Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God. Romans 1:1
John MacArthur writes this book in an attempt to unearth what he believes is a fundamental truth for the faith. He walks the reader through history defining the term rendered “slave” in the Bible. Most, if not all, modern translations have replaced the word slave with servant, due to the negative connotation associated with slavery in recent history. He considers the replacement as detrimental to fully understanding what the original text was implying. The problem presented is the question of obedience. While the servant may very well receive pay for his labor and have some say-so (servants and their talents), the slave’s only response could be obedience to his master’s instruction.
The relationship between Master and slave is traversed from both vantage points. The master has expectations of the one who his slave. The slave understands his expected response to the master’s commands.
Some excellent portions of the book come with MacArthur’s evidence through illustrations of historical figures of the Church. Especially noteworthy is his coverage of the life of John Huus.
Continuing, he states, “The undeniable assertion of Scripture is that Jesus Christ is the Lord of His church — even if many within mainstream evangelicalism fail to reflect that reality in their activities.”
In his section titled, “From Slaves to Sons,” he writes, “That God, in His grace, would free us from sin and make us His slaves is a wondrous truth to comprehend.” Then, “He has also welcomed us into His household and made us members of His very family…sons.”
His conclusion is presented as, “…we are simultaneously sons and slaves.”
As if his presented paradoxes weren’t enough, MacArthur then explains how “slavery magnifies grace.” “Paul could tell the Corinthians that, even in his sacrificial labors on Christ’s behalf, all must be attributed to God’s grace.”
MacArthur’s final statement is, “To be a Christian is to be a slave of Christ.”