Re:Verse passage – Philippians 1:1-11 (day six)

This letter is from Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:1

Many translations translate douloi as servant, while its most literal translation is slave. I imagine slave rails against our most basic American sensitivities-our inalienable rights, independence, freedom. Servant just feels better; on the surface it even seems more noble, but it doesn’t really capture Paul’s intent.

It was Paul’s desire to convey their captivity. They were held captive by Christ, in much the same was the Earth is held captive by the Sun. The gravitational pull of the Sun forces the Earth into its orbit. The Sun is literally center to the earth’s existence; it could not pull away even if it had the desire. Furthermore, it is the Sun that provides the energy for life to thrive on Earth. So, it is not only held captive by the Sun, it absolutely needs the Sun.

Paul lives in relation to the Son in much the same way; He can’t help himself. He’s a slave to the gravitational pull of the Son, and it is there, and ONLY there, that He will thrive.

Are you a servant of Christ, or a slave?

Author: Danny Panter

Danny is the Associate Pastor for NextGen Marrieds & Community Missions at FBCSA.

3 thoughts on “Slave”

  1. How true, Danny! And the profound spiritual truth from this is that only by being His slave can we find true freedom in Christ to be who he has made us to be.

  2. This is a beautiful reminder that the Son should be our center. We get our energy from Him. Especially the times we are in now. Drawing closer to God is our only choice. Thank you Danny.

  3. Good morning ,Danny.
    What an excellent analogy of the Son and the sun, relative to captivity:
    …..’held captive by Christ as the earth is held captive by the sun…’. As a child of God, I Also sense such security and provision in these words. Thank you for your thoughts to start my day.

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