“James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.”-{James 1:1}

The Book of James is a book of tests. Tests in regarding true saving faith versus dead faith. We are introduced to the author in verse 1, “James.” There are five different James mentioned in the New Testament. It is believed the James is the half brother of Jesus. And this is what makes James introduction of himself all the more amazing. The beauty of his humility. He does not introduce himself as “James the half brother of Jesus, the leader of the church” but he writes and the first thing he desires us to know about him, is that he is a “bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Think about how we introduce ourselves to someone when they ask who we are or what do we do. Have you ever introduced yourself as a “bond servant of God and of the LORD Jesus?” Most of the times we tell others about our job situation. Why are we asked that question? Because depending on the answer is how we will be viewed, valued  by the person asking! But the most important thing to James that he wanted others to know about him, was whom He belonged to. Note he gives his name and makes an immediate beeline to God, and the LORD Jesus. Spurgeon said, “announce your text and make a short cut to Jesus!”

The Word “Bond- Servant.”Doulos”- speaks of  one whose will is swallowed up in the will of another! It conveys the idea of someone who is in submission to another to know and do their will. They live to obey another! It comes from the verb “to bind.” “Doulos” spoke of a slave from birth not  you have been made a slave which would be the word, “andrapodon.” James was born into this slavery through the new birth, faith in the LORD Jesus. But is is not a slavery of bondage but liberation.”So if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed.”-{John 8:36}. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. “-{Gal 5:1}.

A “doulos”  did not have to worry about food, or his clothing or housing as that was the concern of his master to take care of all that.

“William Barclay says a “doulos” was characterized by absolute obedience, absolute humility, absolute loyalty and pride, in a good sense, he was proud to be a servant. It wasn’t a title of dishonor; it was a title of honor, especially to a Jew.”{John Mac Arthur}

James identifies with the LORD and tells them what his relationship is to the LORD and how important this relationship is that right off the bat he lets them know who he is, whose He is, and what his relationship is to Him!

We all are servants of someone or something. Apart from a right relationship with the LORD Jesus we are “bond-servants” to sin. ” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. “-{John 8;34}. It is only through the “New Birth,” and the work of the Lord Jesus in saving, forgiving and given us a new standing with Him are we freed from the penalty and power of sin, “knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;“-{Romans 6:6}. “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.”-{Romans 6:16 -19}.

Either slaves, under the authority, control of sin OR in submission to the authority, control of God, The LORD Jesus. It’s either one or the other!

In the Greek society  there were those who were slaves who were forced into slavery. Paul and Peter elevates the word by using the Hebrew meaning which is someone who willingly submits to serve a master they love and respect.-{Read Exodux 21:5-6; Deut 21:12-16}. By Roman times it is said one out of every two people were a slave!

The “Doulos” had no life of his own, no time of his own, no plan of his own, no will of his own, his life was not his own but lived to serve another… his master!

The picture of a “bond-servant” is one whose life is totally surrendered and committed to live life of devotion to his master. What a picture James gives of his life. Totally surrendered, committed, devoted to serve God, the LORD Jesus! This is who he was and wanted others to know who he was and what his purpose in life was.

You may have heard it said,”God has a wonderful plan for your life.” And people can wrongly assume that it means trial free, pain free and getting all that you desire. God does have a wonderful plan for your life and that is that you have the privilege to be His surrendered, devoted servant, living no longer for yourself but for Him a His disposal to do with you what will glorify Him most. Paul put it this way, “… and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.”-{2 Cor 5:15}.

The highest privilege is to be a Servant of the LORD Jesus Christ! Living to know and do His Will as revealed in His Word. James testifies whom his allegiance is to as whom He has submitted to serve totally, wholly, devoted to.

It has been said,

In summary, the doulos…

  • Was owned by and totally possessed by his master.
  • Existed for his master and no other reason.
  • Had no personal rights.
  • Was at the master’s disposal “24/7”.
  • Had no will of his own but was completely subservient to the master.

Paradoxically a bondservant of the Most High God is one of the most privileged, noblest professions in the world. Little wonder that notable men of God in the have always been called the servants of God. The list of names includes

Who are you James?

What is the most important thing you want us to know about you? He tells us, he is “a bond-servant of the LORD Jesus!”

What a great way to evangelize if someone ever says “Tell me something about yourself? You can say something such as,” I am a “bond servant of Jesus Christ, my life belongs to Him and I live to know and do His will gladly in light of Who He is, my emancipator, Liberator and how He rescued me from sin…”

Who are you? The question really is “Whose are you?” You own or Christ’s? One is a slave to self the other to the Savior, Jesus Christ! One lives to satisfy self the other to satisfy the Savior!

How do you define yourself? By your occupation, school, education, financial situation or that you are a “bond-servant” of Jesus Christ. You are at His loving disposal to serve Him, gladly, willingly, habitually, lovingly. “For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. “-{2 Cor 4:5}.

Note a”bond-servant “to God is manifested in a life of being a ‘bond servant” to others, seeking their highest good and the motivation? “For Jesus sake.” If you seek to serve others for what they can do for you {selfishness} and f they do not so s you want you may adopt a bitter, angry, resentful attitude and n doing so grieve the Holy Spirit.  But if we do it for “…Jesus sake,”  then we will be kept, it does not mean we will not hurt, but we will honor Him!

In this passage 2 Cor 4:5,we can see a good working out of the  attitude and life of a “bond servant” in his or her life…

  1. Our Message – “We do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as LORD”
  2. Our Ministry – ” Ourselves your bond-servants.”
  3. Our Motivation- “For Jesus sake.”

Maybe it’s good to pause a moment and evaluate Him. Is HE worthy of your  submitting to and devoting your allegiance to Him? He calls for more than “lip-service” but a life surrendered to Him for His sake and devoted to Him, His will, His cause in His way as revealed in His Word. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. “-{Matthew 16:24 NLT}. Give up his own way, “deny himself” the word speaks of to “disown” yourself. Where the world says, ‘it’s all about number one,look after number one” and is self centered, self occupied. The LORD says to deny, disown self, rights and all, which means no longer living life for yourself but instead take up his cross. this is not speaking about some ailment or difficult person, circumstances as some would say “this is my cross,” but the cross was an instrument of death. No one ever got of it alive. And so the call is ti not only deny your life but die to living your life for your sake if you are to “Follow” Jesus! Not to “co-lead”with Him or be His Counselor nut to follow, get in behind Him as He alone is the Leader,Sovereign LORD who has made us and died to redeem us for Himself. Such are the characteristics of a “bond servant,”‘ No person can be a “bond-servant” of the LORD Jesus WHO has not first met and applied these conditions to his or her life.

You are who He has made you and called you to be… don’t be ashamed of Him. The world system, people will at times ridicule you because they do not know Him. Sometimes your enemies Jesus says will be the enemies of your own household. That is painful, He knows. But of all the accolades, be it military, educational, academic, athletically or a host of others there is no higher than to have Him call and recognize you as His “Bond-servant.” You follow in a great lineage.

James, off the bat introduces himself by name and then his high calling and privilege to those whom he writes to, “… a bond servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,…”

From this we too can learn to reach out evangelize when someone asks who we are and what do we do, we can give our name and then our life’s calling and privilege to be “a bond-servant of Jesus Christ!” And how He brought that about in our lives from being a servant to sin to a servant of the Most High, The Savior, Jesus Christ. James humility, and his seeing the high privilege that was afforded him he makes known to the readers. We all have a name that we are known by…and we all to some degree want to be known by something to others, the world and even believers are not immune to wanting other to think well of us because of our education, financial situation, work, job, schooling, athletic ability, and we want to be esteemed by others for it.

I remember on one occasion being in a Bible study with some athletes who were national  football champions who played in front of huge crowds, and then shortly after going to a small school  who had won a small tournament and one of the players afterwards, a day or so later in the auditorium shouting about being “number 1!” And the contrast was huge to me. One were national champions known all over the USA and the other, probably not even known in their own small town. But he wanted to be identified as being “number 1″… this is whom he saw himself but more importantly wanted others to know him by.

What is it you want others to know you… for?

For James it was that he was a “bond-servant of God and the LORD Jesus Christ!”



My Name is __________

My Vocation is  a “bond-servant of the LORD Jesus Christ”

And it will be manifested in  being a “bond-servant” and serving others by testifying of Jesus as LORD and ourselves their “bond-servants” and this we do “…for Jesus sake!”