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Servant Life

In Romans 1:1, Paul begins his letter by writing “Paul, a servant (doulos) of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the Gospel of God.”  In 1 Corinthians 4:1 Paul states, “This is how one should regard us, as servants (Hyperetes: the attendant of an officer) of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.”  

Paul was eager to be seen as a slave of Jesus. He says he should be regarded as one whose primary role in life is to attend to the desires of Christ.  He willingly surrendered all of his rights, self interest and personal ambition for the sake of Jesus.  Did this make Paul a sad guy? Not at all.  His writings make it clear that the more Jesus became his sole identity, the more happiness he enjoyed in life. 

READ: Galatians 1:10.

Another aspect DOULOS for Paul was relief from the demands of the culture around him. We face those same demands. Our culture dictates the terms of beauty, wealth, success and acceptance and the demands of these dictates can be overwhelming.  Paul’s relief was simple. As a SLAVE of Jesus, he simply no longer cared what men thought and only cared about what Jesus thought.  

READ: 1 Peter 4:7-11. 

Peter provides a beautiful word picture of how love and service (diakonos) should be woven into the fabric of  our lives with fellow Christians. Take some time to think about specific goals for applying these concepts to your life — especially in relationships that challenge you.
  • Love each other earnestly.
  • Show hospitality to each other without grumbling.
  • Serve one another with gifts God has given you.
  • Serve others by the strength that God supplies you.
  • Glorify God in the way that you serve.

“Have you ever realized that you can give things to God that are of value to Him? Or are you just sitting around daydreaming about the greatness of His redemption, while neglecting all the things you could be doing for Him? I’m not referring to works which could be regarded as divine and miraculous, but ordinary, simple human things – things which would be evidence to God that you are totally surrendered to Him.” – O. Chambers

Why the servant life?

The terms servant, service and serve (in various forms) occur well over 1,100 times in the Bible. In the Christian faith there are two varieties of service we should be very familiar with:

  1. DOULOS.  To be the slave of.
  2. DIAKONOS.  To serve another or wait upon them. 

Doulos is our service to Christ. It literally means we lose our identity in ourselves and take up a new a complete identity in Jesus.  It insinuates TOTAL DEPENDANCE on Him. When we say we “serve” Jesus it means much more than “doing work for Him”. It means we are nothing without Him and rely on Him for everything.

In order to be a servant (diakonos) of others you must first be a servant (doulos) of Christ.

Diakonos is our service to one another. Jesus taught us Diakonos as the Bible says the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve (diakonos), and to give His life as a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45).

How do the Biblical concepts of Doulos and Diakonos fit into your life?

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