SHARPER THAN A SWORD

SERMONS

Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

A SERVANT OF CHRIST!

The title of this lesson, is from the words of the Apostle Paul, note:

Romans 1:1 “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God”

 

The Apostle's and prophets of the New Testament had a clear perspective of their unique calling in Christ as one of service:

Titus 1:1-3 “Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior”

Philemon 1 “Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow laborer”

James 1:1 “James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.”

2 Peter 1:1 “Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ”

Jude 1 “Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ”

 

In addition to using this statement of themselves they would use it of others whom they shared their service with as brethren (“Fellow prisoners” – Romans 16:7; Colossians 4:10; Philemon 23; “Fellow Servant” – Colossians 4:7). In addition to the descriptive statement, they would include other descriptive terms that would enhance the understanding of a servant Jesus Christ: “Fellow Worker” – “Laborer” – “Servant of Christ” (Romans 16:3, 9, 21; Colossians 4:11).

 

There are several terms used in the New Testament that act as a descriptive source, that by their very use denote an illustration for our understanding of just what our relationship to God through Christ really is.

 

Nothing in these descriptions denotes a passive relationship!

 

Servant – applied to those who are under the authority of another, sometimes (Ephesians 6:5), but not always referring to a slave. In the New Testament, there are seven Greek words (nouns) that are commonly translated “servant”, and all of them denote serving under the authority of another.

Paul would denote from the Greek word, ‘Doulos'; that the authority he was under was singular, note:

Galatians 1:10 “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

 

Minister – This term is translated from two of the Greek nouns that also describe a “servant”. A third Greek word (‘Leitourgos') is used by the Apostle Paul to describe his charge from the Lord to minister the Gospel of God to the Gentiles (Romans 15:16). Many times these words are also translated, ‘attendant', or ‘deacon'. They all, in a universal way, describe one who serves!

 

Stewards – Here is another New Testament word given to describe service to God through Christ. There are three Greek words used in the New Testament that are translated “Steward”. In each case, it is given in the context to describe one who has been given authority in the care of something that belongs to another ( a charge, a guardian of a trust). Paul recognizes his own stewardship in his writing to the Christians in Corinth, note:

1 Corinthians 4:1-2 “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”

 

Slave – Slavery was a reality in the world of the first century Christian; because of such, it became an illustration of service to the Christian. It is describing a person held in bondage to another; his person and service wholly under the control of his master. The English word “slave” is not used often in scripture (in the New Testament – John 8:34; 1 Corinthians 7:21; Galatians 4:7 – in some NKJV versions), and for the most part “servant” is used. Both Paul and Peter would teach concerning the servant to master relationship; obviously denoting slavery (Ephesians 5:5-9; Colossians 3:21-4:1; 1 Peter 2:18-20).

There are also many references to God as “Master”, which denotes the kind of service we have as Christians to God - Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 4:1; 2 Timothy 2:21.

In the New Testament, in many of the sound translations, the Greek ‘Doulos' is rendered “Bondservant”. This term is used to describe one who would give himself up to the will of another.

 

These are simple and basic definitions of these terms. Now let's take a look at them in scriptural context in order to develop a clear and concise understanding of “A Servant of Christ”.

 

Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

 

Romans 6:17-18 “But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”

 

  1. One must be free from sin, before he can become a slave to Christ.
  2. True freedom is the greatest form of individual responsibility.
  3. True freedom is true slavery to the outcome of our choices!

2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

 

•  After the pattern of stewardship, each servant of Christ is given a charge (a guardian of a trust)! Note Paul's words to Timothy:

1 Timothy 6:20-21 “O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge— 21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.”

2 Timothy 1:14 “That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.”

2 Timothy 2:1-2 “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

 

Note: In being given a charge as a guardian of a trust, Paul teaches Timothy that there are both things to “ guard ”, “ keep ” and “ avoid ”. This demonstrates that our service is not blind, but the full use of our aptitudes in order to advance the benefit of the Master.

 

•  For every steward of God; faithfulness is required! Since every single Christian is a servant and given a charge, all are expected to fulfill that charge. To be full of faith, is to know exactly what the Master expects (revealed in His word – Romans 10:17), to know that “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6), and to know that our “labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). We know from the teaching of Jesus to the Jews, that a failure to do any work towards the expectation of faithful service, will have its own special reward (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-26).

 

•  In addition. Also unique to the understanding of “A Servant of Christ” is that we not only serve the Master, but one-another as well!

Ephesians 5:21 “submitting to one another in the fear of God.”

Philippians 2:2-3 “fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”

1 Peter 4:10 “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

1 John 3:14 “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.”

 

Summary:

Every single “Servant of Christ” is:

Romans 12:1-2 -

We cannot serve the world and expect to be able to please our Master! We have to daily transform our minds, and exert the effort to “prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”.

 

Will God recognize us as a good servant, faithful (Matthew 25:21, 23; Luke 19:17)? Or will say to us in the day of individual reckoning (2 Corinthians 5:10), wicked and slothful servant (Matthew 25:26; Luke 19:22)?

 

Let's Truly Serve our Worthy Master!