“…she teaches and leads my bond-servants astray… (Rev.2:20)
We are continuing our study of the Book of Jude by looking at examples of false teachers in the Book of Revelation. In our last post we discussed the false prophetess Jezebel, whom the Lord identified in the Thyratira church. She was teaching and seducing the Lord’s bond-servants with the result that there was a fundamental departure from the truth.
Notice the Lord Jesus calls His followers “bond-servants” which is the Greek word doulos. It is translated servant, bond-servant or slave. Vincent’s Word Studies in the New Testament explains the term as follows:
“Paul applies the term to himself…and frequently to express the relation of believers to Christ. The word involves the ideal of belonging to a master and of service as a slave. The former [Master] is emphasized in Paul’s use of the term, since Christian service, in his view, has no element of servility, but is the expression of love and of free choice. From this standpoint, the idea of service coheres with those of freedom and of sonship.”
“On the other hand, believers belong to Christ by purchase (I Peter 1:18) and own Him as absolute Master.”
Wuest’s Word Studies From The Greek New Testament draws out the following points from doulos:
“Thus the word in Romans refers to one who is bound to another, a slave. There are two words in Greek referring to a person in slavery. One speaks of a slave taken in war. The other refers to a person born into slavery. The latter is the one used in Romans. It presents the slave in various aspects.”
- “He is one bound to his master.”
- “… is in a permanent relationship to his master which only death can break.”
- “…is one born into slavery.”
- “…one whose will is swallowed up in the will of another.”
- “…is devoted to the interests of his master to the extent that he disregards his own interests.”
“Bond-servant of Jesus Christ” was Paul’s favorite designation for himself . As American’s, we do not think of being slaves or having a Master. Home of the brave and land of the free. But we do have a Master and, as Christians, we are his bond-servants. Let us serve Him.
In closing, I am reminded of Luke 17: 1-10 where the Lord is teaching on forgiveness and, upon hearing the Lord’s instructions about forgiving multiple times, the disciples say to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”. The Lord replies with a story about a master and slave. At the conclusion of the story, the Lord Jesus tells them:
“So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, “We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.”
Forgiveness was not a matter of “more faith” but of just “obeying” what the Master had commanded.
The question for me in 2018 is: is Jesus really Lord of my life? Is He the Master? Am I His bond-servant? If we say yes, then we should have the fruit of obedience to prove it. Let us start where we are today spiritually and grow in obedience. Paul exhorts us to “Work out your own salvation” which means to bring our salvation to it’s ultimate conclusion. The ultimate conclusion is to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ (Phil.2:12 & Romans 8:29).
What a blessing to be the bond-servant of the Most High God! Thank you for your time.