Summary: A sermon examining the importance of Christian service.
Saved To Serve
Before I became a pastor I was in management. In those years I hired many people. During that time I never hired anyone just to give them benefits. I hired them to do a job that would benefit the company. Once they were hired and began to work they did however receive many benefits. They were provided with Health insurance, Dental insurance, Vision insurance, Holiday pay, Two weeks vacation and several other benefits.
Each week they received a salary that enabled them to Pay their mortgage, purchase a car, put gas in it, maintain it and insure it. Because of the wages they received they could feed and clothe their children. But ultimately they were hired to do a job.
For those who are children of God their are many benefits. We are provided with salvation and eternal life, we have a relationship with the Father, we are adopted into the family of God, we are joint heirs with Jesus, we have a home in Heaven and we have the opportunity for an abundant life while we are here on earth. These are just a few of the benefits of being a child of God.
But God did not just save you to keep you from Hell. He did not redeem you simply to give you a home in Heaven. Our ultimate purpose in this life is to bring honor and glory to our Heavenly Father. If that is true (and it is) then it is safe to say that you were SAVED TO SERVE!
If you look at the life an ministry of the Apostles it becomes clear that Jesus had a plan for them. Yes, they received many benefits from following the Savior. But they were called, commanded and commissioned to share the Gospel for the remainder of their lives.
In our selected text we find that this was not just the case for the original 12. It is the case for everyone who is "in Christ". I would like to look at the first four verses of Paul's epistle to Titus and see that we are "Saved To Serve". In this passage we see that:
i. Paul was saved to serve
ii. Titus was saved to serve
iii. You were saved to serve
- Let's begin in verse 1 and see that:
I. Paul Was Saved To Serve - In the church's infancy there were not many people who were feared more than a man named Saul of Tarsus. He was a devout Jew... a self described "Pharisee of Pharisees". He spent his days persecuting Christians and seeking the complete destruction of the Church. When Stephen was stoned to death, Saul was there consenting unto his death. What Saul of Tarsus did not know was that God had chosen him for a specific task. He would soon become one of the greatest leaders & missionaries in this church that he fought so hard to destroy
- Consider if you will:
A. Paul's Calling - v1a Paul, a servant of God
Paul refers to Himself as a "servant of God". The Greek word is "doulos", meaning a slave. Paul's proclaims that his life was no longer his own. He belonged to God and his Savior Jesus Christ. How did this happen? What brought about this transformation? Well, back in Acts Chapter 9, this great persecutor had an encounter with the Savior. Saul was headed to Damascus with the intentions of bringing Christians bound back to Jerusalem in order to persecute them. There on Damascus Road, Jesus appeared to Saul and changed his life forever!
Why did Jesus confront Saul? It was not to give the churches rest from their persecution (though this was one of the results). In Acts 9:15 Jesus shares His plan with Ananias. Jesus said "(Saul) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel"
Do you see that? ....Paul was SAVED TO SERVE, and serve He did. In fact, millions of people all over the world are still benefiting from his service. After he was called, Paul spent the remainder of his life serving Jesus Christ.
- Let's examine that for a moment. Consider:
B. Paul's Ministry - v1b an apostle of Jesus Christ
An Apostle speaks on "one who is sent". Specifically one who is sent by Jesus Christ. Jesus chose 12 men and entrusted them with the organization of the Church and the proclamation of the gospel. We know that Judas betrayed Christ and eventually killed himself. I believe it is evident that his position was filled by none other than the Apostle Paul.
In 1 Corinthians 15:8 Paul says that he was "one born out of due time." This means that Paul was placed into this position in a different time and in an unusual manner. After he was called Paul traveled for the remainder of his life preaching the gospel that he had tried to destroy!