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  • East Martin CRC

Slave by Choice

Philippians 1:1-11

Verse 1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:

Now we will dive into the letter Paul wrote to his cherished friends. This letter was written when Paul was a prisoner in Rome. It probably did his heart good to think about these friends that have brought him joy over the years.

When Paul says that he is a servant of Christ Jesus they would have understood that the word he used wasn’t merely a servant or slave. When God gave Moses the law He spoke of another kind of servant. This kind of servant was a servant by choice (Deuteronomy 15:16-17). They willingly gave up their freedom to be under their master’s ownership for the rest of their lives. They would have their ears pierced as a sign of this choice. This is the kind of servanthood to Christ that Paul is claiming for himself and Timothy.

The choice to give up ones freedom can’t be taken lightly. Much thought and prayer had to go into it. Once decided upon there was no turning back. Paul and Timothy willingly gave up their freedom to serve Jesus no matter the cost. Remember that the last time the Philippians saw Paul, he was running for his life. To a certain extent they knew how much freedom of life Paul had given up for the Kingdom of God.

We also need to notice that Paul is calling them people of the Messiah. This was not a random choice of words. It was important for them to know that he saw them as followers of Jesus. This letter was written as an encouragement and that needed to start with a mention of the reason for their relationship.

Another point to notice in this verse is that this letter is to the whole Church of Philippi. Paul wasn’t playing favorites with certain people in the Church, he had plans to encourage all of them. This would include Lydia, if she was still there, and the jailer and his family. These weren’t nameless, faceless people, these people were his friends!

Making It Personal

What is your willingness level of serving God? Are you faithful no matter the circumstances? What does it mean to you to be a person of the Messiah?

Making It Personal Kids

Do you like getting cards or letters from a friend? What does it mean to be a servant of Jesus? Does knowing Jesus as your Lord and Savior change how you live?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for providing people in our lives to encourage us. We also thank You for those You have placed in our lives who have been examples of servants wholeheartedly devoted to You. Help us know how to encourage others and live lives that reflect You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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