“What Kind of Servant are You?”

1 Corinthians 12:12-27

A. Question: Do you feel like a second-class citizen or a submissive servant?

B. When it comes to service in the church . . .
1. Some people will do anything.
2. Some will do a few things.
3. Others want to do certain things or they won’t do anything.
a. “If I can’t be an elder, then I won’t be anything in the church!”
b. “If I can’t be a deacon, then I won’t be anything in the church!”
c. “If I can’t be the song-leader, then I won’t do anything else!”
d. “If I can’t teach the class I want to teach, then I won’t teach any class!”
e. “If I can’t be in charge of a program, then I won’t participate in any program!”

C. Human nature being what it seemingly is, Satan can manipulate our feelings . . . Attitudes . . . Dispositions . . . Mind sets . . . is ways that are detrimental:
1. To ourselves.
2. To others.
3. To the Church .
4. To the work of the local congregation.
5. To congregational unity.
6. To the Lord’s will and work.

D. Paul described it well in his writing of 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 - For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free — and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.


A. David did not get to do all he wanted. 1 Chronicles 28
1. He wanted to build a temple for God . . . But God would not let him. The task was assigned to David’s Son, Solomon.
2. David could have said:
a. “If I can’t do all of the work, then I won’t do any of the work.”
b. “If I can’t build the temple, then I won’t make preparations for someone else to build it.”
c. If I can’t build the temple . . . Then I won’t write any more Psalms.
3. Instead, David did all that he could to make it easier for the one who would build it.
a. He was active in its planning stage.
b. He arranged alliances with kings of other nations for the supplying of needed materials.
c. He began to stockpile those needed materials.
d. David did what he could to help others accomplish the building of God’s temple.
4. God knows best!

B. The demon-possessed man in Mark 5 did not get to do all he wanted to do.
1. Jesus healed him and that was good . . .But then he expressed his desire to go with Jesus . . . But Jesus said “no.”
a. No doubt the man was disappointed.
b. He could have become angry.
c. He could have developed a negative attitude toward Jesus and His work.
d. He could have said, “Well, if I can’t travel with Jesus and help others, then I will just mind my own business and not do anything.
2. Nonetheless, by his doing what Jesus told him to do rather than what he had asked to do, people marveled.
3. God knows best!

C. In Luke 10, Jesus selected seventy and sent them out with a limited commission.
1. How did the others feel who were not chosen to be sent out?
a. Did they feel like 2nd class servants because they were not chosen to go?
b. Did they become discouraged and turn back because they began to feel that they were not worthy to be chosen to be sent.
c. Did they develop the attitude that they could do a better job than the ones selected to go?
d. Did they feel selfish, hoping that the ones chosen would not succeed in their work?
e. Did they develop the attitude, “Since I wasn’t asked this time, I will not volunteer to do anything else.”
2. They realized that Jesus is the Master and they were submissive to His will.
3. Jesus has work for all . . . It just comes at different times.
4. God knows best!

D. The church was growing when the first seven deacons were selected.
Acts 6
1. Growth increases needs. Acts 6:1 – “Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.”
2. Christians in Jerusalem now numbered in the thousands.
a. Seven were chosen to serve on this occasion.
b. Many believe these to be the first deacons in the church.
c. How did the other men feel who were not selected?
1. Thousands were not selected that day.
2. Did they stop serving because they were not appointed to the work.
3. Did they stop learning, pack up and head home because they were not selected.
4. Did they sit back, watch, and wait, hoping to see the seven fail in their appointed tasks?
d. There is work for all, and the cooperation of all is needed.
3. God knows best.

E. In choosing leadership, not all men are chosen.
1. God has established specific qualifications for elders and deacons.
a. Not all men qualify for either role.
b. Some may qualify as a deacon but fail to qualify as an elder.
2. When elders are chosen:
a. Singles are eliminated . . . Not married.
b. Young men are eliminated . . . Not mature enough.
c. Childless men are eliminated . . . Not proven enough.
d. New converts are eliminated . . . Not developed enough.
3. Men not selected for the eldership:
a. Some may think they have longevity in the congregation and therefore should be appointed. Longevity is not a Biblical qualification.
b. Some may think that are among the most successful business men in the community and therefore should be appointed. Being successful in business is not a Biblical qualification.
c. Some may feel they are among the most popular men in the congregation and should be appointed. Popularity is not a Biblical qualification.
4. When not appointed:
a. Some complain.
b. Some criticize.
c. Some go elsewhere in hopes of being appointed.
d. Others are:
1. Highly encouraging toward those appointed.
2. Strongly supportive of their efforts.
3. Openly complimentary of the eldership
4. Faithfully work with the elders for the advancement of the Master’s work among me.
5. It’s a question of who is in charge . . . God is! God knows best!

F. Other examples:
1. The five talent man did what he could with what he had. Matthew 12
2. The two talent man did what he could with what he had. Matthew 12
3. The poor widow gave 100% when she gave hew two mites. Mark 12
4. The young lad did what he could when he gave his five barley loaves and two small fish. John 6

A. Listening friends:
1. Not all are teachers. James 3:1 – “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.”
2. Not all are elders.
3. Not all are deacons.
4. Not all are preachers.
5. Not all are chairmen or program directors in the local congregation.

B. And yet . . . We are all servants.
1. Not 2nd class citizens but 1st class servants.
2. Willing to do what we can to serve.
3. Willing to encourage others in their work as well.
4. Serving for the right reasons and for the common good of carrying out the Lord’s will on this earth.

C. Some of the great Biblical statements have to do with serving.
1. Isaiah - “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me ." Isaiah 6:8
2. Samuel – “Speak, for Your servant hears." 1 Samuel 3:10
3. Woman with alabaster flask containing costly oil at Bethany. Mark 14:8 – “She has done what she could.”

D. The question becomes: “Lord, What do you want me to do.”
1. Sometimes lists are posted of things needing to be done.
2. Jesus has posted such a list with us . . . The New Testament . . . The gospel of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
3. Let’s get to work and serve our Lord by serving others.

For us it’s how we view our opportunities.

By Donnie S. Barnes

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