(Thanks to my dear brother and friend Jay for inspiration on this one)
"And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ" (Galatians 4:6-7).
"Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ" (Romans 1:1).
The Apostle Paul tells the Galatians that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ birthed them into family relationship with God, as opposed to mere servitude to a master. Nevertheless he refers to himself as "a servant of Jesus Christ."
The Lordship of Jesus must be understood in the context of our being "dear children" rather than mere slaves to a master (Ephesians 5:1). "Ye serve the Lord Christ" declared Paul, and thus the perception of ourselves as servants is a Biblically valid understanding (Colossians 3:24). However, sonship must be first in our minds as believers if submission to God is to be known and experienced according to the loving relationship for which the Lord Jesus suffered and died. Under the law, slaves. Under grace and truth, "no more a servant," but sons and daughters. The distinction is vital.
The obedience of the Christian is the obedience of love rather than the mere fulfillment of duty. Our Heavenly Father has no interest whatsoever in a heartless submission that belies the heart-filled reality of the Lord Jesus dwelling in us by His Spirit. Long ago, Israel was severely chastened because "because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things" (Deuteronomy 28:47). How much more must the born again believer, spiritually birthed by the Holy Spirit into being "a habitation of God," serve as a glad, grateful, and affectionate member of "the whole family in heaven and earth" rather than the cold and sterile discipline of a slave? (Ephesians 2:22; 3:15).
This truth, received and nurtured within our hearts and minds, will change our lives. We serve from sonship. We serve from being loved as beloved children who love in joyful response. We serve because there is genuine desire in us for the will of God, wrought in us by the Spirit of His Son dwelling in us. We serve in a devotion and sincerity that can only proceed from the shared interest of family involvement and relationship. And we serve with the understanding that "doing the will of God from the heart" is the only obedience in which our Heavenly Father has any interest (Ephesians 6:6). The Lord Jesus has made such genuine devotion possible, and the more we realize how near He has drawn us to His Father and to our Father, the more we will join Paul in the glad service of being dear sons and daughters.
"But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."