If you had to pick one word to describe yourself, what would it be? American? Christian? Husband? Father? Teacher? Cornhusker? Would you prefer the word slave? Slave was the word Paul chose. A slave is someone who is legally owned by someone else and whose entire livelihood and purpose were determined by their master. A slave was devoted to their master to the disregard of their interests. Of course, Paul was not a slave to just anyone; he was a slave of Jesus Christ. While this may sound strange given the history of slavery in the modern world, it was the main identifier for Paul and Timothy. To whom or what are you a slave?
Philippians 1:1: “This letter is from Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus. I am writing to all of God’s holy people in Philippi who belong to Christ Jesus, including the church leaders[a] and deacons.”