1 Peter 2:16 (NLT) For you are free, yet you are God’s
slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil.
Did I read that correctly? We’re free yet we’re slaves? When did I sign up for slavery?
This stuff is confusing!
In his book Not a Fan
, Kyle Idleman points out that Peter
all introduce themselves as slaves of God.
Follow the links. It’s true. Their bios don’t tout their status as His
apostles or their accomplishments on Jesus’ behalf. They voluntarily claim the position of
slave. Even Bill Bright, founder of
Campus Crusades for Christ who impacted billions of people before his death in
2003, has three words on his tombstone:
Slave for Jesus.
We don’t like this word ‘slave’. Our country’s history and ongoing human
trafficking worldwide evoke a strong negative response. It’s repulsive. But the Greek word doulos, which is also translated servant, is used to describe followers
of Jesus about 130 times in the New Testament.
The original readers heard ‘slave’ every time, not servant.
Idleman also explains that when
Jesus is called Lord (capitalized), it is kyrios
which is a slavery word – the title given to the owner of the slave. My handy dandy Keyword Study Bible tells me this
specific slave owner title is used 635 times in the New Testament.
You are free, yet you are God’s
This is probably new information for
you. It is for me. It has opened my eyes to view many passages
in a fresh way. It will take some time
to think about.
Like a productive garden, a rich
relationship should be tended regularly.
To be reminded to plant His Word in your heart, follow me on Twitter @Cathy_Chung or subscribe at
#slaveofGod #obeyingGod #freefromsin