THE CHRISTIAN HERALD
                                                           A Judeo-Christian Bible Study
 
Home
Our
Beliefs
TCH
Articles
Study
Aids
 
Books
Subject-Verse Index
 
Mini-
Studies
 
TCH MINI-STUDY: 26
 
THE BELIEVER IN CHRIST IS CALLED TO SERVE GOD AND MAN
 
Holy scriptures make it clear that we are not to serve Satan, but only God: 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 [function as a hired menial worker, minister to, render religious homage to, worship](Matthew 4:10).
 
The apostle Paul knew the value of faithful service when he described himself as ...a servant [doulos; I.e, a slave, bondman, in subjection to, subservient to] of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God (Romans 1:1). After God's calling of Paul, serving Christ as His slave was not only Paul's calling, but the apostles' heart desire and life. He not only longed to faithfully perform the will of God, but was compelled by God the Father.
 
In fact, the apostle Paul, in his letter to the Roman church, specifically warned against evil individuals who cause doctrinal deviation and division within the church, and who, in reality, are not serving Christ and God, but themselves and their own lusts: Now I beseech you, brethren, markthem which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve [Greek is douleuo; i.e., to be a slave to, be in bondage to, be subjected to, be subservient to] not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil (Romans 16:17-19). Paul warned the true believer to avoid these evil individuals.
 
Neither is the believer in Christ to lust after, worship, or serve earthly or worldly treasures: No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon [greediness for the treasures of the world, avarice; i.e., self interest] (Matthew 6:24).
 
In fact, according to the scriptures, the key characteristic of greatness is service: But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger [fresh, regenerated]; and he that is chief [a leader, commander, governor, judge, or ruler], as he that doth serve [Greek, diakoneo; to be an attendant, wait upon menially or as a host, friend, teacher, minister unto, perform the office of a deacon] (Luke 22:26).
 
To Philip and Andrew, His own disciples, Jesus gave the precise definition of true, God pleasing, fruit bearing, service: death to self. Death to self is further defined as following Jesus and His will, and remaining in the presence of Christ. God promises that our death to self shall be honored by God the Father. Jesus said,Verily,verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth [places second behind Christ] his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve[Greek, diakoneo; to be an attendant, wait upon menially or as a host, friend, teacher, minister unto, perform the office of a deacon] me, him will my Father honour [consider a prize, fix a high valuation on, consider valuable, revere, esteem] (John 12:24-26).
 
Neither is the believer in Christ to serve sin. Paul explained with these words: For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve [Greek is douleuo; i.e., to be a slave to, be in bondage to, be subjected to, be subservient to] sin (Romans 6:5-6).
 
In writing the church in Rome, Paul also taught that the believer is to serve God in the newness of the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and not according to the impossible demands and rigidity of the old letter of the law. Paul wrote, For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve [Greek is douleuo; i.e., to be a slave to, be in bondage to, be subjected to, be subservient to] in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter (Rom 7:5-6).
 
Additionally, Paul taught the Galatian church that the believer is destined to love others through our service. Paul wrote, For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love [through our service] thy neighbour as thyself (Galatians 5:13-14).
 
Paul even praised the Thessalonian church for turning away from idolatry in order to serve the living and true God: Paul wrote, ...For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols [a form, an image, a heathen god, to worship something or someone other than the true God, and idol] to serve [Greek is douleuo; i.e., to be a slave to, be in bondage to, be subjected to, be subservient to] the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10).
 
The true believer in Christ is to allow the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve [Greek is latreuo; i.e., [function as a hired menial worker, minister to, render religious homage to, worship] the living God? (Hebrews 9:14), and in receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve [Greek is latreuo; i.e., [function as a hired menial worker, minister to, render religious homage to, worship] God acceptably [ageeable, pleasing especially to God] with reverence [Greek is aidos; i.e, idea of downcast eyes, bashfulness, modest, awe, reverent, shamefaced]and godly fear [caution, reverence, piety, dread] (Hebrews 12:28).  Indeed, the true believer is expected to serve God. It is his or her calling, and the scriptures describe this calling a reasonable, or rational, or expected. The scriptures explain, ...by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable [Greek is logikos; i.e., rational, expected as a believer in and follower of] service [Greek is latreia; I.e, ministration of God, worship, divine service; render homage] (Romans 12:1).  Additionally, we must strive to remember that, in God's kingdom, the servant is never considered more important than his teacher, Savior, or Lord, and must, as a servant, remain humble before his or her Lord at all times: The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant [Greek is doulos; I.e, a slave, one who is subservient, a bondman] above [instead of, superior to, exceeding] his lord [Greek is kurios; I.e, supreme being, supreme in authority, controller, God, Lord, master, Sir] (Matthew 10:24). We must also remember the Lord's words to His own disciples and servants: every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first [Greek is protos; i.e., foremost in order or importance, best, chiefest, first of all] shall be last [Greek is eschatos; i.e., farthest, latter, lowest, least important in the Kingdom of God]; and the last [the lowest, the servant] shall be first [Greek is protos; i.e., foremost in order or importance, best, chiefest, first of all in the Kingdom of God] (Matthew 19:29-30).  Again, as in many other doctrinal subjects, Jesus Christ is our best model of serving God the Father, and man. The Lord told ten individuals around Him, Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister [Greek, diakoneo; to be an attendant, wait upon menially or as a host, friend, teacher, minister unto, perform the office of a deacon], and to give his life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). The Son of Man came into this world to serve, and to purposefully give his life as a price and atonement for many. With regards to the Lord humbly serving His disciples by washing their feet, the scriptures instruct us, So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have [served you and] washed your feet; ye also ought to [serve each other and] wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them (John 13:12-17). The Lord purposely humbled Himself and washed His own disciples feet to serve as an example to them and us the necessity of our serving God the Father and our fellow humans.  Giving our lives to serving God and men is expected of us; it is our reasonable service.


.
 
 
Links

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by
the mercies of God, that ye present
your bodies a living
sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto
God, which is your
reasonable service."

(Romans 12:1)