In his famous treatise, The Freedom of a Christian (1520), Martin Luther states: “A Christian is an utterly free man, lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is an utterly dutiful man, servant of all, subject to all.” These words echo Galatians 5:13: “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Luther understood that a Christian is completely free from condemnation. But he also understood a Christian’s freedom leads to sacrificially serving other people.
Serving one another is one of the primary reasons God saved us. Paul states it like this in Ephesians 2:10: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (2:10). This text says that the reason we are saved is to serve. To state it differently, one of the reasons God saved us is so that we would serve one another with good works. We are saved to serve our fellow human beings in our home, society, and church.
And it is specifically the church that Paul has in mind in Ephesians 2. The church is one of the primary avenues in which we serve one another with good works. The local church is, in fact, a group of Christians committed to serving one another. Serving one another in the local church is one of the primary reasons we are saved.
In what way or ways do you serve your local church? Can you name at least one? How can you fulfill your God-given purpose in salvation to serve your local church?
For more on this theme of serving and using your gifts in the local church, come hear Pastor Jeff’s message tomorrow (September 5th, 2021).