"God's Requirements For A Servant" 2 Corinthians 5:10-11; 1 Corinthians 15:55-58 INTRO. If you have a good dictionary and you look up the word "servant" you will find that one of its meanings is: A slave or bondservant. Philippians 1:1 begins like this, "Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons." The word “servants” used in that Scripture is a translation of a Greek word meaning “a servant in bondage or simply a bond-servant.” That's what the Child of God should be—a bond-servant of the LORD! This body belongs to God to do with as HE desires. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, "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 YOUR SPIRIT, WHICH ARE GOD'S" We call ourselves the servants of God, but are we serving Him with all we are and in a right fashion? I want to title the message tonight, "God's Requirements For A Servant." Jesus said, "If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor" (John 12:26). So, for us to serve Christ, we MUST FOLLOW Christ! That means doing what He says, when He says, and how He says! If we do, according to the last part of that verse, God will honor that service. The word "honor" used there is from a Greek word which means "to prize or value." So God's blessings will rest on that servant who is serving His Son! In our text 2 Corinthians 5:10, Paul says "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." All Christians will appear there at the Judgment Seat of Christ! It is an awe-inspiring prospect, but v11 should motivate our best service to God even more, for it is speaking to Christians not the lost as some have supposed. Notice what it says, "Knowing therefore the terror of the LORD, we persuade men..." Verse 11 draws our attention back to v10 which is clearly talking to God's people. I want us to keep these verses in mind, as we look at the other verses, we read in 1 Corinthians 15:55-58. If we are to be good and faithful servants, we must meet God's requirements--What are they? A SERVANT'S REQUIREMENTS: (1) Be Active Text: 1 Corinthians 15:58—“…Always abounding in the work of the Lord…” A. A UNIQUE EXAMPLE (PROVERBS 6:6-11). B. AN URGENT EXPLANATION (JOHN 9:4). Jesus said John 9:4—“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." Matthew Henry said, “Our life is our day, in which it concerns us to do the work of the day. We must be busy, and not waste day-time; it will be time to rest when our day is done, for it is but a day. The approach of death should quicken us to improve all our opportunities of doing and getting good. What good we have an opportunity to do, we should do quickly. And he that will never do a good work till there is nothing to be objected against, will leave many a good work for ever undone” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary). Our Lord left us the Urgent Explanation as to why we must be active in the Lord’s work: “…the night cometh, when no man can work.” "Without involvement, there is no commitment. Mark it down, asterisk it, circle it, underline it. No involvement, no commitment." – Stephen Covey (2) Be Devoted Text: 1 Corinthians 15:58—“…My beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable…in the work of the Lord…” *THE CHRISTIAN’S LIFE SHOULD BE: A. A LIFE OF SUBMISSION (Romans 12:1, 2). B. A LIFE OF SERVICE (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). (3) Be Steadfast Text: 1 Corinthians 15:58—“STEADFAST, UNM0VABLE…in the work of the Lord…” A. THE DEFINITION OF STEADFASTNESS. Two words are given to us in this verse: steadfast and Unmovable. To be steadfast means “Firm as a rock, devoted to Christian life” (The People’s New Testament). It also means to “Be firm, strong, confident in the faith, in view of the truth that you will be raised up. Be not shaken or agitated with the strifes, the temptations, and the cares of life. Be fixed in the faith, and let not the power of sin, or the sophistry of pretended philosophy, or the arts of the enemy of the soul seduce you from the faith of the gospel.” (Albert Barnes’ Notes On The Bible). To be unmovable means “let nothing shake your faith; let nothing move you away from this hope of the Gospel which is given unto you.” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary on The Bible). B. THE DEMANDS OF STEADFASTNESS. A small boy was standing by a horse tied to a post. A stranger asked him, "Can that horse run fast?" "I don't know," said the boy, "but he can stand fast." Steadfastness. It means not faith, but faithfulness. It is the quality of reliability, trustworthiness, which makes a person one on whom we can utterly rely and whose word will stand. (1 Corinthians 15:58) In Psalms 1:13 and 1 Corinthians 16:13, the SCRIPTURE gives us some demands of steadfastness: 1. 2. 3. 4. We We We We walk with the Lord (Psalms 1:1). delight in the Word (Psalms 1:2). prosper in the Work (Psalms 1:3). persevere in the War (1 Corinthians 16:13). (4) Be Liberal Text: 1 Corinthians 15:58—“Always ABOUNDING IN THE WORK OF THE LORD" A. THE MEANING OF BEING LIBERAL. The word abounding is translated from a Greek word which means “to super abound, to be in excess, to increase more and more.” Our service for the Lord should always be abounding! As John Wesley said it means “continually increasing in the work of faith and labour of love.” (John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes). B. THE MOTIVE FOR BEING LIBERAL. What motivates us as God’s servants to be “always abounding in the work of the Lord”? There are at least two reasons we should be continually increasing in God’s work: 1. The Pardon of our Sins (Ephesians 2:8-10; Colossians 2:6-7). 2. The Pleasure of our Savior (1 Thessalonians 4:1). (5) Be Hopeful Text: 1 Corinthians 15:58b—“Forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” A. OUR LABOR WILL BE REWARDED (Psalms 19:9-11; Galatians 6:9). Albert Barnes said commenting on our labor in 1 Corinthians 15:58, “It will be rewarded. It is not as if you were to die and never live again. There will be a resurrection, and you will be suitably recompensed then What you do for the honor of God will not only be attended with an approving conscience, and with happiness here, but will be met with the glorious and eternal rewards of heaven.” (Albert Barnes’ Notes On The Bible). B. OUR LABOR WILL BE REMEMBERED (Hebrews 6:10). Every true work for God that is done for His glory will be rewarded and remembered. “God will do no wrong. He will not forget or fail to reward the endeavors of his people to promote his glory, and to do good” (Albert Barnes’ Notes On The Bible). John MacArthur in his commentary on Hebrews writes: “God knows who are really His and who are faithful. He will not forget His own or their work for Him. Our names are securely in His book of life. Our salvation will not be lost and our rewards will not be forgotten. “Rest easy,” the writer says. “Don’t worry.” (Hebrews: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary. John F. MacArthur). CLOSING: Jesus said, "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." (John 4:34). That should be each child of God's desire that is here tonight! God has told us in HIS WORD how to serve Him, why to serve Him, and what to serve Him with. Now all we MUST DO is OBEY! Are you serving God rightly tonight? Don't just serve Him the best you can, but serve Him with the best He can make you to be!