Question: A pastor preached that we should have a humble mind like Jesus and that Christians are slaves to God and to one another. He said that Jesus was like a slave to the Father, because he humbled Himself to God’s will to die on the cross, and that we should have the mind of Jesus. Then he used the words ‘Slaves’ and ‘Servants’ interchangeably, giving the impression that the two words mean the same. Are we slaves of God? This is affecting some of my Christian friends who’ve told me that they want only God’s will for their lives and they would really like and be satisfied to be God’s slaves.
Response: It is true that Scripture teaches we are “servants” of the Lord Jesus Christ. The word “servants” literally means slave. In Romans:1:1, Paul wrote that he was, “a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God....”
Regarding each other, we are not called to be “slaves” to our fellow brethren. Rather, “...brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians:5:13). Although we’re not slaves, our attitudes should be that we are willing to serve one another. Romans:15:1-2 tells us, “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification.”
Also, “I have showed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts:20:35). Again, it is the attitude of servanthood that we are to have, not that we are slaves to each other.
In John:8:36, the Lord Jesus declared, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Before we were saved, according to Galatians:4:3, “Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.” The Lord Jesus will set us free, but He also said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew:11:29). So although we are free from the bondage offered by the world, we are to be willing slaves of Christ, who loves us and willingly gave Himself up for us, and servants of one another.