What is a Bondservant?
There seems to be a lot of interest in the term Bondservant. And there is more then one answer to what a Bondservant is. Many of the New Testament’s authors counted themselves Bondservant (depending on the Bible Version you read, it may say servants.)
James starts off in James 1:1 saying:
“James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ…”
The Term Bondservant here comes from the word dulos. And is defined as:
- a slave, bondman, man of servile condition
- a slave
- metaph., one who gives himself up to another’s will those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men
- devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests
a servant, attendant
The best definition here is “devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests.” On its basic level a bondservant is simply following your master to complete disregard of your own will, emotions, desires.
To put it into contrast of being a Bondservant of Christ, it means a complete and utter devotion to God, His word, and His will. It is disregarding your own desires and will in all things to lay your life at the Cross and follow Christ. It is not being perfect, yet it is a dedication to following God in all things.
A Bondservant is to love as Christ loved; to walk as Christ walked. It means standing strong when you are weak and have nothing left. It means not letting up, giving up, or putting up with anything less then a true and full releationship with God as a friendship and partnership through this world, doing His will. Being a Bondservant is Standing strong on the Word of God while seeking God first, above all else. Everything is secondary to your relationship with Him.
Being a bondservant means taking responsibility of your own walk with God through personal study of his word, and personal and corporate prayer. It means the Word of God is your foundation with Christ Himself as the Cornerstone of your life. Its having faith in the best and worst of times knowing that in the end you belong to God. Being a bondservant means knowing only you can stand in the way of a deep and meaningful walk with God. It means you accept responsibility for your walk and bring everything you learn to God’s word and prayer to determine it’s truth against God’s word.
Being a bondservant means not letting sin get you down. It means if you fall, you get up, seek forgiveness, and move on learning what you can do not to let it happen in the future. It is a dedication to purity and seeking that purity through a walk that spans your life.
Here are some scriptures I think encompass some of the essence of being a bondservant.
2 Peter 1:1 through 2 Peter 1:12 (NKJV)
1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ,To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
2Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.
This is a heavy scripture reference. There is a lot of things going on in this. Let’s try and break it down a bit. Peter starts off identifying himself and his station if you will (bondservant and apostle). I believe he is addressing this, at least in part, to those who seek to walk in closeness with God. Now verse two starts off with what really is a promise. Knowledge of God and Jesus brings grace and peace. Why? Let’s move on and see. God called us to Him, by his glory and virtue. In as such He has also given us all things that pertain to life and godliness through Christ. By Christ he has given us promises through His word. By partaking, or putting our faith in His word, these promises; we become partakers of God’s divine nature. Now that’s sounds like a pretty heavy thing but in truth what it really means is that we become more like Him. In the end isn’t that what our walks are about? Becoming like Christ is at the Core of being a bondservant and a Christian.
Now by trusting in God and His word we also “escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.” By studying God’s word, and being a doer of the word (not a hearer only as James 1 says) we enable the process of growing in our walks and relationships with God. And in truth our walk with God is a relationship. And you cannot grow in a relationship with anyone if you don’t actively participate in it.
He goes on to list some qualities here that all Christians should be actively trying to develop in their lives. The qualities listed below I believe are very important to being a bondservant.
Galatians 2:20 through Galatians 2:21 (NKJV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
When we we look at our lives it should be through the eyes of Christ. This verse is very specific with what our outlook should truly be. “It is no longer I who live” we died with Christ. Our faith is what accomplishes this, our repentance and asking God to forgive us, and accepting Christ as our Lord and savior. “But Christ who lives in me”. This is at the very core of being a bondservant. My life isn’t my own, I don’t live for me but I live for Christ who lives in me. Our lives should be lived in faith in the Son of God. We need to trust Him, to walk for Him, and embrace His will as our own. Why? Because it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us. I cannot die in Christ and live for myself.
1 John 2:3 through 1 John 2:7 (NKJV)
3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
7 Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.
Now this doesn’t directly apply to being a bondservant but more as a general rule that all Christians should be mindful of. You disobey God’s word and say you Know God. If we screw up and fail, there is forgiveness. But to walk how you will and say I’ll just repent latter is a no no. Also you CANNOT just say I am a Christian or bondservant of God and not be obedient to His word, the two go hand and hand. Lip service or obedience, there is no fence walking or grey areas here. Sin is sin and obedience is obedience. They cannot co-exist.
Now you may be asking yourself what’s the difference between being a Christian and being a bondservant, and is their a difference. This is my opinion, but I would say there is a difference. Being a bondservant to me is about dedicating yourself to the mindset of Galatians 2:20-21 listed above. I believe that scripture is at the heart of a bondservant. A total dedication of faith in God, trusting Him and His word. A dedication to not giving up in your walk with Him. If you fail, you get up, ask forgiveness and move on and learn from it. You don’t stay a week at grief motel because you failed once. It’s a total and complete single mindedness to living life for God. To having a close relationship and friendship with God and yes you can be friends with God. Most of all it’s seeking to make God’s heart and will your own, this means love. God is love. Jesus’ ministry was founded on Love. God so loved the world He sent His son to die for our sins. Love is and always should be our motivator. God’s love, not our own or the world’s misguided love. 1 Corinthians 13 love. A love that puts others above ourselves. A love that’s willing to give more then just a word of well wishing like James 2 says. A love that remembers those in need.
I’ve dedicated this site to helping people discover what being a bondservant is. If you have a question feel free to comment below or see the link in the menu for how to email me.