I once had a church leader say to me – in public, no less! – that he was “offended” everytime I used the word “servant” to describe the role of a deacon. I told everyone present that “servant” is the language of Scripture (!) for the believer who follows his Lord in service. I simply appealed to Mk. 10:45 and parallel passages, and the terms of Paul’s epistles. I did not go into discussions about the Servant Songs in Isaiah or other theological discourse.
Looking back on that discussion – which did not change the mind of that church leader or many of his companions – I realize I was not forthright enough. I should have told him that I should have been calling all of us slaves.
Almost 20 years ago, a friend of mine told me that if we did not see that our basic identity as a Christian is that of a slave, we would not be able to serve Christ faithfully. He was right. We are slaves of Christ. If you are a believer, you had better get your identity right. I hope MacArthur’s new work, Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ, will help us to do so.