Gospel Identity – Week 4 – We are Servants

Gospel Identity Title
August 22, 2016

Gospel Identity – Week 4 – We are Servants

Gospel Identity – Week 4 – We are Servants

Note:  Unfortunately there was a an error with the audio recording so the sermon notes are the only part available. 

We are ServantsReview

What is the Gospel?
Jesus Did it all, is doing it all and will not stop until it is complete.
2 weeks ago we talked about our identity Crisis. 
Your identity is not defined by what you do. Your identity is defined by who God says you are. We do who we are! 
The 4 questions
Who is God?
What did He do?
Who are we?
What do we do?
Whatever God does to you, he also plans to do through you.
What is a disciple?  One who Worships Jesus, Being Changed by Jesus, Obeys Jesus, and teaches others to do the same.
Process of Discipleship is leading people to increasingly submit all of their life to the lordship and empowering presence of Jesus
Who is God? – He is Father!  
What He has done? —sent His son to die for us, the children of wrath
Who are we? — Children of God, family as we are brought into the salvation of Jesus. Dearly loved by God when you were his enemy. 
What we do? — If you are his beloved, you will Love Others as Family (just as he loved you)
Today I want us to look at the second part of our Identity

Introduction:

Question?  What did you want to be when you grew up?
No one says.. I want to be a loser who sits at home in his moms basement and works at McDonald’s making fries.
Every Kid growing up wants to be something great.  Many times that is reflective of who our hero’s are.
My son.  wants to be a pastor.
We all grow up wanting to do something great with our lives.  To live in a place of power, influence, wealth, fame and importance.  All of us do that.  That is not wrong.  In fact many times throughout the Bible we see that those things are encouraged and given by God.  The Bible actually encourages us to think this way.  But it also challenges our definition of greatness.
The way we (in this world) define greatness is always based on power and influence.   The way we define greatness is based on comparing ourselves to others.  We look around and ask do we have it better than them.  Do we have more stuff, more ability to acquire stuff, more power, more influence, more importance, more significance.   And that is how we measure greatness.  Pastors struggle with the same thing.   How many did you have in attendance?  How big is your church?
Apart from the Gospel the only way we can gain a sense of greatness is by deriving it from others around us.  If our hearts are not being continually transformed by the Gospel message we will continue to define our significance and our worth (our identity) by our relation to others. Either by seeing ourselves as better than others or by using other to bolster our self worth.  If people like us, we feel better about ourselves, if people don’t we feel worse about ourselves.  We place opinion on the throne of our lives and worship at the alter of success or greatness.  So consequently we use others for our own purposes,  We compare ourselves or we look to others to define us.  Either way our greatness is at the expense of someone else.
But the Bible gives us a radically different definition of greatness.
 
Mark 10:29-45
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law.They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”
39 “We can,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Sacrifice is the way to true greatness – vs 29- 40

Mark 8:31-38 – First time – He is rebuked
He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. “Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said:“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
Mark 9:30-35 – Second time – they keep their mouths shut
30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.
33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them,“What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.
35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
Death of a parent and the children squabble about who gets what?  Mark 9
Phil 2:1-13
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit,if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in youto will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Service is the act of true greatness – vs 41-44

The measure of true greatness is not found in money, power and authority, it is found in your capacity to sacrifice and deny self and to serve.  The way you know you have a great life is by pouring out your self and serving others.
The Gospel is so counter cultural that it turns everything upside down.    Think about this.  In this world if you don’t have money, or power or influence you cannot have a great life. If the measure of greatness is in anyway tied to power and influence, that means only a select few people can experience a great life.  If that is how we define greatness then how many of us could experience a great life?  Especially if we use comparison as the bases for our standard.  Someone always has more or better than us.  But, the Gospel tells us that we can have the greatest of life by serving others.  If service is the measure of greatness, if pouring your life out for someone else and serving them,  then anyone can have a great life.
No matter where you are in life, no matter what you do, you can be great because power and influence are not part of the equation.  Service is the measure of true greatness.  The Gospels definition of greatness levels the playing field.  do you see that?  Greatness is not defined by what you have.  Not everyone can earn 6 figures a year.  But anyone can pour their life out for others in acts of Grace and mercy and love.
This is bigger than just your vocation this spreads into every area of your life, including your vocation.   We will never fully understand our identity as servants unless we understand we are stewards, managers of what he entrusts to us.  Every single thing we have is a gift from God (your Job is a gift from God, your family, your car, your house, your lack of a job, your paycheck, your time, your health, your abilities, your knowledge, your breath, your life) You are given these things by God for a purpose.  To worship and bring honor and glory to Him through all of it.  It is not yours it is His and you are to use it for His purpose.
He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  Our servant identity is rooted in the fact that He is King.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20  Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

The model and reason for true greatness – vs 45

What He did for us.  The Cross.
Remember He will never ask you to do something that He has not already done for you.  What HE does to you He wants to do through you.   His desire is for us to be His image bearers reflecting the goodness and love of God to a lost and broken world that are His children but don’t know it.
He is not a dictator, or a ruler who is an authoritarian ruler.  Instead He is a King who is willing to die for His servants.
How Many Kings – Downhere
How many kings step down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that is torn all apart
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?
Jesus lived a life of humility and service.  He did not come to be served but to serve and give His life up as a ransom.  If anyone had the right to be served it was Him.  But instead He knew His purpose in life was a servant.  To give up His life to ransom us back from our slavery to sin and death.  So here is the GOOD NEWS the Gospel.  Jesus served us by living the life we couldn’t and then laying His life down so we could have a new identity.  He did this because we are by nature not servants.  By nature we are those who look for greatness so we can be served.   We make idols out of our desire for significance and influence, to the point that if we don’t feel successful we  think less of ourselves than God does and we compare ourselves to others to build our self esteem.
What does it mean when God took on flesh lived in obscurity, all the while serving people with all that He had.  What does it mean that in His earthly ministry “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9 That does not look anything like a definition of greatness in this world. And then sacrificially died a death scorned, naked and ridiculed on a cross.  So that we could be called His children and His servants.
We are Baptized in the name of the Son who is the Servant King
What did He do? – He lived the life we couldn’t and died the death we should to serve us and ransom us.
Who are we? – We are His servants
What do we do?  – We serve others.  We lay our lives down for His service to those He loves and died for.
Matt 25:40 Serve the least of these

Communion

John 13:1-17
It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Questions

What would it mean for us to look at ourselves as servant not volunteers?
What would it look like in our community if we took seriously this identity?
How would your life be different?  What would that look like?
Where and how do you need to begin personally living this out?
Are we living our lives in such a way that the world would know what the Kingdom rule and reign of Jesus looks like?

For more from this series you can CLICK HERE.

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