“For God, whom I serve, in my spirit, in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you.”
On the surface he is simply saying, “I tell everyone I come in contact with, about you.”
But don’t think that that is all he is saying. In fact, in this verse, the Lord Jesus Christ tells us something greater than just that the Romans are getting a pat on the back, or how good Paul is for saying good things about other people.
No, Christ is saying much more to us. He is giving us a blue print to follow.
A blue print to follow that will lead us to a close and personal relationship with God.
Christ is telling us about SERVICE.
In Rom 1:9, He gives us three of the six answers of any question.
When a question is asked, it is asked to answer one or more of the following:
Who, What, When, Where, Why or How?
Here Our Lord tells us the Who, What, and How of service.
Reviewing Rom 1:9 again, let’s see the questions answered.
- The first question answered is Who? ~ Who do we serve?
- The second question answered is How? ~ How do we serve?
- The third question answered is What? ~ What is our service?
As you can image, this is not the only Scripture that Jesus tells us about service.
So, in answer to the questions, we will as always compare Scripture with Scripture.
In answering the first question ~ Who do we serve? ~ Paul says “For God, whom I serve”.
Plain and simple:
There is no one else we are to serve first and foremost other than God.
In every aspect of our lives, God is to be served.
Not just at church, in study, or in prayer, but in all aspects of our lives; on the job, at school, at home, in our marriage, in relation to our parent, on the sports field, in recreation, in relationships.
In all aspects, we are to serve God.
Our Lord said in:
~ Col 3:24 ~
“knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”
~ 1 Thes 1:9 ~
“For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God.”
w/ 2 Tim 1:3
Bringing the point home that we are to serve God in all things.
He said in:
~ Mat 6:24 and Luke 16:13 ~
“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
If you want to have great relationships in all things, have a tremendous time in all things, then do all things, enjoy all things, and participate in all things as unto God.
When you do, you will live a tremendous and full life.
When you do not and instead live for the things in life or live for life, you will ultimately have misery and distress (being worried about maintaining your stuff) and will have no relationship with God.
~ Duet 6:13, Mat 4:10 and Luke 4:8 ~
“Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”
How many of us fall down and worship the stuff of Satan every day?
In answering the second question ~ How do we serve? ~ Paul said “In my spirit”.
Paul is saying that the way to serve is through the Human Spirit.
Everyone who has believed in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has a regenerated Human Spirit.
This spirit is a perfect spirit, without corruption and is the place of contact with God who is also perfect and without corruption.
The Human Spirit constantly battles with your Sin Nature for influence over your soul.
~ Phil 3:3 says something similar to Rom 1:9 ~
“For we are the true (family of God), who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.”
Here we see the other side of the equation in our service to God. Here we see the Holy Spirit.
God the Holy Spirit communicates to and through our Human Spirit so we can know and understand the things of God, fellowship with Him, and serve Him.
Here we apply the first and second problem solving devices: Naming our sins to God and the filling of the Holy Spirit.
But in order for all of this to be possible, God did something fantastic for us and has caused fantastic things in us so that we can serve.
~ Mat 20:28 and Mark 10:45 ~
“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Christ came to serve the Father, and as a result we are saved and now have the opportunity for service.
Christ set the pattern:
Serve God and everything else falls into place.
As a result of Christ’s service, we received many things including:
Death to the control of sin and the Sin Nature. Rom 7:6
~ Rom 7:6 ~
“But now we have been released from the Law of Sin, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”
Cleansing from sin and its bondage. Heb 9:14
~ Heb 9:14 ~
“How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
Freedom in our souls to Serve without guilt or condemnation. Gal 5:13
~ Gal 5:13 ~
“For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
And the thing we need most in order to serve is Faith, trusting in everything that God is and has for us. Acts 24:14
~ Acts 24:14 ~
“But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Old Testament.”
That is our foundation and the third Problem Solving Device ~ Faith Rest.
In answering the third question ~ What is my service? ~ Paul says “in the preaching of the gospel of His Son.”
Here Christ is telling us about Paul’s personal service, but we know through Scripture that we all do not have the same ministry or spiritual gifts.
Paul had the gift of apostle, you and I have our own gifts to apply in the service of God. (helps, mercy, exhortation, administration, evangelist, Pastor-Teacher, etc.)
But the point is, Paul says that his service was to use his gift.
Just as your service is to use your spiritual gift.
1 Peter 5 also emphasizes this point as it uses several spiritual gifts to point out the importance and proper function of spiritual gifts in service to God.
Our Lord tells us in Heb 12:28:
How we are to serve…
~ Heb 12:28 ~
“Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe.”
When we serve, we are to do so unselfishly and without burdening others in our service.
~ 2 Cor 11:8 – 9 ~
8 “I robbed other churches by taking wages from them to serve you;”
9 “and when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brethren came from Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so.”
So, what is service?
Well the Greek word used here is the Present tense, Active voice, and Indicative mood of Latreuo – λατρεύω (lat-ryoo’-o).
Latreuo means: “A hired servant who serves, to minister, to offer, and to worship.”
In other words, we have been purchased through the blood of Christ in order to serve the living God. Heb 9:14
But don’t serve in the influence of the sin nature which can outwardly look good or bad to man.
~ Rom 1:25 ~
“For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
But serve in the power and the filling of the Holy Spirit through the power of the Word of God.
~ Mat 11:28-29 ~
28“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
29 “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.”
And finally, you might as well get use to serving God, because if you don’t like to now, you are going to for all of eternity.
Rev 22:3, 7:15
~ Rev 22:3 ~
“There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him.”
So that answers the questions: Who, How and What?
~ The answer to the questions: When, Where and Why is… ~
Serve God all the time, everywhere you are, for His Glory.
To do so, you will be applying the rest of the Problem-solving devices:
4) Grace Orientation
5) Doctrinal Orientation
6) Authority Orientation
7) Personal Sense of Destiny
8) Personal Love for God
9) Unconditional love for Mankind
10) Occupation with Christ
11) Sharing in the Happiness of God
The Service of Passionate Devotion
By Oswald Chambers
“… do you love Me? … Tend My sheep” (John 21:16).
Jesus did not say to make converts to your way of thinking, but He said to look after His sheep, to see that they get nourished in the knowledge of Him.
We consider what we do in the way of Christian work as service, yet Jesus Christ calls service to be what we are to Him, not what we do for Him.
Discipleship is based solely on devotion to Jesus Christ, not on following after a particular belief or doctrine.
“If anyone comes to Me and does not love less his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26).
In this verse, there is no argument and no pressure from Jesus to follow Him;
He is simply saying, in effect, “If you want to be My disciple, you must be devoted solely to Me.”
A person touched by the Spirit of God suddenly says, “Now I see who Jesus is!”— that is the source of devotion.
Today we have substituted doctrinal belief for personal belief, and that is why so many people are devoted to causes and so few are devoted to Jesus Christ.
People do not really want to be devoted to Jesus, but only to the cause He started.
Jesus Christ is deeply offensive to the educated minds of today, to those who only want Him to be their Friend, and who are unwilling to accept Him in any other way.
Our Lord’s primary obedience was to the will of His Father, not to the needs of people—the saving of people was the natural outcome of His obedience to the Father.
If I am devoted solely to the cause of humanity, I will soon be exhausted and come to the point where my love will waver and stumble.
But if I love Jesus Christ personally and passionately, I can serve humanity, even though people may treat me like a “doormat.”
The secret of a disciple’s life is devotion to Jesus Christ, and the characteristic of that life is its seeming insignificance and its meekness.
Yet it is like a grain of wheat that “falls into the ground and dies”— it will spring up and change the entire landscape (John 12:24).