Something to think about.
1 Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and singled out for God’s good news.. Romans 1:1
This word in any culture in the world has a negative connotation, but here it is describing the relationship between Christ and Paul the Apostle. Paul himself wrote this book these are his words. We can only conclude that he is of his own free will aligning himself with Christ with a position and title of the slave. Let that sink in a moment.
It is allegorical in intent, or is it exactly how Paul wanted to be identified? I think he intended it to be actual. I think he did not want it to be figurative but in every sense a reality. If you study the words and purpose of Jesus, you will find that he only has one intent. It is for the salvation of humanity. All of his actions were for the benefit of humanity. He never proposed violence. He never proposed evil. None of His actions could be construed as being harmful to His followers. Not a one of us has anything to fear from Jesus. He never intended harm for anyone that would follow Him. In fact, it is the exact opposite. His intent is for our salvation. If you understand the intent and purpose of Christ, you can begin to see how Paul desires to be a slave of Christ.
Paul desires to identify himself as a slave not out of fear but because there is only an upside to this relationship. Paul understands the provision of Christ. Not just in this life but in the life which is to come. He recognizes the sovereignty of Jesus. He has experienced the depth of love Christ has for Him. The word slave is the best word to use to describe a relationship in which you willfully and intentionally submit your will to God.
In Paul’s times, it was possible to sell your self into slavery with the possibility of buying your way out of slavery. Not that it was pleasurable by any means, but still you had the choice to sell your self and then pay your way out of slavery. This is not the arrangement that Paul intends when he claims slavery as his position. He intends to recognize the sovereignty and benevolence of God. He understood that God had the very best for him in mind when God sent His son to die for him. He understood and appreciated the best place to be was within the protected resource fill arms of God.
He knew that living as a slave to Christ meant that he would have the best life.
He knew that being a slave to Christ was not a confining judgment it is a liberating, exciting purposeful loving fulling life of joy.