Sermon No: 188578-Prepared for Works of Service

SERMON TOPIC: Prepared for Works of Service



Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 8 January 2023

Topic Groups: SERVICE

Sermon synopsis: Perhaps you may think that serving is beneath you and that as a Christian, it is just an optional extra.

Philippians 2:5-11 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

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Works of Service!

Now perhaps you may think that serving is beneath you and that as a Christian, it is just an optional extra.

Philippians 2:5-11.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Philippians 2:5-11.

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death even death on a cross!

John 13:10-17.

Do you understand what I have done for you? he asked them. You call me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

God has given us His Word.

2 Timothy 3:16-18.

All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The Ministry Gifts.

Ephesians 4:11-16.

Ephesians 4:11-16.

So, Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 

The Apostle -- Establishes Churches

The Prophet – Speaks God’s Message

The Evangelist -- Preaches The Gospel

The Pastor – Shepherds The Believers

The Teacher – Instructs In The Word

LISTING OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS

Romans 12: 6 – 8. 7 Motivational Gifts or Redemptive gifts.

2. 1 Corinthians 12: 7 –11. 9 Manifestation gifts – work of the spirit.

3. Ephesians 4:11-13. 5-fold Ministry gifts or Office gifts.

1 Peter 4:10.

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.

Arthur Burke

(Plumbline Ministries)

Redemptive Gifts

Romans 12:6-8

Arthur Burke

(Plumbline Ministries)

Office Gifts

Ephesians 4:11

Redemptive Gifts

Romans 12:6-8

Arthur Burke

(Plumbline Ministries)

Manifestation Gifts

1 Corinthians 12:8-10

Office Gifts

Ephesians 4:11

Redemptive Gifts

Romans 12:6-8

If you don’t know what to do, do something and learn by serving, where your gifting lies.

The reason why most Christians don’t know what their spiritual gift is, is because they have never tried to do anything yet.

We need mentors, disciplers who can show us by example what to do.

Get close to someone involved in ministry and imitate them even as Paul exhorted people to imitate him.

HAVE A LOOK AT THIS QUESTIONARE AND ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.

http://www.firstchristiantemple.org/wp-content/uploads/wagner_modified_houts.pdf

When Pastors in China were imprisoned, the Church grew. WHY?

Because people had to step up and do things that they thought that only the Pastor could or should do.

In many Pentecostal and Charismatic circles, the word “WORK” has become a dirty word.

However, there is no way of getting away from the fact that God’s purpose for us is not to sit around marking time until the Rapture, there is work to do.

God has a purpose and a mission for every true Born-again believer.

Ministry sounds like a very glamorous word, but it is just another word for serving.

Many would run from the idea of being a servant, but like being referred to as ministers.

Even in the Government people who are supposed to serve and are called civil servants, like to lord it over people and frustrate them by their slothful approach to their duties.

1 Peter 5:1-3.

To the elders among you be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers- not because you must, but because you are willing , as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve, not lording it over those entrusted to you.

Perhaps the problem is that while attempting to get people to realize that they cannot work for, or earn their Salvation

(It is a gift of God by Grace)

The impression has been created by some preachers of the Gospel, that work or Christian service is not important, and that it is an optional extra for those who would like rewards in heaven.

But James 2:14-17 warns us that a faith that is not displayed by works is a DEAD FAITH.

James 2:14-17.

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?

Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.

If one of you says to him, Go, I wish well: keep warm and well fed, but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

The Greek word for serving is diakonia (diakonia), meaning to aid. It can be interpreted as the God-given ability to identify the unmet needs involved in a task and to make use of available resources to meet those needs and help accomplish the desired goals.

The secularized definition of serving used in this article is the ability to elevate any need for another (without concern or desire for rank or recognition) that will help or free that person to work more effectively.

Diakonia does not imply a position of low status for the one performing the service, rather, according to Collins, status is not related to this gift of service.

This helps differentiate the notion of service from servitude or slavery. The “server” chooses to serve rather than is left with no option but to serve.

Jewett posits that diakonia in first-century Rome carried a general meaning of waiting on tables, running errands, being ready and available to help, but not that the term connoted menial or subservient tasks or that the person serving was seen as a slave/servant.

Ephesians 2:8-10.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Titus 3:5.

He saved us not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

We don’t do good deeds to get saved, we do them because we are saved.

John 15:4,5.

Abide in me, and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you except you abide in me.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in me and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Psalm 127:1.

Unless the LORD builds the house the builders labour in vain, unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.

Matthew 11:28,29. (KJV)

Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Paul said to Titus regarding Christ.

Titus 2:14.

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from every lawless deed, and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Hebrews 10:24. KJV

Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.

Hebrews 10:24. Amplified.

Let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds.

Hebrews 10:24. ESV

Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.

Hebrews 10:24. NIV

Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds

1 John 2:3-6.

We know that we have come to know him, if we obey his commands.

The man who says I know him, but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him.

This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

Matthew 3:7,8.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

Acts 26:20.

First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.

Titus 1:16.

They profess that they know God, but in works they deny him……

1 John 2:3,4.

We know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commands.

Whoever says I know him but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.

Zacchaeus is a prime example of how entering into a relationship with Jesus Christ changes your behaviour.

Luke 19:7-10.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, He has gone to be the guest of a sinner. But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, Look, Lord!

Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount. Jesus said to him, Today salvation has come to this house.

The rich young ruler.

Luke 18:20-24.

You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, .. do not steal, do not.. all these things I have kept since I was a boy” he said.

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then come follow me.

When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.

The Rich man with the poor man at his gate.

Luke16:19-31.

There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

Both died and the rich man went to Hades and was in torment while Lazarus was taken to Abraham’s side.

The only thing pointing to the rich man’s character was his lack of concern for Lazarus.

John 17:4.

I have brought glory to you on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.

Matthew 5:16.

Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

1 Peter 2:12.

Live such good lives amongst the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

Revelation 2:2. Revelation 2:9.

Revelation 2:13. Revelation 2:19.

Revelation 3:1. Revelation 3:8.

Revelation 3:15.

I know your works”

How can we say works are not important?

Luke 17:7-10.

Suppose one of you had a servant ploughing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, come along now and sit down to eat?

Would he not rather say, Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?

So, you also when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.

Philippians 1:1.

Paul and Timothy servants of Jesus Christ.

James 1:1.

James a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:1.

Simon Peter a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ.

Jude 1.

Jude a servant of Jesus Christ.

Many professing Christians are very accomplished at serving from Monday to Friday to get a salary but when it comes to serving the Lord by serving their brothers & sisters and carrying out the vital ministries in the church, there is a lot lacking (that’s why mega churches employ people)

Some spiritualise their inactivity by saying I’ll pray about it. Some choose a certain area of service, but there is a big difference between serving and been a servant.

Galatians 5:13

Do you choose to serve or are you compelled to?

Paul was compelled by the love of Christ!

2 Corinthians 5:14&15.

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Galatians 5:13

A missionary in Africa was once asked if he really liked what he was doing, his response was surprising.

“Do I like this work?”, he said. My wife & I do not like dirt. We have reasonably refined sensibilities. We do not like crawling into vile huts through goat refuse.

But is a man to do nothing for Christ he does not like? God pity him, if not. Liking or disliking has nothing to do with it. We have orders to “Go”, and we go. CHRIST’S LOVE COMPELS US.”

Testimony:

Early in my Christian walk, Jesus’ words, “Go and sell what you have, give to the poor, and then come follow Me,” challenged me to simplify my life in order to serve God. I didn’t hear these words as a harsh, top-down command; rather, I saw how Jesus modelled this message and invited me to walk after Him. He gave up the riches of heaven to “take the nature of a servant” (Phil. 2:7).

His actions encouraged me to give up my comforts and to become a servant. In my experience of “downward mobility,” I identified myself with Jesus’ move from master to slave or royalty to servant or at least, so I thought. Focusing on Jesus’ actions, I missed something essential about the nature of God.

And it has been among socially and economically excluded peoples that my eyes have been opened to see beyond God’s serving actions to God’s servant nature.

Margaret Thatcher, a former British prime minister, is quoted as saying that if we want to serve the poor, we need to empower the rich. When the rich have wealth, they, like the Good Samaritan, take care of the poor. Since Thatcher said that the trend of the rich getting richer and the poor poorer has debunked her trickle-down theory. Never having “enough,” the rich tend to serve their own interests without “taking the form of a servant.”

Not only do we rarely see servanthood modelled by the upper classes in the stewardship of their power and possessions, but it is among the marginalized and oppressed that we find amazing lessons of servanthood. One of our friends, a mother of five, awakens early to go to the market. She spends the days cooking, cleaning and caring for her kids.

On top of all this, she is always looking for odd jobs to bring some income to the family, often working late into the night. Although extremely poor, she is one of the hardest-working people I know, and she does it for the love of her family.

Another family close to us has recently lost their home. They are squatting in one large room in a falling-down building. They have 10 children and about 15 other family members living with them. Still, they often take in a boy who has no parents and no home. Although they have little, they have enough to share with this family-less child.

Their service is not based on what they have but on who they are. It is not the amount of power or wealth they possess but their character that determines their service of others.

And this is also true of most of those supporting our ministry. Most are not wealthy, giving from their surplus. Rather, they are making daily sacrifices with us in order to share the gospel with those in need.

When we look at the breadth of Scripture, we see that God doesn’t “become” a servant with the sending of the Son into the world. From the beginning of creation, God reveals the very nature of God’s self as servant.

God is the One on hands and knees planting a garden (Gen. 2:8). They are God’s hands in the dirt, as God forms man (2:7) and molds woman (2:2).

God’s self-disclosure as servant continues in the great act of salvation from Egypt. God takes the slave’s job of carrying the torch by night and the canopy by day as God leads the Israelites through the desert (Ex. 13:21).

God is master as servant. God exercises creative and redemptive power through servanthood. In the same way, Jesus doesn’t come to earth to “become” a servant; He comes as a servant to reveal who God is. As servant, Jesus is not simply identifying with us; rather, He is showing us who God is.

It is not so much God becoming like us as God inviting us to become like Him. Our celebration of service isn’t a move from master to servant but from isolation and self-security to a way of service that reflects the servant-nature of our Master.

Over time believers should become increasingly like Christ. We are like Him when we are selflessly reaching out to meet somebody else's needs.

As servants, we need to incorporate the following into our lives:

Awareness.

Jesus stopped under the sycamore tree because He was aware that Zacchaeus was up there. How many needy people are "hiding in trees" while you walk by them without looking up?

Availability.

On spotting the tax collector, Jesus didn't make an appointment to go see him a few weeks later. Being available was such a priority that He dropped whatever agenda He may have had and went right to Zacchaeus's house.

Acceptance.

Jesus did not wait until Zacchaeus got cleaned up and straightened out his life. The Lord accepted him just as he was. We must never forget how Jesus embraced us, filthy rags and all.

Abiding.

When we are saved, we become grafted into the vine of Jesus Christ. Abiding in Him is the only way to find the resources to serve other people in the way that they need to be served.

Abandonment.

God calls us to abandon our selfish desires. Only in leaving behind self-seeking ways will we be free to truly serve others.

Jesus came, not as a superstar to be served, but as a servant who would give His life as a ransom for many. In Matthew 20:28. He tells us to “Go and do likewise”. When we've received Him as Saviour and then yield to Him as Lord, our lives become a living expression of the One who came to be a servant to all.

There was an important job to do and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody would have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody would do it, but Nobody realized that Anybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody, blamed Somebody, when Nobody did, what Anybody could have done.

There is a clever young fellow named “Somebody Else”, there is nothing this fellow can’t do. He is busy from morning ’til way late at night, just substituting for you.

You’re asked to do this, and asked to do that, and what is the ready reply? “Get somebody else, I’m too busy, he can do it much better than I!”

There’s so much to do in our service, so much and the workers so few, And “Somebody else” is weary and worn, just substituting for you!

So the next time you’re asked to do something worthwhile, come back with this ready reply. If “Somebody else” can lend time and support, you can bet your last dime, so can I. –Anon




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