Romans 1:1 – Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.
In our culture, being a servant is a role to avoid rather than aspire to. We delegate tasks and hire people to do things to serve us. Those who work a job in the service industry will also tell you how poorly people treat those who are trying to serve them. As a general rule, the goal is to make enough money and have enough power that others serve you so that you do not need to serve others.
Standing in stark contrast to our culture is God’s Kingdom. Our King, Jesus Christ, was at the top of the organizational chart for all creation being served by angels when He decided to humble Himself and come down to earth to serve us. Jesus sets for us a counterculture example that no matter what our responsibility might be at home, work, or school, our role as servant is unchanging no matter what else might change. Paul models this by naming both his responsibility as an apostle and role as a servant.
In relation to God, as servants, Christians need to seek God’s will and devote ourselves to serving the will of God over our lives. Life has plenty of pains and problems, which means that there needs to be a purpose over our lives bigger than those pains and problems. For the Christian, the purpose of our life is to find and fulfill the will of God so that our pains and problems are in light of fulfilling His purpose.
In relation to others, a servant lifts burdens and replaces them with blessings. This is exactly the example Jesus set for us – He lived to serve the Father’s will and lifts our burden of sin to replace it with His blessing of salvation.
Everyone lives on continuum from selfish to servant. The more we seek by God’s grace to live as a servant, the better our relationships become. In fact, there are the following kinds of relationships:
3 Kinds of Relationships
- Selfish + Selfish = a brutal relationship
- Selfish + Servant = abusive relationship
- Servant + Servant = a beautiful relationship
Although Romans is often considered a theological book, it is also a highly relational book. Romans 1-11 is largely about our relationship with God. Romans 12-16 is largely about our relationship with God’s people. My wife Grace and I first met at the age of seventeen and are in the season of life where we are turning fifty. To seek God’s will for the next season of life, we recently got away for a week to pray together and agree on how we can best serve God and one another, along with our family and ministry in the next season. God was faithful to give us a clear path forward that we can pursue holding hands in unity. This one thing, being a servant, changes everything.
On the continuum of selfish to servant, where do you tend to land most of the time? What can be done to improve your living as a servant?
To find the free Romans study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit realfaith.com or download the realfaith app.