My son recently asked me what languages I knew. Very little Spanish. A little more German. Mostly ancient Greek and Hebrew. (I forgot to tell him about my rough Pig Latin). He said, "Teach me some Greek." The first word that came to mind was doulos. I told him what it meant and something unexpected happened...
I explained that doulos is the ancient Greek word for "servant" or "slave." He smiled and said, "Dad you're my doulos!" About this time, the other two kids unexpectedly walk into the room. It was bedtime and normally we get all the kids to bed separately and after any devotional time. Suddenly, we were having an unexpected impromptu devotion time. So, I began to explain the word doulos a little more.
The Bible uses the word to mean a servant or slave, describing those who served others. Often slaves in the ancient Mediterranean world received wages or food as compensation for their work. However, Scripture explains that all of us are slaves. We are either slaves to sin or slaves to Christ and His righteousness. There is no third option.
I noticed my kids didn't like hearing this. Like all of us, the want to be no one's slave. We want to be the boss of our own lives. But the moment we try to be the lord over our own lives, we are rejecting Christ's Lordship and we are sinning. Thus, we become slaves to sin.
The amazing thing is the difference in masters. If sin is our master, our master will indeed pay us our wages, but the wages of sin is death! (Romans 6:23) If, however, Christ is our master, through Him we become adopted sons and daughters of God. We do not receive a wage, but a gift of eternal life and an inheritance that will never perish! We actually receive our freedom by serving Him! (Romans 6:23; Romans 8:14-17).
Of course, we cannot be freed from our master of sin apart from Christ Jesus. We deserve our wages. It is called justice when we are punished for the wrongs we've committed. We like justice. I want many people to face justice, just not me! But God satisfied the justice I deserve by laying it on Christ at the cross. He took my punishment and rose again to bring me new life, freedom, and an inheritance. By being a doulos of Christ, I become an heir to the Kingdom! If you are reading this, I encourage you to honestly assess whom it is you serve.
Since that evening, we have been able to challenge each other as a family to think about our decisions. Every decision either serves Christ or serves sin. I am thankful my son wanted to learn some Greek so God could remind our family of this truth!