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Soul Piercing (2 Timothy 2:24-25)
Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:24-25 “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,”
Christians we are slaves of Christ because He purchased and redeemed our souls. What a joy it is to be His slave! What an honor to follow and serve the Truth- the Lover of our souls who washed our crimson sin stained hearts white as snow. Is it not so very satisfying to serve the King of Kings who gives to all their life and breath and who sustains our being and upholds all things by the word of His power? To submit to the One who gives rest to those who come to Him weary from their labor? Is servitude to Him not much more appealing than becoming slaves to our own fleshly addictions or selfish ambitions, the world system, or the devil’s desires- which only lead to destruction and despair?
3 responses to “Soul Piercing (2 Timothy 2:24-25)”
Interesting choice of word, “slave”, brings forth negative thoughts and ideas in my mind. I do not believe you can be a slave to God, you must willingly accept him, if you were forced to do it, your heart, soul, and mind would not be on the same plane, you would not be whole in the decision. A slave is not allowed to talk freely to their master, while God allows all communication to be heard, regardless of the message towards him. My thoughts on this are obviously derived from my personal definition of the word slave, which has been influenced by many people, and world events. I can’t know why you chose that word and the definition you meant for this context, and because of that maybe I just misunderstood the message.
I wish you could be here to help us bust out our packing for our move! I don’t mean to flatter, but you genuienly have one of the neatest servant hearts that I know. You have shown your ability to serve others time and again and I really appreciate your example.
Regarding the post- I know that there is often difficulty with the concept of slave for several reason, including cultural, theological, philosophical, etc. However, in Scripture the technical greek word “doulos” which is sometimes translated “bond-servant” or “servant” is better rendered “slave” in every case! Please check out this excellent article by John MacArthur for a more detailed treatment of the concept of being a slave of Christ. http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/80-321.htm
Here is a small portion of the article:
“The Apostle Paul, for example, did not see himself, as one writer puts it, as the great founder of Christianity. He did not see himself that way. He saw himself as the slave of God and the slave of Christ. Let me just help you to see this the best I can, and we’re limited because of the translation of the NAS, but look at Romans 1:1. It’s almost as if the translators choke on the word slave and they just do anything to replace it. So in Romans 1:1 it’s Paul, a bondservant of Christ Jesus. It’s actually the word doulos, a slave of Christ Jesus. That was his formal introduction, a slave of Christ Jesus. Happily so, Philippians chapter 1 verse 1, he includes Timothy, “Paul and Timothy,” and again the NAS is bondservants, the Greek is slaves of Christ Jesus. Back in Galatians chapter 1 and verse 10, Paul says it again, the end of the verse, he says, “If I was trying to please men, I would not be a slave of Christ.” Now he understood what slavery meant. “I only do what pleases my master.” This is the singular focus of being a slave. You don’t have to please a lot of people, you just please one. That metaphor is critical to understanding our relationship to the Lord. If we’re going to talk about a personal relationship to Christ and to God, then our personal relationship is we are slaves. That’s the best way to define that relationship. And Paul here tells us it means that we only please Him. He says to the Corinthians, “I have as my ambition to be pleasing to Him.”
It came down to this, do what He says and do what pleases Him. It’s that simple. That’s what a slave did. Really only two possibilities, where there was a direct command, you obeyed it. Where there was not a direct command, you found a way to do what would please the master. You obeyed him and you pleased him. In his letter to Titus, again introducing himself in Titus chapter 1, he says, “Paul, a slave of God.” He is a slave of God, he is a slave of Christ. He’s not alone, look at James…James, a slave of God…and I love this…and of the Lord Jesus Christ, and this is James, the half brother of Jesus. He’s not trying to elevate himself, he doesn’t say, “I’m James the half-brother of Jesus.” He says, “I am James, a slave of God and a slave of the Lord Jesus Christ.” That, of course, is why over in chapter 4 and verse 13 he says these familiar words, “Come now, you who say today or tomorrow we’ll go in to such-a-such a city, spend a year there, engage in business, make a profit, yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow, you’re just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, if the Lord wills we shall live and do this, or that.” That’s slave talk. That’s what it means to be subject to an alien will. Jude, the same thing. “Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ.” When you give somebody the gospel, you are saying to them, “I would like to invite you to become a slave of Jesus Christ. I would like to invite you to give up your independence, give up your freedom, submit yourself to an alien will, abandon all your rights, be owned by, controlled by the Lord.” That’s really the gospel. We’re asking people to become slaves.”
Here are a few verses for you to chew on:
Romans 1:1 Paul, slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
22 For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave.
Galatians 1:10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a slave of Christ.
Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.
Titus 1:1 Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,
James 1:1 James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.
2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:
Jude 1:1 Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ:
Acts 16:17 Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, “These men are slaves of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.”
Ephesians 6:5 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;
6 not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.
Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons:
1 Peter 2:16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as slaves of God.
Revelation 19:5 And a voice came from the throne, saying, “Give praise to our God, all you His slaves, you who fear Him, the small and the great.”
Revelation 22:3 There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His slaves will serve Him;
Looking forward to future discussion. Love you Brother and can’t wait to see you!
Thanks for the clarification, I understand the use of the term, and for showing obedience and willingness to please God, it is definitely a good choice. I wonder why the interpreters did not use the term correctly? Why change the meaning of the word when it was written to mean “slave”? Was there a societal negative conotation connected to the word that they thought would bring negative light upon the gospel? I can understand this as I did the same thing upon first glance. As stated though, being a slave to God is infinitely rewarding, literally. See you soon.
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