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Under-rowers

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Sermon shared by Bruce Howell

June 2003
Summary: Followers of Christ are called to servanthood, which includes a willingness to serve at the lowest levels, under the descretion of the Captain
Denomination: Wesleyan
Audience: Believer adults
Sermon:
UNDER-ROWERS



1 Cor 3:18-4:2

18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise.
19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness";
20 and again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile."
21 So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours,
22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future-- all are yours,
23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

CHAPTER 4

1 So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God.
2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.


The main text today is that of 4:1: ¡°So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God.¡±

HOW MANY OF YOU CAN REMEMBER SEEING THE MOVIE, ¡°BEN HUR?¡± Raise your hands. It was made way back in the 60’s. A great film with a strong Christian emphasis and lots of action! I love action films. It¡¯s a guy thing It depicts Ben Hur, a Jew, who has been sentenced to serve aboard a Roman warship. He¡¯s below decks¨Cin the belly of the ship, as an oarsman. It¡¯s not a pretty picture, but true to life.

The title of the message, as you can see, is ¡°Under-rowers.¡± The word, ¡°servant¡± in I Cor.4:1 literally means ¡°under-rower.¡± When I got this idea to show this clip, I thought I had better be careful not to give the impression that serving Christ means that God is going to stand over you with a whip. That would be an erroneous view of discipleship. But on the other hand, I think that often we make the Christian faith too easy. We give the impression that all you have to do is pray a little prayer, join the church, worship a little now and then and then just go your merry way.

The fact is, living the Christian life is tough! Amen? I mean to really live for the Lord demands all-out effort. I don¡¯t think its any co-incident that Paul chose this word. We are called to be ¡°under-rowers¡± on the Gospel Ship.

Just like Ben Hur, we are called to work on the lowest deck. This is no pleasure cruise. If you thought it was, you¡¯d better sign off now, because there are going to be days when the waters are rough and the enemy is closing in.

Archbishop Secker used to say, ¡°God has 3 sorts of servants in the world:
¡õ some are slaves and serve God out of fear
¡õ some are hirelings and serve Him for rewards
¡õ some are sons and serve God because they love Him

Our service to Christ is the third kind. We are sons and daughters of the King. We serve Him because we love Him.


Illus.: ¡°Elderly Woman Keeps Busy Serving¡±

A certain lady was celebrating her 85th birthday and was asked by a reporter what advice she would have for others. Here¡¯s what she said: ¡°Stay busy helping others.¡± Then she was asked what she did. Her answer: ¡°I look after an old lady in our neighborhood.¡±


FIVE THINGS TRUE OF UNDER-ROWERS

1. They Rowed to the Captain¡¯s Beat

¡õ not to the world
¡õ not to the church
¡õ not even to a power group in the church

Gal 1:10: ¡°Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men?
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