The church of Christ is so blessed to have faithful men and women to glean from in the word of God. It has been men and women of God who have given us powerful examples of courage, tenacity, and service to God and man. When considering being a faithful servant today, some questions arise, such as “what is a faithful servant?” “What is required to be a faithful servant of God?” “Who can be one?” “How can service be accomplished?” “Why is it needed?” Hopefully we can answer these great questions and seek to increase our faith and service to the Lord, His people and the society we abide in to the glory of God (Mt. 5:13-16).
What is a Faithful Servant? What is required from them as servants of God? A faithful servant is one who is trustworthy to the Master. Paul said, “moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1Cor. 4:2). This one pays attention to details. Jesus stated, “he that is faithful in little is faithful in much…”, He on another occasion, would also commend for their faithfulness in little things (Lk. 16:10; 19:17). A faithful servant today looks like Pricilla and Aquila or Phebe and Philemon, just common persons in Christ who are working out their salvation (Phil. 2:12). Furthermore, faithful servanthood is seen in men like, Fortunatus, Achaicus and Stephans, for Paul said they refreshed his spirit in their addiction to the ministry, in other words, their service (1 Cor. 16:15-18).
Who can be a servant of God? This question is good for many reasons. Everyone who is in faithful standing with Christ can be a servant of His. Those who cause divisions and offences contrary to the teachings of Christ are not servants of God. Paul stated clearly, “for they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly…” (Rom. 16:18). Therefore, anyone in Christ who is not contrary to the will of God can fulfill the services of Christ as said by Him, “inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me” (Mt. 25:40). The question we must ask ourselves as Christians is, “am I willing to deny myself, take up my cross and follow Him” (Mt. 16:24). If the answer is yes, there is nothing to keep us away from having this attitude,
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering, being made conformable unto His death (Phil. 3:9-11)
How can the service of the Lord be accomplished? When considering the work of the local congregation, she is to be fervent (Rom. 12:11) in EVANGELISM, EDIFICATION and BENEVOLENCE. However, this article is not to exhaust those important topics. Yet, here is the point, as members of the church of Christ, we must find our strengths and talents and work within those and get better in those things we’re weak in. For example, Barnabas was a great encourager and strove in that area (Acts 4:36ff). Philemon was very hospitable. Aquila and Pricilla were a great husband and wife team in the Lord (Acts 19). Epaphroditus was strong willed and loving (Phil. 2). Tryphena and Tryphosa were just laborers to the church and were commended by Paul for such (Rom. 16:12).
When considering the service we can accomplish for the Lord in the house of God (1 Tim. 3:15), it requires us having the desire and receiving the encouragement to work out that good in which God begun in us at baptism (Phil. 1:6). We can further accomplish this work of service by teaching our children the value of service to the Lord and how it’s paramount in the life of a Christian (Eph. 6:1-4). Our families must see the value of the soul, therefore preparing oneself to be an influencer and instructor of righteousness in the area of soul winning (Mt. 16:26ff; 1 Pet. 3:15; Pro. 11:30). Also, to accomplish the role and privilege of being a faithful servant, we have to see the need to build up in the most holy faith (Jude 20). We can do so much when we ban together for the cause of God, thus bringing Him glory in all things.
In accomplishing our role as servants of the Lord in the local work, we must be willing to receive criticism. This author has learned that zeal is not always enough to be the best servant the Lord can have. Those in Rome were told how their zeal wasn’t according to knowledge (Rom. 10:1ff). One can want to serve the elderly in the congregation or even want to aid one who is spiritually ill (as Gal. 6:1 states), yet if they’re not educated about the elderly Christian and their situation, they could make the situation worse and even cause a rupture in fellowship. Furthermore, if one is spiritually ill and suffering with fornication and/or illegal substances, if you’re not cognizant, you can personally get harmed in the situation. We have to walk in wisdom and always communicate with the eldership or someone in the know for the greatest possible outcome. It is about God being glorified.
In conclusion, let’s do our part in being faithful to the cause of Christ and His beloved church and watch the beauty of Jesus be seen in you as the song says. Our faithful service will result in the Lord saying, “well done, thy good and FAITHFUL SERVANT…” Our devotion to the Lord and His work will cause our works to follow us, meaning, the things we have done in this body will benefit those who come after us for years to come and the Lord will not forget those great works (Rev. 14:13; Heb. 6:10). May we always realize how valuable faithful service is and how our faithfulness will help our brethren in their spiritual walk as well. Let God be true.