Summary: Message 26 in our study of Colossians addressing the characteristics of a faithful servant.
Chico Alliance Church
This week we shift to Paul’s admonition concerning slaves and masters. Lest we dismiss the principles here because we are not slaves or masters or employees or employers we should step back and look more carefully at the principle. Yes these verses were originally addressed to those who were slaves and masters. There are some things that apply to employees and employers. We should not get bogged down in the original specific application to the neglect of the present day application to all of us. The fact is, ALL of us are called to be slaves first of Jesus Christ and then we are called to be servants to each other. Beyond that, there will always be relationships of authority in this world to which these principles apply clearly. With that in mind, let us once again reflect on the Biblical perspective concerning service. Paul reveals how a heavenly kingdom kid should approach serving others. All of us serve someone, here is how it is to be approached.
The key to faithful service is that you work to benefit someone else.
What you do somehow helps the one you serve in some way.
BASIC FACTS REGARDING FAITHFUL SERVICE
* The world is made up of varying relationships of service and accountability. Matt 8:5-13
* You can’t effectively lead unless you practice effective service Mt 20:20-27
* Leadership is more than appointment, it involves serving others.
* We are all slaves of Christ yet also considered sons. 1 Cor 7:21-23; Gal 4:7 & John 15:15
* Faithful service requires consistent fruit Mat 25
* Greater faithfulness yields greater resources Matt 25
* Serving people IS serving Christ! Matt 25
"Then He will answer them, saying, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'
Worshipping God is the chief end of man.
Worship includes acts of service to Christ.
Serving people is serving Christ!
Serving people and serving Christ is an act of worship.
Now that we understand that we are all servants to one another and that serving others is serving Christ, what kind of service pleases God and others? The principles in these passages regarding slave’s response to masters applies to all of us. We all serve one another and are called to serve one another at one time or another. Paul outlines for us here, and there are other passages as well, the attitudes behind our service and the perspective that we are to carry in that service.
THE FAITHFUL SERVANT
Using the Colossians passage as a base, and the Ephesians passage as supplementary, let's see what the Lord has to say about faithful service this morning.
“Slaves, be obedient”
When it comes to faithful service, the action called for is obedience.
1. Obey, hear
‘OBEY” hupakouo AV - obey 18, be obedient to 2, hearken 1; 21 GK - 5634
“huper”= under “akouo” = to hear
1)to listen, to harken of one who on the knock at the door comes to listen who it is, (the duty of a porter)
2)to harken to a command, to obey, be obedient to, submit to
The emphasis of this word for obedience is in the hearing. Hearing must precede doing. Even though the ultimate objective is the doing, without the hearing, you have no doing. The action Paul calls for here relates to a readiness and willingness to respond to the needs of the one we are serving. Remember, anytime we submit ourselves to the needs of another we become, at that moment, their servant and these principles aptly apply. So whether we're responding to our wife's honey-do list or whether we are responding to our customer’s request, or our boss’s order, or it be a response to the need of one in the church family, our attitude is to carefully and to efficiently give out attention to the task at hand. The faithful servant not only hears the actual words spoken by the one they serve but they seek to hear and respond to even the unspoken request.
When it comes to serving others the fall seems to have effected the hearing of mankind. We have difficulty giving ourselves to the needs of others. Serving others requires us to put our needs aside. Serving others often requires us to lay aside our personal agendas and submit to the needs of other people. That is not a natural response or inclination of the flesh.
Denying the flesh and releasing the desires of the spirit is what Colossians is all about.
So Paul instructs those who serve others to do it in such a way that reflects the very nature of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The basic action that Paul calls us to give our attention is to tend to the desires of the ones we serve. Now because we have a tendency to be legal estate about trying to appear spiritual by our external actions, Paul amplifies this command by several phrases that focuses on the heart of the faithful servant.