20 Each man must remain in that condition in which he was called. 21 Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that. 22 For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called. 1 Corinthians 7:20-24 (NASB)
During the ministries of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles there was a full understanding of the nature of slavery. It dominated their culture. Therefore, we must take that into account when we read from God’s Word the true nature of our “personal relationship” with our Lord….
The Greek word for Lord or Master is κύριος (kyrios). This title describes Jesus Christ as Lord in the sense of being the owner, possessor, or master. Some may teach that Christians can be genuine without them submitting to Christ as Lord, but that concept is alien to the Bible. We do not make Christ Lord of our lives my brethren. No, He is Lord of all those whom He bought with the price of His precious blood.
For Christ to be κύριος then He must own slaves. The Greek word for a slave is δοῦλος (doulos). A δοῦλος is one who is in a permanent relation of servitude to another, his or her will altogether consumed in the will of their κύριος. In nearly every English translation of the New Testament this word, δοῦλος, is mostly rendered as either “servant” or “bond-servant.” In the few instances when a passage is referring to actual slaves then it is rendered as “slave” or “slaves.” I believe this is tragic for it gives the reader the wrong concept of our actual “personal relationship” with Christ. If δοῦλος was rendered as “slave” in every passage in the New Testament where it appears then a very different understanding of the true nature of our relationship with our κύριος would become apparent.
Here is Ephesians 5:5-6 from the King James, the NASB, the ESV, and the NET BIble.