Today we will consider the godly man as a servant of God and not a servant of men. Watson will discuss in what manner we are servants of God, and then will discuss in what manner we are to serve men, and in what manner we are not to serve men. He begins by listing seven ways that men are to be servants of God:
- A servant leaves all other, and confines himself to one master
- A servant is not independent, at his own disposal, but at the disposal of his master
- A servant is bound
- A servant not only wears his master's [uniform], but does his work
- A servant follows his master; thus a godly man is a servant of God
- A servant is satisfied with his master's allowance
- A servant will stand up for the honor of his master
Watson then considers why we ought to be servants of God? He gives three principle reasons. All are very obvious. First, we ought to serve God because He is the best Master. Anyone that has served God for anytime knows this to be the case. Secondly, we ought to serve God because His service is the best service. There are six privileges which Watson gives for being in God's service: Freedom, Honor, Safety, Gain, Assistance, Supplies. The last reason that Watson list for motivating our service to God is that we are engaged to serve God. We were bought with a price. As Watson says, "If any can lay a better claim to us than Christ, we may serve them; but Christ having the best right to us, we are to cleave to him and enroll ourselves for ever in his service.
Our author then moves to his second main point: A godly man is not a servant of men. He lists a threefold serving of men. First there is the civil service we owe to men. An example of this would be in our jobs. There is also the religious service we owe to men. We would fulfill our religious duties by serving men for Christ's sake. Both of these are exemplary ways of service, and we ought to be engaged in them. The third, however, is a sinful serving of men. It consists primarily of three things:
- When we prefer men's injunctions before God's institutions. (When the laws of man we follow above the Law of God)
- When we voluntarily prostitute ourselves to the impure lusts of men. (When we conform to anything just to be accepted among men)
- When we are advocates in a bad cause, pleading for an impious, unjustifiable act. (When we pretend to be religious all the while tickling men's ear)
What do we do if we are found to be serving men more than God? Watson urges us to look to the day of judgment. We have been like Jell-O before men and always shifting to fit a mold. The shape-shifter will not look Christ in the face on that day, and He will give a cold-shoulder. Watson also encourages us to consider the reward of serving men? What does it gain us? Put positively, we are admonished to "abandon fear and advance faith". Serve God rather than men.
Note that Watson does not believe in retirement. "A godly man is active for God to his last breath, 'even unto the end'".
What a wonderful rebuke that we are given when Watson says, "When Christians complain at their condition, they forget that they are servants, and must live on the allowance of their heavenly Master." Oh, how sinfully often do we feel that we are owed grace. Let us never complain at our condition.
Do you agree that, "It is a slander to say, 'God is a hard master'"?
In what ways may you be sinfully serving men?
Strokes of Genius:
On to Part 5...
"You who have the least bit from God will die in his debt." (p39)
"He [God] enlarges the heart in love and fills it with joy." (p40)
"It is more honor to serve God than to have kings serve us." (p41)
"[Prostituting ourselves to the impure lusts of men] is not humility, but sordidness, and it is men-serving" (p43)
"Faith is a world-conquering grace" (p44)