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Hosted by PAULFROMNYS|Malachi 3:16-18/Bible talk

Based on Malachi 3:16-18 I believe the Lord will harken to us as we consider his word together.

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The Servant of the Lord #1   T. Austin Sparks

Started Jan-16 by PAULFROMNYS; 122 views.
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He has given us that conception in many significant and suggestive phrases, some of which we select at once. Not once only, but frequently he refers to himself as "the Servant of Jesus Christ."

Now, I venture to say that a right understanding and apprehension of that word "servant" as Paul used it, is, without other designations, calculated to revolutionise all of our work for the Master.

The actual word used by Paul was "bondslave," and by it we are thrown back into the social conditions of the world in those days. Slavery was a part of the social life of that time, and the readers of Paul's letters were all quite well acquainted with the ideas and customs connected with that system; indeed some of those readers were slaves themselves. Paul looked upon himself as having been bought by Christ. He gloried in that ownership, and whenever opportunity presented itself he boasted that he was Christ's. To him that ownership was permanent. The slave was bound for life, and there could be no termination of the relationship or obligations.

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The slave was bound for life, and there could be no termination of the relationship or obligations.

The transaction has been permanently marked by branding; "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus" (Gal. 6:17). Professor Mahaffy says: "In the numerous records of manumissions found at Delphi and at other shrines in Greece we have learned the legal process by which a slave gained his liberty. He did not bring his master his earnings, and obtain his freedom with his receipt for the money; but went to the temple of the God, and there paid in his money to the priests; who then with the money bought the slave from his master on the part of the God, and he became for the rest of his life a slave of the God. If at any future time his master or his master's heirs reclaimed him, he had the record of the transaction in the temple.... If he travelled from home and were seized as a runaway slave, what security could he have? Paul gives us the answer. When liberated at the temple the priest, branded him with the "stigmata" of his new master, Apollo. Now Paul's words acquire a new and striking application. He had been the slave of sin; but he had been purchased by Christ, and his new liberty consisted in his being the slave of Christ. Henceforth, he says, let no man attempt to reclaim me; I have been marked with the brand of my new master, Jesus Christ." This will also throw light on numerous other utterances of Paul when such words as "Servant," "Freedom," "Liberty," etc., are used.