Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What is a “doulos” and why do you need to be one?

“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus…”

Philippians 1:1

We treasure freedom. Each person longs to be truly free. Perhaps this is a desire that God has for us as well. We know from Scripture that if Christ has set us free, then we are free indeed (John 8:36), and that “it is for freedom that we have been set free” (Galatians 5:1). However, in the same vain, the Bible also teaches that we are slaves: either to God (Romans 6:22) or to sin, self, and Satan (John 8:34, 2 Peter 2:19, Ephesians 2:1-3). Romans 6:16 sums this point up beautifully, “Do you know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness”. The simple truth is that we are all slaves (in that we are held captive by our desires-either good or bad).

In Philippians 1:1, Paul employs the Greek word doulos (douloi plural), which is often translated “servant” or “bond-servant” (sometimes even “slave”). In the Greco-Roman culture doulos referred to “a class of people who were at the bottom of the social order. They became slaves, for example, through war, debt, capital convictions, and simply being born from a slave mother. In any case there were slave dealers who acquired them and sold them as property. Slaves had no rights, privileges, or freedoms in any sphere of society outside the family to which they belonged, though some of them, including doctors and accountants, were more educated than their owners.” [1] 

A doulos is one who has given his will up completely to that of his master. Paul and Timothy (like contemporary believers) have been bought by Christ Jesus. They (like we who have been redeemed) have been bought by Him and are therefore His servants; they had completely given up their own wills to that of their master-Jesus. The question to ask yourself today (and everyday) is not “will I be a servant” or “will I be a slave”. The question to ask is this, “whom will I be a servant of” or “whom will I be a slave to”.
  • Does your life model a doulos (slave) of Christ Jesus or of self, sin, and Satan?
  • Today, ask yourself this question, “What would my life look like if I were a doulos of Christ”?

For Further study I would like to refer you to the following websites: Samuel Bolton's True Christian Freedom can be found at http://www.the-highway.com/truefreedom_Bolton.html and for further information on the utter inconsistency of a Libertarian Freedom of the Will check out http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/libertarian.html

1 comment:

  1. That was an awesome description of what it means to be a doulos: a slave to Christ! I'm gonna link this post to my page! I was thinking about getting it tattooed in Greek characters on my right shoulder soon, that's what the post is about!



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