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Holy Sweat - Part 10

The Discipline of Servant-hood

Pastor Gary Buchman
Emmitsburg Community Bible Church

(10/5) Introduction Ė We are nearing the end of our exercise program called Holy Sweat. This has been a hard series to preach because I know that if I point a finger, there are 3 pointing back to me. I donít find the exercises getting easier but harder. So it is with ours today and our last one next week. Then a new series through 1st John- Walking the Talk- from 1 John 2:6

We know that, according to Romans 8:28-29, Godís predetermined goal for our lives, is to morph us (conform us) into the image and likeness of Jesus. That is, He wants our character and conduct to be like His. God is committed to making that happen in you. All the things that happen in our lives is to that end. So our goal should be to see what Jesus was like and then to emulate Him. But it doesnít happen automatically or easily. It takes according to 1 Tim. 4:7, some Holy Sweat.

Letís go back and look at Mark 10:41-45, "And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John. 42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, "You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Paul repeats this in Phil. 2:5-7; 5" Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men."

So here is a question. What mental picture comes to your mind when you hear the words, slave, or servant, or bondservant? Kunta Kinte (Roots), or Solomon Northrup (Aka. Platt from 12 Years a Slave)??? Answer aloud.

I. Follow Me and be a Slave

Here is something that you may not have heard much. The call to follow Jesus is an invitation to a lifetime of voluntary slavery, or, to try to put it milder, a lifetime of being a servant. Thatís what our Lord was saying to the 12 in Mark 10. I want you to be like me and I came to be a servant. In fact, the word that Paul uses in Mark 10:44 and Phil. 2:7 is the Greek word, doulos which means a bondservant or a slave with no personal rights. He was completely at the disposal and worked to the pleasure of his master. Thatís why He would say things like, "I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me." (John 5:30) And, "Not my will but thine be done." (Matt. 26:39)

Doulos or slave is the word used in Matthew 6:25, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve (or be a slave to) God and mammon." Jesus is saying that you must choose who or what you will serve as a slave.

Voluntary servant-hood is what Jesus had in mind when He said things like Matt. 16:24, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." To deny yourself is more than saying, "No," to personal desires, or, "No," to some sinful action, or, "No," to having more ice cream. It means saying, "No," to yourself period. My life now belongs to my Lord and Savior. The rest of my life is about pleasing and honoring Him. Let me take this farther. Look at Luke 14:25-27; 33. "Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, 26 "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My discipleÖ.33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

Some of you are thinking I never heard this stuff before. I thought all I had to do was to believe in Jesus. That is true. But it is what you believe in Jesus that matters. Yes, He died for my sins and was buried. Yes, He rose again and ascended into heaven. Yes, He is God in the flesh. Yes, I must receive Him into my life. But I am absolutely convinced that this also means, I bow to Him. He is my God, My King, and My Lord. If He is Lord, I are not. If He is Lord, then, I am His servant. It is that simple. We believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. We confess Him as Lord. So, here is another question.

II. Whose Slave are You? Letís look at what Paul says in a couple of places.

ē 1 Cor. 7:22-23, "For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lordís freedman. Likewise he

Read other thoughtful writings by Pastor Gary Buchman