Summary: This sermon looks at what faithfulness means. 1. ACCOUNTABILITY 2. PREPAREDNESS 3. COMMITMENT
The Marks of a Faithful Christian
Each of us takes on different roles in our lives. If I were to ask you this morning to write down all the roles that you have – we could probably be here most of the day. For myself I wrote down just a few. Here they are: when it comes to relationships I am a husband, a father, a grandfather, a son, an uncle, a cousin, a brother, a nephew and a friend. When it comes to occupation I am a Pastor and an Army Chaplain. When it comes to hobbies I am a gardener, a chicken farmer and a rabbit breeder. When it comes to work around the house I am a grounds keeper, a trash man, handy man and a gofer. Most of you know what a gofer is, don’t you? A gofer is a person who goes fer this and goes fer that. That’s what a gofer is. You see each of take on various roles in life.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians chapter four that a Christian has two primary roles. Please read along with me.
“Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.” 1 Corinthians 4:1 (NKJV)
Paul tells us in this passage of scripture that we are both servants and stewards. We are:
1. SERVANTS of Christ
2. STEWARDS of the mysteries of God
The word translated “servant” was originally designated an underclass of seaman—one who was responsible to a higher-ranking officer. He was a rower in a boat. He had a boss over him who would tell him when to row.
The word “steward” literally means house-manager. He is the person who is in charge when the owner is away. In both of these roles God expects us to be faithful. Look at verse two:
“Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:2 (NKJV)
There is no greater privilege today for the Christian than to be known and remembered as a faithful servant of Jesus Christ. This morning we are going to look at three marks of a faithful Christian. What does a faithful Christian look like?
1. The first mark of faithfulness is ACCOUNTABILITY.
All of us as Christians are going to be held accountable. Who will you and I be accountable to? Our text tells us, “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ.” We are going to be accountable to God.
The Bible tells us that all people in the world will accountable to Him:
"As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God." Romans 14:11 (NKJV)
God is the creator and master of the universe. The Bible says that at the last judgment God is going to ask us two questions. He will ask us first – what did you do with His son Jesus? Then He will ask us – what did you do with what I gave you? The first question is about relationship. How good of a servant were you? The second question is about the things He put you in charge of: your time, talents, possession, and information. How good of a steward were you? You and I are going to be accountable to Him in both of those areas. He is going to see if we were faithful.
How many of you remember the parable of the sheep and the goats? It’s found at the end of Matthew chapter 25. Do you remember that the Judge comes and separates the nations? He puts the sheep on one side and the goats on the other. Then he talks to each group saying to those on His left – you did not give me a drink – you did not visit me – you did not give me clothing. They will say, “But we did not see you.” Guess what – no excuse! You are accountable for what you did not do!
He will say to those on His right. You clothed me – you feed me – you visited me – you took care of me. They will say, “But we did not see you.” Guess what – no excuse! You are accountable for what you did do! Everything we do or don’t do – we are accountable for. You see being a faithful Servant and a faithful Steward begins with accountability.
Or what about the parable of the three servants? That parable is also found in Matthew chapter 25 – you remember it don’t you? That is the parable where one servant is given five talents. Another is given two talents and the third is given one talent. The one who is given five takes the money and doubles it. The second servant does the same. But the servant who is given one talent takes the money and buries it in the ground. Soon the master returns and calls for a day of accountability. “What have you done with what I gave you?” He asks. The Master questions each one of the servants – to see what they did with what they were given – that is accountability.