What does true service look like? Usually when we think about service in the context of the local church things like working in the nursery, teaching Sunday school and greeting visitors come to mind. These are all good and necessary things in the church. However, Paul addresses Timothy with another concept of service that is intimately related to the Gospel.
This week at Redeemer, we will be considering Gospel Service from 1 Timothy 6:1-2. Don’t be tricked into thinking that this text has a vague and obsolete application to us because it is addressed to slaves. In fact, the application runs much deeper, parallel with the main point of Paul’s letter to Timothy:
I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, 15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of truth. –1 Timothy 3:14-15
Apparently there were those in the Ephesian church who were masters and those who were slaves. Some of the slaves were not honoring their non-Christian masters. Some of them were taking advantage of their Christian masters. Why does Paul not simply condemn slavery here? By not condemning slavery, does Paul endorse it?
What is at stake in the way that we interact with our superiors and those who work under us? Do you view your behavior at work as a witness to those around you? Are you known as a Christian because you read your Bible when you should be working, or because you love those around you unconditionally?
The greatest hindrance for people coming to Christ, is not our words, but our lives.
May the Gospel not only sound forth from our lips!