What is a Bondslave of Christ?
"I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." — Galatians 2:20These words mean the breaking of my independence with my own hand and surrendering to the supremacy of the Lord Jesus. No one can do this for me, I must do it myself. God may bring me up to the point three hundred and sixty-five times a year, but He cannot put me through it. It means breaking the husk of my individual independence of God, and the emancipation of my personality into oneness with Himself, not for my own ideas, but for absolute loyalty to Jesus. There is no possibility of dispute when once I am there. Very few of us know anything about loyalty to Christ — “For My sake.” It is that which makes the iron saint.
The passion of Christianity is that I deliberately sign away my own rights and become a bond-slave of Jesus Christ. Until I do that, I do not begin to be a saint.
Paul called himself a Bondslave of Jesus Christ (Rom.1:1). That is what all the early apostles were. Jesus is looking today for Bondslaves - not servants. There is a difference between a servant and a slave. A servant works for pay. A slave gets no salary. God has no servants under the new covenant, only Bondslaves. Jesus never offered any salary to those whom He called to be His apostles.
Romans 6:22 speaks of the past present and future of a true Bondslave of God. (1) In the past - freed from conscious sin. (2) In the present - the fruit of progressive sanctification. (3) In the future - eternal life.
First of all, we must be freed from conscious sin. Many don't mourn for their secret failures and that is why they don't come to a life of victory over sin. We may imagine that impurity in our thought-life is not important, because others don't see that area of our lives. But it is there that God tests us to see whether we fear Him or not.
Secondly: Increasing sanctification will be the primary fruit that comes forth from our lives, if we are true Bondslaves of God. Bringing others to Christ and building them up in the faith will be the secondary fruit. If we are really serving the Lord, our labour will certainly result in increasing godliness in our personal lives. Sanctification is a process in which we get increasing light on the evil that dwells in our flesh, and in which, as we bear the dying of Jesus in our bodies, we partake more and more of the life of Jesus in area after area.
And finally, the Bondslave looks forward to partaking of God's nature (eternal life) in all its fulness. That is the goal towards which every true Bondslave of God presses on. As slaves of God, we may have to go through many trials, misunderstandings and false accusations, on earth. But it will be worth it all when we see Jesus, if we endure in love, until the end.