Paul, a Jewish scholar, or Pharisee, before becoming a Christian, described the experience of sinners as being bound in chains. This is something with which Paul was intimately familiar. Before surrendering his life to Christ, he had hunted down Christians, tried them, and oversaw their executions. No doubt he had many in chains.
Later, he himself was chained while awaiting trial, jailed for his Christian beliefs. He was eventually executed, as he had executed others.
Paul, though, used a similar term to describe his relationship with Jesus Christ. He called himself a bondservant. In fact, so did James, Peter, and Jude. Paul even described Jesus as a bondservant, doing the will of the Father. So, one may wonder, then, why escape the bonds of sin just to be enslaved by Christ?
Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James…
To understand this, we must look at the difference between a someone who is a slave or prisoner and a bondservant.
The Greek word translated as bondservant in many Bibles is translated slave by many others. Either translation is technically correct. As a Pharisee, though, Paul knew that the equivalent Hebrew word was applied to a special kind of slave, a bondservant.
The word bondservant is the perfect word to describe a true follower of Christ. A bondservant is a slave who loves his master so much that he petitions to become permanently bound to him. You see, many slaves could earn their freedom or purchase their freedom. A bondservant, on the other hand, took legal action to avoid ever being separated from the master.
Here’s the thing. You have never experienced true freedom unless you have bound yourself to the Master. He is a loving Master, one who protects you, cares for you, provides for you and adopts you into His family. He rids you of your sinful nature and replaces it with His holy nature. By giving yourself wholly to Him, He creates in you a clean, pure heart.
He breaks the chains of sin and death that bind you. His love compels you to become His bondservant.