Serving The Church – 1

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Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”

But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.

When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” – Matthew 3:13-17

The Prevailing Attitude of the Kingdom—Humility

The baptism of Jesus vividly illustrates that humility is the prevailing attitude we must possess as we work in the church. John was baptizing sinners. When Christ was baptized, He ran the risk that someone might think Him to be a sinner in need of repentance. We know that Jesus was sinlessly perfect (2 Corinthians 5:21), but He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness, give us an example, and identify Himself with humanity. He knew it to be the will of God.

Notice also the humility of John. John was extremely reluctant to baptize Christ. Indeed, he said that he was not even worthy to unlace Jesus’ sandals. Though assertive, successful, gifted, and bold, John was a very humble man.

When John baptized Jesus, what happened? Did angels descend from heaven? Did trumpets sound? No. A bird appearing as a dove came from the sky, symbolizing the Holy Spirit. It was a humble dove, a dove that would most likely be sacrificed by a poor man when he went to the temple to confess his sins.

The plain teaching of the baptism of Jesus is that as we work for God in the church, we must have the attitude of John and of Jesus—the attitude of humility. Without exception, the people that God uses to do His work are humble and submissive to His will. For example, Moses delivered two million people from bondage, but the Bible says he was the meekest man on the face of the earth (Numbers 12:3).

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One of the greatest statements about what God requires is found in the Book of Micah, “And what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” – Micah 6:8. As Jesus began His Sermon on the Mount, He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:3. A free translation would be: “Blessed are those who realize their utter helplessness and who have put their whole trust in God.” Those are the individuals God will use, ones characterized by humility.

The word “humility” comes from the Latin word “humus,” which means “ground.” A humble person is one who is lowly and does not think himself or herself something he or she really is not. Humility is the golden virtue of the Christian life. It is the most fragile of all virtues, for once we think we have it, we have already lost it.

Humility displaces pride, the root of all sins. Having humility means that we do not get our feelings hurt. The humble person is like the ground, when stepped on, it does not complain. A humble person puts God first, others second, and self last. No task is too lowly for the humble person. In the kingdom of Christ, the way to the top is downstairs. Therefore, sink yourself into the highest place!

There is a very old fable that tells how the angels were impressed by the godly and beautiful life of an aged saint. Coming down from heaven to visit, the angel offered to give the man the gift of miracles. By the touch of his hand, he could heal the sick, restore sight to the blind, and bring the dead back to life. “Oh, no,” the saint responded, “the ability to heal belongs to God alone.”

The angel suggested, “Then let me give you the ability to bring people under conviction so that the unsaved will come to God.”

“No, that’s not for me either. That ability belongs only to God the Holy Spirit.”

“Then at least,” the angel offered, “you can let me make you the very person of virtue so people will be drawn to you by the virtue of your life.”

The aged man responded, “No, God forbid! Jesus Christ alone is our example. If people were drawn to me, they might not be drawn to Him.”

“Then what gift do you desire?”

The saint responded, “Only this: that I might have His grace, so that I might do good to all men without their knowing that I did it.” With that kind of attitude, we can accomplish a great deal for God’s glory as we serve Him through the church.

To Be Continued

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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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