Whom do you serve?
(you might be serving the wrong one)
Romans 6:16 (KJV) Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Every child of God, is to understand the principle of servitude. We should all know that servitude in the scriptures was equivilent to slavery. Of course, our concept of slavery is much different than what God established. We only think of slavery as that which happened in the last century of which we in America are still trying to heal the wounds created by this evil practice. In a study of this concept, we are to notice that the words for servitude are many.
A Study of Vines Dictionary will find each of these words offers similar but contrasting definitions. The words cross reference to include ministers, bondservants, bondmen, bondwoman, slave, steward, servant. These words are descriptive of the character, title, station, and work of people. Some of these words describe the action taking place and some just describe a job function. Some describe an office or job description. There are many senses in which these words are used.
A true child of God, understands most of them. I would suggest though, that we are not really serving God like we should be. I would suggest that the ones that should be served the most, are the ones that are neglected the most. Service to God is mentioned in many ways and forms.
Our spiritual service of worship is that which proves in us the will of God, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom 12:1-2). We are to perform duties to God. We have obligations and responsibilities to Him. We have no problem in doing most of them. This is in consideration of what God has done for us. He knew that sinners would not be acceptable to Him. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). Our sins, also known as our iniquities have seperated us from God (Isa 59:2). Without something in the form of grace, redemption, and propitiation, we could never have a relationship with God. We could not call Him our Father, which is in Heaven. But while we were yet sinners, God sent His Son so that we may have eternal life (John 3:16).
In a lesser sense, we do service to our Lord Jesus Christ. We do this when we learn of Him, and allow Him to bear our burden of sin. He offered to take our yoke (of sin) upon Himself. By learning obedience, He became the source of eternal salvation (Heb 5:8-9). In that Jesus came to do the will of God, He showed Himself to be an example to all of His followers.
Although we do not usually consider the Holy Spirit one to be served, we do so when we take His work and apply it to our lives. When we study and meditate upon the word of God, we realize that the Holy Spirit gave this to us as He was directed by God, and Christ. When we allow His work to permeate and infiltrate our very being, then we are in a sense, becoming His servant.
Many of those in the church feel very confident that they serve Diety as mentioned above. Many feel that upon doing their duty to Diety, then Diety will reward them. For the majority of Christians, this is all the service they ever offer.
But there are two other things which deserve our service. I would suggest that we rethink our application of service being in an upward direction only and apply the word to the original intent of being outward as well. Who are we talking about? Well, since I said outward, that obviously excludes "me".
The only service that is worthwhile that we can offer ourselves, is to be faithful to God. We learn that we should be humble and that we should give up pride and replace it with servitude to Christ. By placing ourselves in subjection to His will, we make ourselves servants of Christ. But let us look at what is required to be a servant of Christ. Col. 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
Our reward of the inheritance is made possible by the grace of God. And if we are to receive this reward, it is only because Jesus our Lord made it possible. John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. Jesus offers to be with us, if we follow Him. There is that great big word again. Probally the most important word in all of the Bible. "If" is a word that means conditions need to be met in order to receive the object or reward. The key phrase is "if any man serve me" Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him (Christ), that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Jesus also said that serving two masters was impossible. If we serve Christ, then we no longer serve sin. If however, we continue to sin, then we are not serving Christ. It is impossible to serve Christ and sin. Our actions will tell Christ, if we are serving Him or sin. Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. Jesus is the Lord of our life. We submit to Him. We humble ourselves before Him. If we expect Him to save us, we know that it is only on His terms. By being our Savior, He becomes our God, Lord, Master, Leader, King, Authority, and Guide. If we do not honor Jesus by our obedience, then we are forsaking Him. When anything is given preference over Him, then we cannot be His servant. If we play politics and do things to be seen by men, we cannot be or should not be the servant of Christ. Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Jesus was teaching that Satan could not offer an acceptable substitute for God. Jesus quoting from scripture answers Satan who was asking Jesus to bow down before him. There is only one God who is worthy of honor and glory and our worship.
Here is the first category of those whom we should serve. Galatians 5:13 (KJV) For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. The New Testament is literally filled with passages detailing our duty to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We have the passages that describe us of being in the same body. Having the same Head. Holding to the same faith. Honoring the same God and Lord. Our stewardship that God gives us is to take care of each other. The example in Acts 2:41-47 should teach us the importance of our brethren. We should have just as much interest in their souls as Jesus did. Jesus died for them, we should at least love them. Too often, though, we neglect the gift that is in them. We do not offer to them a service by which they can be uplifted and encouraged and edified. We could introduce passages from Matt 25 and James 2 to detail our obligations to our brethren. We could mention Heb 10:24-25. We could mention the need to love one another. All of these are correct and we should do them.
Here is the second category of those whom we serve. Let us now concentrate on those who need the most service, but actually receive the least. These people are the lost. The greatest service to any person would be to show them the Light of the Gospel, and bring them to repentance. God has appeared to all mankind, to show them the Christ. God is not willing that any should perish. Therefore, He sent His Son to us to Light up the Way and show us the Door and the path of the Way which leads to Life. If God made provision for the greatest need that mankind would have, then that should be the one service that we could offer to mankind with God's blessings.
Yes, we are talking about personal evangelism. Evangelism is not the problem with many in the church today. Many in the church today have a problem with the "personal". Many are just tickled pink that their preacher preaches the truth on all Bible subjects. Many feel very good that they support the work of the Church by their contributions. Many delight in the fact that their churches sponsor or support evangelist in foreign works. These people will have no problem telling you how great it is to be a servant of God. The real problem is that many are not servants of God, but of Satan. How do we know? Jesus said "If you love me, keep my commandments" Jesus taught by example that our service is to others. If we only try to service or serve God, then we are neglecting the needs of those who need God. Jesus said to go teach, preach, baptize and teach the lost. Jesus did not send us to the saved, but to the lost. Jesus Himself came to seek and save that which was lost. If we do not serve the lost by teaching them the error of their way, then we are not obedient to Jesus Christ. If we are not obedient to Jesus Christ, what else is left? There is only one other choice; You serve Satan (although you do not mean to).
(Dear Christian Friends, Though I do not know you, and you do not know me, please understand that I am concerned for your souls. I also am concerned for the souls of the lost. I cannot reach the lost in your world, only you can do that. I am encouraging you to "go" to the lost in your families, workplaces, neighborhoods, schools, and in public places. Yes you must live a faithful life before God. Being a good moral person does not get one to Heaven. They must do the will of God. The will of God is that none perish. You have a part in this, greatest of all tasks, evangelism effort. If you do not physically get involved with the lost in order to teach them, then you will not go to Heaven. It does not matter how good you may appear to be, If we cannot produce fruit for the Master, then He will reject us. The parables of Jesus emphasize these truths. I think the parable of the talents is appropiate here. There are those like the first two servants that get out and get busy doing the Masters business. But there are many who are fearful and just bury what God has given to them. The gospel is understandable even to the simple minded. But if you do not share it, how will they learn it. One last point from this parable is that the person with one talent that did not use it, had it taken away from him. Will not our hope of salvation be removed from us if we do not put into practice that which God has given us to do?)
Conclusion. Let me suggest that we view it this way.
Until we have a concern for those who are lost, we really cannot do any of the rest.
We Worship God, only when we cause others to do so.
We Honor Christ, only when we cause others to do so.
We Respect the Holy Spirit when we determine our authority from His work.
We can and must show our Love for our Brethren in so many ways, and it is really not that difficult.
But if we withold our Service to the Lost, we are sending them to Hell. And their blood be upon our heads.
(My thanks to Brent Hunter's computer program "Evangelism 101". Please seek this out and learn from it. Mark Copeland and Steve Rudd have some good outlines on personal evangelism made simple. There are lots of people who can tell you how, but only you can do.)
To the Church of Christ who reads this. We all are guilty in different degrees of neglecting the lost. Let us ask for forgiveness and commit to God what He has given to us; a field white unto harvest. You will go with God's blessings, but the keyword is "go". We need the mercy of God. Please share the gospel with everyone in your little world, if you do, then you will save yourself also. Remember that the faithless stewards talent was removed from him. We will have our hope of salvation taken away from us if we do not try to save the lost.
By Carey Scott
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