Note 1 on Romans 1:1
Romans 1:1 (KJV): Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
Paul introduces himself as, "a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God".
“… a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ”
The word rendered "servant" there means "slave". Some commentators and Bible translations have expressed it as "bondservant" or "bond-slave", both of which essentially mean the same thing- slave.
A slave has been defined as "a person who is the property of another person and whose labor and also whose life often is subject to the owner's volition." (Wiktionary).
This means that as believers, we are slaves of the Lord for we all belong to Him by virtue of His purchase/redemption (for His redemption is His purchase) of us- 1Cor. 6:19,20; 1Cor. 7:23; 1Pt. 1:18,19; 2Pt.2:1; Acts 20:28- and we are to live unto Him: 1Cor.6:20; 2Cor.5:15; Rom.6:10-22; 8:12; 14:7-9; Col.3:17,23,24; Eph. 6:6,7; 1Pt.2:24. In fact, in some of these Scriptures, the Bible refers to us as slaves of the Lord (the Authorized King James Version [KJV] actually uses servant, perhaps because of the negative meanings associated with the word slave).
Now, lest we are uncomfortable with being described as slaves, it is important to note that Paul's use of the word (and indeed its application to believers) simply expressed the fact that he totally belonged to and was completely owned by the Lord as his absolute Master and lover and is devoid of any negative connotations of the word in today's world.
In other words, while we are each owned by the Lord by virtue of His purchase/redemption and are to live unto Him, our being slaves of Jesus Christ is quite different from the modern day ideas of slaves.
It is in fact an expression of love for it was of love and for good that He purchased us to Himself: Lk. 1:77,78; Eph. 1:7; 2:4,5; 5:2, 23-27; John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; Gal. 2:20; Tit. 3:4; 1John 4:9,10; Rev 1:5; Mt. 20:28; Gal. 1:4; 1Pt.2:9,10; Tit. 2:14; Eph. 5:25-27. Additionally, it coheres with our freedom and sonship in the Lord and the fact that we are joint heirs with Christ. See for example, John.15:15; Gal.4:7; Rom. 6:16-23; 8:17; Eph. 5:21-32; 6:6-8; Col.3:22-24, etc.
In sum then...
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