A Shepherd's Heart

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Servants, Soldiers and Saints
by GBC Ministry

I was reading a commentary on Paul’s epistle to the Philippians last night and the author drew out some of the depth of the truths of our position in Christ, i.e., who/what we truly are as Believers.  His comments emphasized some of the thoughts the Lord has had on my mind recently.  I would like to share some of them with you.

 

To understand who we are and what the Lord would have us to be in the Lord, we must understand the most fundamental truth of our salvation, a truth that provides holy perspective to our walk, our life as Believers.

 

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”   1 Corinthians 6:19-20

 

The true Believer understands that he was saved from sin to righteousness.  Those two words, “from” and “to,” are small in appearance, but great in meaning.  The born again Believer was once a slave to sin, living in the realm of the sinful, and actively practicing, knowingly or unknowingly, the unrighteousness that earns God’s wrath.  Being a slave, he had no means by which he could be delivered from his bondage.  In love, God sent His Son into the slave market where the sinner was captive to pay the price demanded, thereby purchasing for His own possession and purpose the lost and hopeless sinner.  In the moment of believing, the sinner was liberated and transported by faith from the place and power of sin into the realm of holiness and righteousness (Romans 10:9, 11, 13).  One moment he was undone, void of any worth (Romans 3:10-12), the next he was “complete in Christ” (Colossians 2:10), clothed with the righteousness of His new Owner (Romans 3:22), and endowed with the power to overcome the sinful nature which once had bound him (Romans 7:24-25).  Before believing he could not help but sin; it was his nature.  Upon believing, he was given a new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17) and a free(d) will.  Now the Believer can choose to walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16) and, thereby, glorify his God and Savior.

 

But the Believer is still a “slave,” only now he is a “bond slave” to Righteousness rather than sin.  Once, the Enemy of his soul owned him.  Now the God of all grace owns him.  Once he served the lusts of his flesh and pursued the worthless baubles of this world.  Now he is exhorted to set his affections on the things of heaven, the riches of Christ, and commanded to serve his Lord with all love, sincerity and faithfulness.  It is in this bond service, this being love slaves to our gracious Lord, that we find the context for the three callings we have in Christ as given in the title to this devotion.

 

Servant – As servants of God, we are to understand that we are not left to our own devices or understanding as to what we are to do or not to do.  Each day our Lord has a purpose for our life, a place for us in His plans, in His kingdom.  As a servant, we should expect to receive direction and guidance from our Lord.  As a servant we should take great comfort from the fact that our resources are those of our Master.  Whatever we need for both our personal use and the fulfillment of our responsibilities to Him, He will supply.  What matchless grace is this.  Our path is ordered by our Lord, and all of the supply we need to do His will and enjoy the life He has given us is provided from His infinite storehouse.  We are His, and He is ours.

 

Soldier – As a soldier of the Lord, too, our direction comes from the One who has called us to serve.  Our will is to be absolutely subjected to His.  We are not to question His commands.  He knows the Enemy and his devices and battle plan.  As our Captain, He leads us with perfect wisdom, ordering our battles to perfect victory.  All of the weaponry we require for our warfare He supplies.  And perfect weaponry it is.  He gives us the strength of a girdle of Truth, confidence that our warfare is right and just, and, in that, our victory assured; a breastplate of righteousness to keep us in perfect peace, secure even in the most tumultuous of battles and when faced with the most powerful of enemies; footware, the gospel of peace, designed to keep us from slipping and sliding in the battle, from becoming confused and disoriented, which enables us “having done all, to stand;” the shield of faith to protect us from our foe’s fiery darts; a helmet of salvation to keep our hearts hopeful and our minds sound in the midst of the battle’s confusion; the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, to instruct, comfort, and feed us; and the power of prayer through which we have constant and perfect communications with our Captain, Lord and Master, the assurance that we are never out-of-touch, never beyond the reach of His help and comfort, always within reach of His limitless grace (Ephesians 6:11-18).  And as good soldiers, we are to "endure hardness," avoiding becoming entangled "with the affairs of this life."   Rather, we are to submit to His will and the sanctifying work of His Spirit and be truly consecrated to and fully delighted in our high calling and vocation "that [we] may please him who hath chosen [us] to be a soldier" (2 Timothy 2:3-4). 

 

Saint – This word means “set apart, consecrated.”  All true Believers are saints.  Even the sinful Corinthians were “sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints” (1 Corinthians 1:2).  As saints, we are to live a life that reflects our high calling and exalted station in life, i.e., our relationship with God.  While we are in the world, we are not to be of or like the world.  In other words, our life is not to reflect the world’s values, but, rather, our heavenly Father’s.  We are the sons of the King of kings and LORD of lords, the children of God, and, in that, equal-heirs with Christ of the glories of eternity (Romans 8:14-17).  We have been “set apart” by God for His holy purpose which is to glorify Himself and His great salvation (1 Corinthians 15:28; Revelation 4:11).  We have been translated into the kingdom of righteousness and our life is to be righteous, a true and faithful witness to these great truths and His wondrous love.  We are to reflect the glory of God in all we are and do as His lights in the world (1 Corinthians 10:31; Matthew 5:14).

 

Question: are you fulfilling this calling?  It is the purpose for which you were saved.  It is the basis on which you will be truly and eternally blessed.

 

Believers, in love I exhort you to set aside the cares of the world today, and turn your eyes fully and without distraction to your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ” (Ephesians 1:11-12).  In Him and His service alone will you find true peace, joy and victory.

 

 

 

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Grace Bible Church :-: (217) 384-7614 :-: 3900 N Willow Rd Urbana, P.O. Box 303, IL 61803 :-: pastor (at) gbcurbana.com