Bulleton Article
January 20, 2002

Service to God and the Church

By: Doug Long

Often times I think that those who want to serve God and the Church have tuned in to what is really important in life. Sometimes, though, I think that those who want to serve God and the Church consider it a burden to do so. When I hear of this it saddens me. In Acts 5:40-42 Peter tells us what a privilege it is to be beaten and suffer shame for God.

Acts 5:40-42
40And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles unto them, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41They therefore departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name. 42And every day, in the temple and at home, they ceased not to teach and to preach Jesus as the Christ.

Our memory verse this month is James 2:24. Here James tells us how a man is justified. Is he talking about a burdensome thing to do? Perhaps, but he is also talking about something that the Christian should want to do. I noticed that James used the word 'justified' and not the word saved. In Strongs the word 'justified' is defined as showing your self as saved, and the word 'saved' is defined as delivered. If we want to show ourselves as saved Christians we need to serve with a heart that is right. It is clear that we are saved by the Grace of God through faith, and not by works,

Eph 2:8-9:
8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.

What James is trying to point out is that we should be seen by the world as saved Christians by the works we do. James goes further by saying in

James 2:26
: 26For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.

If we don't have works, then James is saying our faith is worthless. It is worthless to us, but especially to others. These works, however, should be from the heart as a natural response, because we are grateful to Jesus for what he did for us. We should consider it a privilege to serve God just as Peter did.