Key Verse: For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. 1 Corinthians 7:22
In the majority of translations of the New Testament, there has been a mistranslation of an important word. That word is the Greek word, “doulos” which means “slave”. This word, doulos, appears over 130 times in the original Greek text of the New Testament, but is not translated as “slave” in most of the English versions of Scripture.
For example, Colossians 3:24, “It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” The more literal translation is, “It is the Lord Christ to whom you are enslaved.” Or the well know Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” Again, the most precise translation should state, “No one can be a slave to two masters. You cannot be a slave to both God and Money.”
What is the big deal about the translation of one word? It is necessary because there is a great contrast between being a slave and being a servant. Slavery means complete dependence on the Master. It means that we totally submit our lives to Him. Romans 11:35-36, “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from him (God) and through him and to him are all things.” How does this translate into our life? It means that everything we possess, from the car in the driveway and the roof over our head, to the clothes hanging in our wardrobe and the cash in our bank account all belong to God. The only reason we have them is because the Master gives them to us.
Furthermore, a slave is completely, constantly available, and obedient to the master. I wonder if you are totally and constantly available to God? Paul writes us in Titus 2:9 “Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them…”
To be a slave for Christ involves placing ourselves totally, unconditionally and fully at His disposal for Him to do anything and everything, He desires to do in us, through us, with us and for us, whenever He chooses for His name and glory.