Rom 1:1; 2Pe 2:19; 1Co 7:23; Gal 4:8-9; Rom 6:16-22; 1CO 15:20-28
ROMANS-39-091206 - length: 70:23 - taught on Dec, 6 2009
December 6, 2009
The second packed phrase here is
“a slave of Christ Jesus”
Doulos = “slave.”
doulos = a slave, bondman, man of servile condition. Metaphorically, one who gives himself up wholly to another’s will or dominion.
It is used of the true worshippers of Christ in EPH 6:6.
The Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature, by Walter Bauer (edited and revised by Danker, Arndt and Gingrich - “BDAG”).
Referring to the adjectival form, doulos means pertaining to being under someone’s total control; slavish.
The masculine substantive form means a male slave as an entity in a socioeconomic context, a slave.
There are many verses in the New Testament that use doulos to mean slave in relationship to a master.
MAT 8:9 “For I, too, am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”
JOH 13:16 “Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master; neither is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.”
Doulos is also used several times in the New Testament in contrast to a free person.
One who is solely committed to another; a slave. The ancient perspective leads to this extended usage. Slaves are duty-bound only to their owners or masters, or those to whom total allegiance is pledged.
In a pejorative sense, we see doulos employed to mean slaves to humans.
1CO 7:23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.
There are slaves to sin.
ROM 6:6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;
There are slaves to lust and desire.
There are slaves to the elemental spirits (false gods and idols).
There are slaves to corruption and destruction.
2PE 2:19 promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.
(1) the old sin nature (slaves of sin, lusts and pleasures) , (2) the cosmic system (slaves of men, slaves of corruption), and (3) the kingdom of darkness (slaves to the elemental spirits).
In a positive sense, doulos is used in the New Testament to illustrate the relationship of humans to God.
doulos is used for the apostles having Christ as master.
2CO 4:5 For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves because of Jesus.
- Holman Christian Standard Bible.
Doulos is the most abject, servile term used by the Greeks to denote a slave.
The word designated one who was born as a slave, one who was bound to his master in cords so strong that only death could break them, one who served his master to the disregard of his own interests, one whose will was swallowed up in the will of his master.
Murray Harris - Slave of Christ: A New Testament Metaphor for Total Devotion to Christ -
there are at least six other New Testament Greek words that may appropriately be rendered “servant.”
A servant gives service to someone.
A slave belongs to someone.
A slave (literal or figurative) is someone whose person and service belong wholly to another.
Subject to absolute ownership and control.
Absence of freedom to choose action [operational] or movement [geographical].
Doulos appears elsewhere in the book of Romans. In fact, it appears in one other chapter, where it appears 6 times in the course of just 5 verses, ROM 6:16-20.
So this harsh word for slavery appears in one form or another 8 times in those 7 verses.
Paul is refuting the charge of antinomianism, and he does that by teaching that the believer has died with Christ and therefore is free from the slavery to sin.
“Sins” in the plural is only found 3 times in the book of Romans.
“Sin” in the singular is found 45 times in the book of Romans.
(1) individual acts of sin
(2) the old sin nature that is hostile to God
(3) personified sin.
Here in Romans 6 hamartia, in the singular with the definite article, refers to sin as a principle and power that exercises dominion over men.
It refers to that nature, power, and principle which is hostile to God. It is that which challenges the reign or rule of God.
The Lord Jesus Christ came to restore the rightful rulership and Lordship of His Father over His creation.
Therefore, to live as the slave of Christ Jesus is to submit to and honor the rightful authority in your life and in the universe!