S16P7 – Personal lessons from Paul: we are servants first

Romans 1:1

Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God…

Paul’s personal introduction in this letter is not unique to him or this letter. Other New Testament writers such as Jude, Peter and James also introduce themselves as bond-servants of Christ Jesus. Paul himself uses this same designation when introducing himself in Philippians and Titus. He also refers to himself as an apostle in eight of his other New Testament writings. By these introductions, Paul and his fellow writers cause us to recognize that our first calling as Christians is to serve Jesus Christ.

When a soul comes to a saving knowledge of Christ, an exchange occurs. Part of that exchange is the relinquishment of power and control over one’s life to the Savior, purchased by his sacrifice and now rightly his. In all that we do, we are to operate in service to our Lord [Col. 3:23]. Regardless of what we are doing or who we are helping, our lives are to be an act of service unto Jesus Christ. Regardless of the specific calling God ordains for any one Christian’s life, there is a first calling that applies to all Christians. We are first called to submit to Jesus in all things in service to him, servants and messengers according to his purposes.

Before Christ, we were slaves to sin. At the moment of justification, we became slaves to him [Col. 3:22-24]. If we do not recognize this, we will find difficulty in obeying the Lord when his commands conflict with the desires of our flesh. We cannot follow Jesus faithfully without the surrender of control and the joyful willingness to allow him to direct our steps. Christ himself came to serve [Matthew 20:28], and He requires that we emulate him in this respect. Father, make us humble and cognizant of the place we occupy in your kingdom, that of servants of the Most High God, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, and give us the desire to serve fully and faithfully.