Ever since the Church’s inception, it has been a challenge to get believers involved in service for God. After several years as the senior pastor of a church, this was also my experience.
Pastors and Bible teachers have attempted to solve this problem by teaching one of two errant messages concerning the gospel. The first message “frontloads” the gospel by adding stipulations to salvation. Emphasis is placed on making a total commitment to Christ, turning from all known sin, and/or surrendering one’s life to Christ before one can be saved.
The second message “backloads” the gospel by demanding fruit in a believer’s life as evidence of salvation. Emphasis is given to the forsaking of all visible sin (smoking, drinking, etc.) in the believer’s life, as well as active obedience to Christ. Those who teach this message claim if a person does not demonstrate this fruit, he was never truly saved in the first place.
These methods don’t merely corrupt the simplicity of the gospel—they corrupt the motivation for Christian service. Believers attempt to fulfill these man-made regulations out of fear. Fear paralyzes, but love empowers.
One man suggested, “If people can truly worship God and catch something of the glory of the person of Christ, then you can depend on them to do work for God and obey Him.” I agree. People eagerly engaged in Christian service have a strong sense of the wonder of it all. They understand the gospel and what it means. Their love for Christ empowers them to serve Him in sincerity and in truth.
Are you serving Christ today? Keep the wonder of Christ’s love in view, and your service will be transformed.
If you want to be of use, get rightly related to Jesus Christ, and He will make you of use unconsciously every moment you live. — Oswald Chambers
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.