Slave to the King

Unworthy rebels, redeemed by the King of Kings and made servants fit for His use.

Month: May 2014

The Pride of an Unworthy Servant

prayer“Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So also you, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’” (Luke 17: 7-10 ESV)

Those of us who are born again Christians, wretched sinners made clean and redeemed by the blood of Christ, are called to be servants of our great and glorious King. Knowing we have no right to be in His presence, we willing[ly] bow the knee and submit to the authority of the One who purchased us by His sacrifice. We were once slaves to sin, to our most base desires and passions. But now the chains of bondage have been removed and we have been made willing servants of Christ. Therefore, it makes all the sense in the word that we would desire to obey the commands of our Lord and seek to please Him in all that we do. Yet, it often seems that those of us whom desire most earnestly to contend for the faith, who intensely strive to preach the truth of God’s word, can be prone to taking pride in what should be humble obedience to God.

It would seem unlikely that those who call themselves biblical Christians, those who decidedly proclaim that we should submit to all that God’s word teaches, would be those who would struggle with the tempestuous beast known as pride. Those who declare that God’s word is inspired, inerrant, and sufficient are those who would admit that they are wretched, foul, and deserving of the pits of Hell. They would declare that they were conceived in sin, that their entire life has been marked by the stain of lawlessness, and that they deserve the righteous wrath of God’s judgment. Those persons are the ones who confess that God, in His mercy, sent His Son to take the punishment they deserve on the cross, so that they might receive the righteousness of Christ through repentance and faith. Such professions are made through hearts humbled by the power of the gospel. No one who has been made a new creation in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit can arrogantly attest that they deserved to be saved by God. Therefore, it would seem that those who have been humbled by the cross would be the least likely to fall prey to pride.

Today, there is no end to the assaults on the Christian faith, whether from without or within. As our culture falls further prey to secular humanistic, post-modern thinking, the absolute, exclusivist claims of Christ are considered anathema to the “modern” world. We see ongoing attacks against the faith in our schools, workplaces, and the public square. The media openly mocks Christians, calling them hateful and intolerant, declaring biblical teachings to be regressive and dangerous. The government seeks to marginalize all Christians, giving token acknowledgement to the freedom to practice our faith and speak freely, but claiming that our beliefs are narrow-minded and that they exclude those with whom we disagree. Every which way Christians turn, there is an assault upon the faith, seeking to cause us to surrender to the onslaught of cultural progressivism.

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Have You Counted the Cost?

Coins“Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14: 25-33 ESV)

While the numbers have been in decline in recent years, statistically speaking, Christianity is still professed by greater numbers of Americans than any other world religion. Despite this profession, our culture has become much more pluralistic in the last decade than in previous generations, accepting a wider view of religious beliefs, and even blending the beliefs of various religions into a personal hodge podge of religiosity. Yet, when questioned, many Americans will still state that they call themselves Christians and follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Interestingly, despite so many people professing a Christian faith, America has seen an alarming departure from the morality of its previous generations. Immorality in many forms, including fornication, adultery, homosexuality, drug use, and abortion, has drastically increased in recent years. And as the acceptance of sinful immorality has sky rocketed, conversely we have seen a greater denial of the authority of God’s word in the lives of professing Christians. That is not to say that professing Christians have rejected the Bible altogether; however, many are coming to say that either we have misunderstood the scriptures for the last 2,000 years by teaching things it does not say, or that many of the teachings in the Bible simply are not relevant in our more modern and progressive culture. God’s word is seen as valuable, but not necessarily authoritative in the lives of these Christians. Personal experience and communal tolerance hold a much higher value in their estimation.

It is with this understanding that we look at the passage of Scripture listed above. When Christ was teaching the multitudes, He was exposing their false understanding of what it meant to follow Him. Frequently, Christ confronted the expectations of His professed followers which would often result in many turning away from Him. Some sought to make Him an earthly King, yet He preached a spiritual kingdom. Others sought miracles to feed their bellies, yet He called them to forsake all and follow Him. When Christ preached this passage, He was exposing yet another false belief, one which has great application today. Jesus taught that there was great personal cost in professing to be His follower, one that called people to lay down their lives and surrender all to Him. A person could not seek the things of the world, to be at peace with the world, and be a follower of Christ. A person had to give it all up, to lose all claim to the things of this life, so that they might be a slave to the King. Such was the cost of being a disciple of Christ.

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