Bible Ballistics: Whose Servant Are You??? Vol. 6#06
We talked about Romans 6:16 in our last BBs article and it’s been on my mind but in a different light, so I’d like to use it to kick off today’s thoughts about servants.
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body,
that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 1
3 Neither yield ye your members
as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:
but yield yourselves unto God,
as those that are alive from the dead,
and your members
as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you:
for ye are not under the law,
but under grace.
15 What then?
shall we sin,
because we are not under the law,
but under grace?
16 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?
17 But God be thanked,
that ye were the servants of sin,
but ye have obeyed from the heart
that form of doctrine
which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin,
ye became the servants of righteousness.”
As we think about servanthood, the question is the answer! Who we serve reveals whom or what we truly love. Because we are saved by grace through faith in the atoning, substitutionary death of Jesus Christ, we have a new life and a new Spirit within us. We have the love of God imparted to and dwelling within us. We undergo a ‘change of heart’, so to speak, when we are born again. (Read John 3, in it’s entirety)
“Therefore being justified by faith,
we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith
into this grace wherein we stand,
and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so,
but we glory in tribulations also:
tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience;
and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed;
because the love of God
is shed abroad in our hearts
by the Holy Ghost
which is given unto us.
when we were yet without strength,
in due time
Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man
will one die:
yet peradventure for a good man
some would even dare to die.
8 But God
commendeth his love toward us,
while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.
9 Much more then,
being now justified by his blood,
we shall be saved from wrath through him.”
The love of God has been imparted to us by the Spirit of God, that Holy Spirit of Christ Jesus, which He promised to us—the New Covenant. This supernatural transaction of the new birth, which we receive by grace through faith in the atoning, saving blood of Jesus. It’s the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all sin, not our works. Jesus described this very principle in Matthew 6:24-26:
“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 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.”
Jesus didn’t say you may not be able to serve God and anything else, He said ‘Ye cannot!!! It is impossible to serve God and ‘mammon’, because to truly serve God is to love God, and then we serve Him through His power within us.
Mammon: a false object of worship and devotion.
So again, the question is the answer. If you belong to Jesus, then your object of devotion and worship will be Him. The person of Jesus Christ will be our object of worship and devotion—not the ‘mammon’ of the world, regardless of what it is! Who or what are you serving? Whose love is in your heart? Have you come to the Lord in repentance and faith? Have you been born again? Without Jesus, without the regeneration of His Spirit we have no spiritual life, “ye must be born again”, (See John 3:3-7).
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13
When Jesus gives us that ‘new life’, we become a “new creature” in Him—I’m not the same as I was before He saved and changed me! When I received HIM, He took me for His own and I love Him for it. No, I am not perfect, but I am redeemed/bought back from sin, by the blood of the Lamb. I belong to Jesus—I want HIM to be seen in me!!!
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
I’m not made right by what I do, but I can do right because I’ve been made right with God, and I have the Spirit of Jesus Christ dwelling in me. I serve HIM because I love Him, not because I have to!
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.…….10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;” Portions of John 14:6-16
If the servant truly belongs to the one he obeys then, what does my obedience say? Again the question is the answer!!! Jesus said above, “If ye love me, keep my commandments”, and that He would empower us to keep His commandments with the indwelling presence and power of HIS Hoy Spirit, which He would shortly send, on the Day of Pentecost. (See Acts 1 & 2)
While some take this verse and say that it calls us to obey and be devoted to the Mosaic Law, I think it means something much deeper than the “Law”. While the New Covenant declares that God will write HIS laws upon our hearts (see Jeremiah 31:31-33, Ezekiel 11:19-20 & Hebrews 8:8-13), He declares something equally as important when He says, “I will be their God, and they will be my people”! This goes so far beyond a ‘legal’ obligation, God is talking about a ‘relationship’ of devotion. One not bound by the “law”, but one that is totally focused on Jesus Christ and His relationship to the Father, and what He would accomplish at Calvary and then share with us who would trust in Him. Not a relationship of legality, but a loyalty and devotion of love—the obedience of ‘oneness’!
“And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.” John 17:11
I don’t believe that Jesus obeyed the law because it was the ‘law’, He obeyed HIS FATHER’s will because ‘They’ were One. He knew the ‘Law’– He wrote the ‘Law’! It wasn’t a question of rules and regulations, but of relationship. What issues caused Jesus more opposition as He encountered the ‘religious’ leaders of Israel? The Law, the Sabbath, the ‘washings’—the ceremonial Law!!! Jesus confronted the hypocritical substitution of the “Law” for God.
What are you serving? Are you serving a “Law” that you think will keep you in right relationship with God? Are you devoted to “Service” for God instead of being devoted to God himself? What drives your life? Keeping commands and doing work never saved anyone, grace through faith saves–past, present and future. The Law was, as Paul put it, a schoolmaster to show us our need for a relationship with the Lord. Otherwise how did Israel continue to keep the outward form of the Law, even in Jesus’ days, but were rejected and punished because they had no relationship (as a whole nation, there has always been a remnant of faithful servants of the Lord God and of Jesus His Son) with the God who’s law they claimed to keep!!! Jesus even called those who were the most ‘religious’ a brood of vipers—not my words, but HIS!
So what do I think Jesus meant by ‘keeping’ His commandments? I think Jesus was talking about a relationship of obedient submission to HIS Spirit, to HIS written Word-The Spirit of the Old and New Testaments–, and to HIS Kingdom. We are called to the oneness that we saw Him pray about in John 17. He didn’t pray that we’d be “legally compliant”, but that the Father would make us “one….as we are one….”. Jesus calls us to total ‘yieldedness’ to HIM as a person—
As my God—
As my friend—
As my guide and compass.
As my Lord and Savior!!!
I am to feast on His Word that when HE speaks I will recognize His voice (see John 10) and obey HIM!!! You can observe all the Mosaic Legalities and do all the ‘religious works’ that you choose, but it will never replace being ‘born again’ and listening to and walking with Jesus Himself. Jesus called us to love and follow Him, and to love others and lead them to HIM because:
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
“Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Romans 8:9b
So??? Whose servant are YOU???