portraying.
Paul was bound to Christ through faith, he was both with a price, and that price being the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 6:19, Acts 20:28), likewise we are bough with a price, that price is the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and we have been liberated by the work of God the Spirit, that we are freed from our slavery in sin and brought to slavery to God. For the believer we are not our own, we were bough with a price, we have been moved from slavery to sin, the flesh and death, to slavery to the Lord God though faith. Slavery to Christ is a special kind of slavery, of course. It is a slavery in which we actually become free.
Q40 What did God at first reveal to man for the rule of his obedience?
The rule which God at first revealed to man for his obedience, was the moral law. (Rom. 2:14–15, Rom. 10:5)