A servant in the Bible is a slave.
In the Scriptures believers are likened to bond slaves to Christ. As bond slaves we were bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:19-20). The price is the blood of Jesus (1 Pet. 1:18-19). By the new birth we were born into servitude to our Lord and King; Jesus Christ. Only born again believers are servants of God in this since. All men serve God’s sovereign will and purpose, but outside of faith in Christ, men serve God’s purpose to no benefit to themselves.
Although believers are bond slaves to Christ, in the new birth we were set free from some things. We were set free from 1) sin, 2) from Satan, 3) from the law, and 4) the consequences of being in bondage to these, which is the lake of fire.
This morning we want to study Christian service according to the parable of the pounds.
11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. 20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. 27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
We want to notice seven things from this parable concerning Christian service.
1. Christians are the servants of Christ (verses 12-13).
We are not servants of sin, or of self, nor of Satan, nor of this world and its idols. As we have seen in 1 Cor. 6:20, we are not our own, but we belong to Christ.
Beloved, He owns us! And He has given each of His children a life of service to perform. Too many professing Christians want to come and go as they please, as though they are not the servants of the Lord; as though they do not belong to Jesus; as though the will of God centers around them and their will and their desires for their lives. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our attitude should be; “thy will be done”; “Lord, what would thou havest me to do?”
2. The Lord gave us the means by which we can serve Him (verse 13).
He gave us the gospel, by which we were freed from sin, and Satan’s kingdom. He gave us His Holy Spirit, Who leads, guides, and empowers the believer. Physically he gives us health and strength to serve Him. And He gave us His Word to teach us how to serve Him acceptably.
Therefore, we are not dependant on our own means or our own ability to serve the Lord and to accomplish His work, but on His ability and on His infinite supply of grace.
We notice in this parable that no one lost their Lord’s money who endeavored to do business with it; but rather, each one gained. The Lord will cause our service to prosper as He sees fit; it is our place to serve according to what He has given us, and leave the increase to Him!
3. We are responsible to serve Him (verse 13) –“occupy till I come”.
As servants of the Lord, serving Him is not optional, but imperative! We are bound and obligated to serve our Lord; not just on Sunday, but each day of our lives. Failure to serve the Lord earns one the title “wicked” and “slothful” servant.
4. People hate Jesus by nature and will not serve Him (verse 14).
This was particularly true of the Jews, to whom this parable was directly, but it is also true of all men by nature (Rom. 3:10-18; Rom. 5:10; Col. 1:21).
5. Jesus will come back and Christians will give an account of our service (verse 15).
Jesus is coming back! Many Christians today don’t live like they really believe that Jesus is coming again! Christians will stand before Him at the judgment seat of Christ. And we will give account of our service to Jesus. How will it be at the judgment seat of Christ for you?
6. Jesus will reward faithful service (verses 16-19).
The rewards will be far greater than the value of our service (a city for a pound gained!) Yes, beloved, the eternal rewards for faithful service will abundantly exceed our feeble service to Him. What a gracious God we serve!
7. The lazy servants will suffer loss of rewards (verses 20-24).
This man feared God (verse 21). He believed in the sovereignty of God…Hmmm! The Lord expects more than belief in good doctrine to be counted as a faithful servant!
Beloved, what appears to be knowledge, and fear, and faith in the Lord, may only be pretence. May we examine ourselves and be sure that we are doers of the work, and not just hearers; that we are disciples indeed and not just doing lip service. True fear of God, and knowledge of God, and faith in God, is evidenced by obedience and service to the Lord according to His Word!
When Jesus returns He is going to destroy all of those His enemies, who would not serve Him (verse 27).
There are only two kinds of people in the world; there are enemies, and there are servants of Jesus; who are the saved by grace.
Which one are you this morning?
If you profess to be saved, are you a servant of Jesus?
Have you followed Him in the waters of baptism and are you serving Him through His local New Testament Church?
As a church member are you serving the Lord faithfully? Are you a doer of the work?
Finally, are you saved? Have you believed in Jesus with all your heart this morning? If not believe in Jesus Christ even now and He will save you!