This week’s featured article by Mike Riccardi is perfectly paired with a good reading through Philippians. Philippians is chalk-full of great material and a heartfelt message from Paul to the church.
When I began to preach the book of Philippians a couple years ago, I noticed that Paul immediately identifies himself and Timothy as slaves of Christ Jesus (Phil 1:1). Now, most of the English versions have “servants” or “bond-servants” there, but the Greek word is doulos, which is properly rendered “slave.”
In identifying himself as a slave of Christ at the very beginning of the letter, Paul intended that the Philippians—who had been struggling with issues of steadfastness amidst conflict (Phil 1:27–30; 4:1), unity among believers (Phil 2:1–2; 4:2–3), humility (Phil 2:3–9), and joy amidst persecution (Phil 2:17–18; 3:1; 4:4)—would be reminded that they too are slaves of Christ Jesus, and that that identity would inform their responses to those situations.
You can read the full article here.