Summary: A message on living the Christian life.
THE SERVICE OF CHRIST
INTRO: What the eye once sees it can never unsee. I wonder what would happen if we saw Jesus as Paul saw him? What would happen to us if we had that kind of vision? Here is a man who didn’t see him personally, but fell at his feet. You can’t meet Jesus and still be the same! If you walk out of a service where Jesus is present in the same condition that you went into that service, then you didn’t meet Jesus. The person who meets Jesus:
I. BECOMES A SERVANT OF CHRIST (v. 23).
Paul was made a minister. Two times in this passage (vv. 23, 25) he refers to this fact.
Servant — something happened to me. My life was transformed. Paul bowed his knee to Christ and became a servant.
ILLUS: Nicodemus is an example of a servant. He bowed his knee and came to Jesus.
ILLUS: The woman at the well is another example. When she met Jesus, her life was changed. She left her waterpot and went to the townspeople to tell them about Jesus.
If you can walk away from Jesus without feeling a change take place in your life, then you have never met him.
There is no third alternative. Meet him and become as servant, or don’t meet him and do not become a servant.
II. BECOMES A SUFFERER FOR CHRIST (v. 24).
Paul says “I rejoice in my sufferings for you.” Paul was in bonds in prison.
Jesus suffered through Paul’s suffering “fill up that which is lacking...” Jesus suffers through our suffering too.
ILLUS: An example is how a parent suffers when a child is in pain. A spouse suffers when their mate is suffering.
You must have two attitudes about suffering:
1. You had better be ready for it. The New Testament Christians expected it. Are you suffering for him today? If not, you may not be living a Godly life.
You will suffer for Christ’s sake. Paul did. The world persecutes Christ through his people.
2. You are to rejoice in suffering. Usually we suffer with a sour spirit. A person’s dedication to Jesus determines to what extent he will suffer for him.
I can tell you exactly how committed to Jesus someone is by how much they are willing to sacrifice for him!
III. BECOMES A SHARER OF JESUS (v. 28).
Paul says “Whom we preach...perfect in Christ.” He is saying “I just have to go out and preach this Jesus.”
ILLUS: The greatest crime in the desert is to know where water is and not tell anyone.
There are two things here:
1. Right. We have a right to share Jesus. Whom we preach means authority. We say we don’t have any right to force our belief on someone else. We have the authority of Jesus to do that.
2. Reason. To present every man perfect. Sunday School teacher is every member of your class perfect? You can’t be satisfied with only some being perfect. Deacons are every family perfect? Pastor is every member perfect?
CONC: Have you ever noticed how a girl who just got engaged wants everyone to know about her engagement? Love isn’t blind—it sees things nobody else does. When you fall in love with Jesus you will want other people to know him like you do.