6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Servanthood is realized in our understanding that to be in debt to Christ is to conquer pride in our lives, to understand the source of our individuality, and to embrace the uniqueness of being a servant for Jesus.


1 Corinthians 4:6-13

INTRODUCTION: According to the dictionary, a servant is one who, “One who expresses submission, recognizance, or debt to another”. Here in this text, Paul, seeks to see this definition of servanthood realized in our understanding that to be in debt to Christ is to conquer pride in our lives, to understand the source of our individuality, and to embrace the uniqueness of being a servant for Jesus.


A Remembering the nature of servanthood

1 Servants are under-rowers

a Rowing in the same direction

b Rowing together

c Getting the ship where it needs to be

2 Servants are overseers

a In charge of another’s property

b Responsibility to discharge our duties well

3 Servants are faithful

a Faithful to do what we are suppose to do

b Faithful to not change what we are suppose to do

c Faithful not to mix what we are suppose to do

B The contract of servant-hood

1 “learning from us”

a Means – to practice what you have been taught

b Servant-hood takes practice

c We become better servants as we practice being servants

d The practice of humility

1) Culture of the time thought humility was weakness

2) Paul wants the Corinthians to get over this

3) Cannot allow the world’s beliefs to cloud your own

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

2 “Don’t go beyond what is written”

a God has set limits for us

b Those limits he has included in our Bible’s

c God does not want us to go beyond these limits

C Faithfulness to Christ …… involves:

1 Our ability to act as servants

2 Our ability to fulfill our contract as servants


A Individuality does not come from personal achievement

1 Everything we have is from God

2 We have supplied nothing to ourselves

3 We have earned nothing

B Personal responsibility for individuality fractures a servant heart

1 Develop a false sense of sufficiency – “have all I want”

a What makes us think we are superior to others

b What makes us think we have grown enough

c What makes us think we are more spiritual than others

Luke 18:9-14 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ’God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ’God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

ü A right sense before God does not come from self-sufficiency

ü A right sense before God comes from know our continual need for Jesus

2 No longer hunger for the things of God

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Rev. 3:17-18 You say, ’I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

C God is the source of our individuality

1 God meant our differences to be used for our mutual benefit

2 A wrong response regarding our differences affects our ability to use those differences for the glory of God

1 Cor. 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Our response to salvation determined our eternity with God. Our practical Righteousness will determine the type of eternity we will have with God.

So, …………What I do as a servant affects my eternity by

ü Affecting God’s judgment on my life

ü Affecting God’s construction for my life (remember he is building a place for us)

ü Affecting my “place in line”

See, I tend to think that one of the first people in line to see Jesus in heaven will be the guy who was on the cross next to Him at His crucifixion! Not only because Jesus told him that he would see Him in paradise, but because, he didn’t have enough time to bring his own ideas into his Christian Life!

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