Christian Household Servants
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Christian Household Servants
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Servants of God

4000 Christian SlavesThe most illuminating adaptation of household terms to theological ideas was the constant assertion that Christian household servants were the servants of God. Household leaders were told by 1 Corinthians 4.1 that they were God's stewards, "Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God."

Discharge the Trust

The duty with which they were entrusted in 1 Corinthians 9.17 was the administration of God's goods for the benefit of the household. Saint Paul wrote, "If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me." More commonly still, they were simply household servants, stressing the subjection rather than the trust.✞

Loyal to the Master

The Early Church history professor E. A. Judge (1928- ) writing in "The Social Pattern of Christian Groups in the First Century" asserted that these metaphors from slavery suggest how far the institution was appreciated as a means of support for the otherwise unrepresented and helpless. The bond frequently excited feelings not of resentment, but of personal devotion and loyalty towards the master by household servants. Moreover, as with the centurion in Luke 7.2 "There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die." This Christian servant was dear to the centurion, the bond was the basis of mutual affection.✞

"Christian Household Servants"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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