Hello-I Am a SlaveJune 11, 2009
In my day to day job, I live for the introduction. There is much in an introduction. Think about it for a minute. In someone’s introduction, you could easily determine the following (even if it were over the phone):
- Age – help you make inferences about how they are interpreting what you are saying.
- Nationality – easily determined by accent or dialect
- Job Title – may help you understand what motivates this person like ego, thrill of the kill, or the numbers
- Last Name – again, a little about the heritage and perhaps, depending on the town, you could tell some about their “rank” in society
As you can see, there is a lot you can discover about a person in their introduction.
Recently, I have had the opportunity to prepare for teaching the book of Romans. It has been a while since I have actually taken some time to study the book, and I believe now is the providential time for me to do so.
In preparing for the first lesson, I could not move past the first verse for a while. Read Romans 1:1 –
1 Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God…
Now in thinking about how I introduce myself, I usually mention that I am a husband, a father, and where I work and attend church. Paul truly taught me how flawed my introduction was in Romans 1:1. Let’s look at this a bit deeper.
1. Paul introduces himself as a slave to Christ. In his day, slaves were not even human, more like property, owned by someone else. Their will and very existence depended upon their master. In this short phrase, Paul is identifying himself as one who is not in control. He names his master later in the passage as being Jesus. Think for a second. If you were to add this to your introduction, would it be true? Could people honestly look at how you live your life and see that Christ was the “master” of your life and that your will was not your own?
2. Slaves were bought by someone else. Again, in this phrase, Paul is ultimately setting up his case for Christ. By identifying himself as a slave of Christ, he is also implying that Christ paid for him. In2 Corinthians 5:21 is states:
21 Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
Wow, how humbling is it to know that the sinless son of God took on our sin as ransom for us? He purchased us out of the slavery of the world to become slaves for Him. Paul knew that better than most and it should not surprise us that he first identified himself as being “owned” or paid for by Christ.
3. In saying all of this, Paul was identifying himself in Christ. In Romans 6, Paul delves deeper into his identity in Christ. Do you identify yourself in Christ? I know there are times I do not and then again, the times I do, I am quite sure I should not. Paul’s identity was not even his own. He identified his master.
So the next time you go to introduce yourself, I hope you think of Romans 1:1 and give yourself a little “self-check”. Those are always good to have, especially at the beginning of a new relationship. Helps set the bar for how others may interpret you, and who knows, it may even introduce them to your master.
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About the Writer:
Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.
As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses. This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.