Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What is a “doulos” and why do you need to be one?

“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus…”

Philippians 1:1

We treasure freedom. Each person longs to be truly free. Perhaps this is a desire that God has for us as well. We know from Scripture that if Christ has set us free, then we are free indeed (John 8:36), and that “it is for freedom that we have been set free” (Galatians 5:1). However, in the same vain, the Bible also teaches that we are slaves: either to God (Romans 6:22) or to sin, self, and Satan (John 8:34, 2 Peter 2:19, Ephesians 2:1-3). Romans 6:16 sums this point up beautifully, “Do you know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness”. The simple truth is that we are all slaves (in that we are held captive by our desires-either good or bad).

In Philippians 1:1, Paul employs the Greek word doulos (douloi plural), which is often translated “servant” or “bond-servant” (sometimes even “slave”). In the Greco-Roman culture doulos referred to “a class of people who were at the bottom of the social order. They became slaves, for example, through war, debt, capital convictions, and simply being born from a slave mother. In any case there were slave dealers who acquired them and sold them as property. Slaves had no rights, privileges, or freedoms in any sphere of society outside the family to which they belonged, though some of them, including doctors and accountants, were more educated than their owners.” [1] 

A doulos is one who has given his will up completely to that of his master. Paul and Timothy (like contemporary believers) have been bought by Christ Jesus. They (like we who have been redeemed) have been bought by Him and are therefore His servants; they had completely given up their own wills to that of their master-Jesus. The question to ask yourself today (and everyday) is not “will I be a servant” or “will I be a slave”. The question to ask is this, “whom will I be a servant of” or “whom will I be a slave to”.
  • Does your life model a doulos (slave) of Christ Jesus or of self, sin, and Satan?
  • Today, ask yourself this question, “What would my life look like if I were a doulos of Christ”?

For Further study I would like to refer you to the following websites: Samuel Bolton's True Christian Freedom can be found at http://www.the-highway.com/truefreedom_Bolton.html and for further information on the utter inconsistency of a Libertarian Freedom of the Will check out http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/libertarian.html

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Youth Group Canceled

Unfortunately we had to cancel youth group on Wednesday Feb. 14th. We probably could have still met, but our policy is always to cancel church activities if school is canceled for weather related reasons. Nikki and I missed everyone, and more than anything I miss being able to deliver the Word of God to you. Remember, keep in the Word on your own throughout the week. As far as plans for the future go; we will still be speaking about relationships and telling our story on February 21st. Then, Lord willing, we will begin a sermon series on Philippians. As of right now I believe our series on Hosea will be put on hold. Philippians should take us until the end of the school year! Also, throughout our Philippians series we will be having daily (or semi-daily) devotionals posted. Be certain to check back often to our website. It is possible that you can subscribe to this blog, so that whenever I make a post you get e-mailed. So, make certain to subscribe to this webpage and do not forget to e-mail it to you friends!

As always, to God be the glory,

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Christian Counting

I am very disappointed that time escaped us so quickly on Wednesday. I know that it might have appeared to you that I was preaching forever, but to me it seemed as if I had only been speaking for 5-10 minutes. Philippians 3:2-11 was so unbelievably rich with application, and speaking upon the infinite worth of Jesus Christ is one of my greatest passions in preaching. Words escape us in attempting to explain or display the infiinte worth of Jesus Christ. Words like "awesome" or "amazing" or "breathtaking" do not do Him justice. Perhaps that is why we so often resort to comparison. If you can imagine the greatest thing that this world and this life has to offer, and then compare it to Christ...the greatest pleasure appears to be "dung" when put beside the infinite wortha and beauty of Jesus Christ. 

It is imperative that we understand this. Our entire life is a battle to desire God more and to desire sin less. Being satisfied in God is the essence of worship. As John Piper has so aptly put it, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him". The apostle Paul understood this. Paul's life was about constantly growing in his knowledge of Jesus Christ. That is what life is about, Knowing Jesus. That is one of the reasons I love the song "Knowing You" so much, because it sums up beautifully what life is all about. "Knowing you Jesus, Knowing You, there is no greater thing". What a sweet and precious truth. I hope you hold it dear to your heart. Jesus is not something that we merely add to our already jam-packed lives. Jesus IS our life!

I was unable to bring out a couple of points I desired to one Wedneday. Therefore, I urge you to check out the full sermon (it is unedited as of now) at http://uncutsermons.blogspot.com/2007/02/how-do-christians-count-infinite-value.html

Be sure to leave comments!!!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Fad Jesus #2

Wednesday we discussed the second half of our Fad Jesus mini-series. As of now I am still seeking the Lord's direction as far as where we will be on Wednesday. My initial idea is that on February 7th we will do something different (not Hosea) and then on February 14th you will hear the story of how Nikki and I came to be. Then on February 21st I plan on picking back up in our series on Hosea. 

It has been my hope that Fad Jesus has been exposed and the biblical Jesus has been beautifully shown to you. On Wednesday we looked at Homeboy Jesus and South Park Jesus. We came to see that the problem with Homeboy Jesus is that it takes our friendship with Jesus too far into the realm of irreverence. We must understand that God did indeed become one of us-but He also still remained to be God. We noted that this probably comes from a misunderstanding of what Jesus means by saying we are His friends. Instead of understanding Jesus to mean that He is bridging the gap between sinful humanity and a holy God so that now we have become “friends”: whereas the enmity has now been removed. However, please do not misunderstand: Jesus really is our friend, He really is like a brother to us. But let us not forget that He is not our homeboy, you do not worship your homeboys.

Hopefully you are as repulsed by South Park Jesus (Simpsons, Family Guy Jesus) as I am. He is most disgusting as it depicts Jesus as weak, incompetent, and easily getting His feelings hurt. We compared the South Park Jesus to the biblical Jesus. We noted that the biblical Jesus has power to save. We looked at such precious verses as John 6:37, "“All that the Father gives me will come to me”. We noted that if you have been given to the Father then you WILL come to Jesus. (Now that is power) Jesus did not come to the earth to make people "savable", He came to the earth to effectually save people! Furthermore, John 6:39 states, “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day”. Jesus is not only powerful to SAVE YOU, He is also powerful to keep you.

What a sad excuse for Jesus is Homeboy and South Park Jesus! The biblical Jesus is mighty and powerful to save. We must remember that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is indeed Lord. Someday each of us will bow before the real King Jesus, not Homeboy Jesus and certainly not South Park Jesus!

I now close with a quote from a man named Herman Bavinck. In considering the doctrine of God's omnipresence (the fact that He is everywhere) Bavinck said this:

"When you wish to do something evil, you retire from the public into your house where no enemy may see you; from those places of your house which are open and visible to the eyes of men you remove yourself into your room; even in your room you fear some witness from another quarter; you retire into you heart, there you meditate: he is more inward than your heart. Wherever, therefore, you shall have fled, there he is. From yourself, whither will you flee? Will you not follow yourself wherever you shall flee? But since there is One who is more inward even than yourself, there is no place where you may flee from God angry but to God reconciled. There is no place at all whither you may flee. Will you flee from him? Flee unto him." (Grudem, 81)

When we are confronted with such an awesome and mighty God, let us not run from Him but let us run instead to Him! For He is good, and He is mighty to save! The entire Fad Jesus#2 sermon can be found at http://uncutsermons.blogspot.com/2007/02/fad-jesus-2-uncut-sermon-text.html

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Why is Jesus offensive?

Last night, January 31, we spoke of Jesus being offensive. We noted that He is offensive to us because He is exclusive in His claims (meaning He is truth and the only way to God--all else is false). He is also inclusive in His call (meaning He calls all peoples from all social and ethnic classes). Finally we noted that Jesus is often offensive because He exposes the truth that He is at the center of all and not us. We see this by the fact that Jesus and His Gospel opposes all human ability as well as all human righteousness. These are a few of the reasons that many find Jesus offensive. What other reasons do people find Jesus offensive? Comment here!


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