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Taking The Form of A Bondservant

Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, Titus 1:1 (NKJV)

The apostle Paul opened up many of his epistles by identifying himself as a bondservant (bondslave) of Jesus Christ. In the book of Philippians we are given an outline of how we are to live as a bondservant.

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:3-7 (NKJV)

Serving the Lord is an honor each of us is given, and it is our Christian duty as well. One of the ways we do this is by serving others in the body of believers as if we were serving God (cf. Col. 3:17, 23; 1 Cor. 10:31). The apostle Paul exhorted believers to serve the Lord (Rom. 12:11). To do this properly we must first acknowledge Jesus’ rightful place as Lord of our life. When we truly do this, we will find we are submitting to His will for our lives, and we are allowing His word to guide and direct our actions (cf. Luke 6:46; Rom. 12:1-2).  

Becoming a bondservant, or “bondslave” is to willingly become a slave to another. In the days of the Old Testament, poverty stricken Jews would sometimes sell themselves into becoming a slave to their fellow Jews to pay off a debt they might owe. But they did this knowing one day they would be set free again because God’s law for the Jews stated each slave was to be treated fairly, and they were to be released at the end of the sixth year of their slavery—fulfilling their debt (See Exodus 21:2-6). 

Some slaves were shown so much love by their masters that when it was time to be released they opted instead to remain in slavery to their masters. By doing this they would voluntarily give up all of their personal rights permanently, and so they would continue to submit to their master willingly—they were now known as a bondslave. This would be openly proclaimed in public by the piercing of the ear of the bondslaves by an awl.

We realized we have received this same type of love from God when we acknowledge how he allowed Jesus to die for us while we were yet sinners (Rom. 5:8). And so when we accept Jesus as our Lord, we become bondslaves of Christ, just as the apostle Paul did. As a result, we yield our rights, and willingly choose to submit to His will for our lives, which is serving Him by serving others. Our baptism is our outward acknowledgement of Jesus being our Lord, and it is our profession of faith to follow His example for living an others-centered life.

I want to encourage you to think and pray about these things today.   

Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Psalms 100:2 (NKJV)

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about our serving the Lord from the scriptures in this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: As Christian believers, we are freed from the bondage of sin—this is certain (Rom. 6:6-7). But are you a willing bondservant of Jesus?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:  Resolve to make Jesus your Lord, and to follow Him alone. Serve others as if you were serving Him.

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for being a gracious Master. Lord I do desire to be a bondservant of Yours. Tell me what You desire of me today. Show me how You would like for me to serve others in the body. In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott



Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000