21 August 2022 AM – Romans 12:11 – Rom2022 – Scott Childs
Introduction: When you are having difficulty doing something you do not understand and someone gives you clear instructions that make the task easy to understand and do, that is exciting. Our text does just that.
Read Romans 12:11. If you are a Christian, God wants you to know that you are His servant and that you ought to serve Him energetically and fervently. This text gives us helpful serving instructions.
Transition: Today, I will seek to make these instructions come to life.
1. If you are a Christian, you are God’s servant.
a. We are to be serving the Lord.
1) The word used here is the word for serving as a slave. The root of this word means, “to bind.” As Christians, we are bound as slaves of God.
2) That may sound degrading, but that is not the case. To be a slave of a harsh master would be very degrading, disgracing, humbling, and often painful, but the Lord is the kindest of all masters.
3) Before salvation, we had been slaves to sin and Satan. That bondage was oppressive and degrading. Those under Satan’s rule struggle with unhappiness, guilt, addictions, fighting, emptiness, fears, hate and hopelessness. Satan is a cruel master. Worst of all, he leads his slaves to hell.
4) The Lord purchased and redeemed us. (Colossians 1:14) “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” He rescued us from Satan’s grip. He turned us from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. He forgave us and gave us a priceless inheritance in heaven (Ac 26:18; 1Pe 1:3-5).
5) He gave us birth into God’s family (Jn 1:12). He loves us. He wants only the best for us.
6) We are now His servants or slaves. Even the godly Apostle Paul frequently called himself a slave of God (Tit 1:1). Serving the Lord is our privilege. The Lord is a tender, loving Master. Though we owe Him everything, we do not serve Him to merit or maintain our salvation and eternal life. We serve Him out of thankful appreciation and love.
b. What are some ways we can serve the Lord?
1) Serving is doing God’s bidding. A servant serves by promptly doing exactly what his master asks. We serve the Lord when we obey His commands.
2) The Lord gave many commands in the Bible. In fact, there are more than 1400 commands in the New Testament.
3) Serving the Lord is not just witnessing, giving, preaching, teaching, and lending a hand at church. Every Bible command to Christians is an opportunity to serve. I have selected 12 verses containing commands as samples of how we can serve the Lord.
a) (2 Timothy 2:15) “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Spending quality time studying the Bible is a key service to the Lord. It pleases Him and edifies you.
b) (1 Corinthians 16:13) “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” These four commands to be on guard and ready for attack are great ways to serve the Lord.
c) (1 Peter 3:15) “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” You serve the Lord when you give him priority time.
d) (2 Timothy 2:22) “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” You serve the Lord when you obey these commands.
e) (Philippians 4:4) “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” Even rejoicing is serving!
f) (2 Corinthians 6:14) “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” Avoiding wrong relationships serves the Lord.
g) (1 Thessalonians 5:18) “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” God commands this of us.
h) (Philippians 2:14) “Do all things without murmurings and disputings:” We serve when we do our duties with a good attitude.
i) (Colossians 3:18-20) “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” Even fulfilling family duties is serving the Lord.
j) (Ephesians 4:32) “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” In these practical duties, we serve the Lord who commanded us to do them.
4) These are just a few of the ways we serve the Lord. Look for others as you study the Bible, and then ask God to help you to do them “to the glory of God” (1Co 10:31).
2. As God’s servants, you must not be slothful.
a. What did Paul mean by the word “business”?
1) The word business speaks of our earnestness, diligence or haste to serve. It is a speedy response without delay.
2) No master, including God, wants his servant to work at a slow pace, dragging his feet. He desires quick promptness.
b. Slothfulness displeases the Lord.
1) We must not let our once-hasty work become slothful, sluggish or lazy. Often, when a person first trusts Christ, he or she serves the Lord with excitement. Bible reading is exciting. Following Christ and letting him change sinful habits is an earnest desire. Telling others about what Christ is doing in his or her life, is thrilling. However, in time, sluggishness may set in.
2) Sluggishness leads to carelessness and, if not stopped, eventually to carnality. For this reason, Paul warns us “not to be slothful in diligent service.”
3. As God’s servants, you are to serve fervently.
a. What does the word “fervent” mean?
1) To be “fervent” literally means to be boiling, hot or glowing.
2) We approach jobs that we really enjoy with fervency. We are bubbling with excitement and anticipation. You may have a hobby that you truly enjoy. When you get time to do your hobby, you may be fervent or hot with excitement. That is the idea conveyed in this word.
b. What is the “spirit” in this verse?
1) It could refer to bubbling with zeal as the Holy Spirit works in us. However, that does not fit the context well.
2) The spirit probably refers to our human spirit or our inner self. As we serve the Lord, we ought to be fervent in spirit. We ought to be glowing with zeal and bubbling with passion to serve our Master. God loves it when we find it a great pleasure to serve Him.
3) As a parent, you are grieved when your child does his jobs with grumbling, whining and complaining. However, you are blessed and pleased when he does his jobs eagerly and cheerfully. This is what God is urging us to do.
Conclusion: Every Christian ought to be serving the Lord every day by obeying the Lord’s commands. Jesus said, in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” How well have you been serving the Lord? Has your service become slothful? Has your spirit toward serving lost its heat and glow? If so, you need to rouse your ambition and revive your spirit that you might serve the Lord with your whole heart.
Begin watching as you read the Bible for commands that you can obey to serve the Lord.
If you have no real desire to serve the Lord, it could be that you do not yet know Him as your Saviour. If that is your need, please talk to me or another Christian about it.