“To Serve Or Be Served?”

Posted: May 8, 2019 in Christian Life, Lordship Salvation, Philippians

Bondservants Of Jesus Christ”

Philippians 1:1 Lesson #5

Be honest. Would you rather serve others or be served by them? On a scale of 1-10, how interested are you in fame, fortune, power, and pleasure? What if there was no one to admire you? What if you had a million dollars but had no one to serve you when you went to the store or out to eat? What good would it be if you had power but there was no one you could boss around? Who would entertain you and bring you pleasure if you were alone on a desert island? What if everyone else were blind and couldn’t admire, or even covet the things you claim to “own” (Colossians 3:5)? What do you have that you didn’t receive from someone else’s labors (1 Corinthians 4:7)? Who is the One who gives you life and breath (Acts 17:28)? Who said, “Without Me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5)? Here is what Jesus said to the church that thought they had it all. “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked…I will vomit you out of my mouth’” (Revelation 3:16, 17 NKJV). What an awful indictment from the Lord.

Servanthood. Not too many people are interested in “servanthood” and being at the disposal of others and helping them. But “The human needs in our world today are indescribable, innumerable, and (if you have a tender heart) almost unbearable. You and I can’t do everything but we can do something and that something is the ministry that God has called us to fulfill.” – Warren W. Wiersbe, “On Being A Servant Of God” Did you know that God pre-planned certain works for each Christian to do once we were saved (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Peter 4:10)? Do you know how to find out what they are? If not, ask us for help.

Purpose. “…the Son of Man [Jesus] did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). Why did He do this? He did it to glorify His Father (John 17:4) and to provide salvation for you and me because we are incapable of saving ourselves from having to spend eternity with the devil and his angels/demons in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 46).

Service. We all serve someone. It might be ourselves, other people, or even the devil himself without our realizing it (Romans 7:5, 15-25; Galatians 5:13; John 8:44; 13:34, 35; Ephesians 2:2; 2 Timothy 3:2). Most people find a way to do what they really want to do and carry out the secret, sinful passions that come from their deceitful hearts/natures (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 1:18 ff; 6:14; 7:15-25; 8:6; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 John 1:8). Carnal Christians often act like unsaved people. But engaging in sinful behavior could lead to a premature death (Proverbs 14:12; Romans 6:23; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16). “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness” (Romans 6:16)​? NKJV

Relationships. When the Apostle Paul’s authority was being challenged by carnal Christians in some of the churches he started, he often would begin his letters to them by referring to himself as “Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:1; et al). His authority as an Apostle came from the Lord Himself, and not from men (Galatians 1:1, 12). Note: Beware of those who are a part of the “New Apostolic Reformation.” [1] But with the believers in the church in Philippi, he didn’t have to pull rank on them since they weren’t challenging his God given authority. They had a very cordial relationship with him. He referred to himself as a “bondservant of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:1) and was modeling for them a servant’s heart as he sought their highest well being with love (John 13:34, 35; 1 John 3:16, 17; Galatians 6:10; Philippians 2:5 ff; 1 Corinthians 11:1).

Slaves. Throughout human history there has been unjust enslavement of others to do the “dirty work” for others. Some were/are paid and others weren’t/aren’t. Many people have been kidnapped and sold as slaves. In the Old Testament times kidnappers were to be put to death (Deuteronomy 24:7). Sometimes there were people who were enslaved to others to pay off their debts. [2] Believe it or not, there were some generous and kind masters who took good care of those who served them. When it came time for them to be freed during the 7th year, some of the servants expressed a desire to remain as “bondservants” for life to the one who had been their masters (Deuteronomy 15:12). To identify themselves as another man’s “bondservant,” they would have their ears bored through with an awl (Exodus 21:11-6; Deuteronomy 15:16, 17). [3]

Reasonable. When a Christian truly loves and appreciates all that the Lord Jesus Christ did to secure his/her deliverance from the lake of fire to heaven (Matthew 25:41, 46; John 3:16; 14:1-3), and Who has promised to take care of us throughout our lives (Philippians 4:19), it seems only logical for a Christian to voluntarily submit to Christ’s Lordship over his/her life (Romans 12:1, 2; 1 Peter 3:15). We must not confuse “Lordship because of salvation” with “Lordship for salvation.” There is a big difference. [4] Our salvation is by God’s grace alone through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ of the Scriptures alone, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day. The false Christs of the cults can’t save anyone (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Matthew 24:5; Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Our salvation is not based on our good works or our faith plus our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). How you answer this question will determine whether you enter into heaven or not. Why should God let you into His heaven?

Convicted?  True believers in Christ are called “Christians” (Acts 11:26). If you claim to be a Christian and were placed on trial for being one, would there be enough evidence from your life to convict you? Are you a “Convenient Christian” or a “Committed Christian”? Is it your primary purpose in life to glorify God by making Him known to those whom you encounter along life’s path (1 Corinthians 10:31)? Are you growing spiritually (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18), and serving God by serving others with love (1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:13; 6:10)? Are you sharing the “Clear Gospel” with lost people as the Holy Spirit leads you to them (Romans 1:16, 17; 8:14)? [5]

Assurance. Are you sure of your salvation (2 Peter 1:10; 1 John 5:13)? Once saved, do you believe that there is something you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation (Ephesians 2:9; Titus 3:5; Romans 8:35-39)? If so, what would it be?

Help. We’re here to assist you and others who desire to learn more about the true and living God and how to live the Christian life. Are you teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15: 3:16, 17)​? We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. We invite you to join us on Facebook and on Youtube for our Bible studies. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.

[1] New Apostolic Reformation. https://www.gotquestions.org/New-Apostolic-Reformation.html

http://www.spiritoferror.org/   

https://bereanresearch.org/dominionism-nar/

[2] Servants/Slaves.

https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2016/09/03/slave-laborers/

https://bible.org/illustration/slavery

https://answersingenesis.org/bible-questions/doesnt-the-bible-support-slavery/

[3] Get Your Ears Pierced. Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUzDHIRlMI8

[4] Lordship Salvation. Dr. Andy Woods, Lordship For Salvation

https://www.bibleprophecyblog.com/2011/03/what-is-wrong-with-lordship-salvation.html/

George Zeller, Lordship for Salvation  http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

[5] The Gospel. https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/the-bad-news-the-good-news/

Recommended reading. Warren Wiersbe, “On Being A Servant Of God” http://www.cheapestbookprice.com/prices/9780801068195-on-being-a-servant-of-god

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