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Pastor: Bro. Bobby Clark
Faith Baptist Church
92 Walker St. POB 462
Crossville, TN. 38557
Ph. 931 707-0799
Visitors are always welcome and appreciated!
Salvation and Service
In Matthew’s gospel some of the most famous verses are found in chapter 11 and Jesus spoke them after his confrontation with the religious leaders of the day. John the Baptist had sent some of his disciples to Jesus to ask if He were indeed the Messiah. Now you can’t fault John in all this; here he is in prison, lonely, confused and depressed not knowing what is going to become of him and he had some doubts about his situation. After they left to go back to John some around Jesus made some comments about it and Jesus defended him by saying there has been no greater born of woman than John the Baptist. Jesus went on to say some of these same people said John was filled with a devil since he wouldn’t eat with them and they called Jesus a glutton and wine bibber because He did eat with sinners. This goes to prove you can’t please some people. Then Jesus predicted judgment on the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum by saying if the works had been done in the Gentile cities of Tyre and Sidon and even in the city of Sodom they would have repented in sackcloth and remained unto that day. And in the day of judgment it will be tolerable for Sodom than it will be for Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum. Then Jesus gives some of the most compelling words He has ever given concerning salvation and service and, may I say, salvation comes before service.
The first thing we will see in this message is the instruction about salvation. Jesus speaks to all those present. There were there with Him His followers and no doubt some of the religious leaders of the day since they followed Him to see if they couldn’t convince Him of sin and try to trip Him up in the Law. So, He spoke simply to them about salvation. This religious crowd always preached do and follow the law but Jesus said come unto me. The pursuit of salvation always begins with Jesus since it was man who went astray as Isaiah told us in 53:6 “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way: and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all”. The lost aren’t looking for a Savior any more than a lost sheep is looking for the shepherd. But the shepherd went out looking for his lost sheep and the Lord came to find the lost souls. He said Himself in Luke 19:10 “The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost”. The call of salvation is from God not man. But there is a problem in salvation; the religious leaders labored under the demands of the Law and caused their followers to also labor. Jesus said “ye that labor and are heavy laden”. Year after year they would bring their sacrifice to the priest and every year the priest would offer it unto God but that would never do away with the sin. They would have to return the next and do the same thing over. There was no rest and their sin laden with guilt remained. But when Jesus came and died on Calvary He took that guilt and sin to the cross, He bore my sin so I could be forgiven and saved and finally have rest from my sins. I no longer have to carry my sins or be responsible for them; He took them to the cross forever and all I have to do is accept that.
Then I want to notice the instruction about service found in this passage. Our service after salvation ought to be a natural progression. Where there is little or no service there is little or no gratitude for what the Lord has done for us. I realize we are not saved by works as Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast”. But look at verse 10 if you will as he goes on to say “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them”. God created us and saved us for good works which He has purposed we should do. Jesus said in our text verses “take my yoke upon you” A yoke is a harness put on an animal to enable him to work. So, the yoke is a weight and it commits you to another load which speaks of commitment. Once you come to Jesus and He fits you with a yoke you are committed. It is up to you whether you do the work or not but you won’t serve Jesus much if you are unwilling to carry a load or be tied to a load. After we commit to Him we will then be able to learn of Him. One of the blessings of serving Jesus is we learn spiritually some things we would never learn without it. An ox learns to wear the yoke and the Christian also must learn to wear the yoke of service. Some may call it growing in grace but growing in service is also a good term for it. Some will never experience some of the blessings God wants to give them because they will never step out of their comfort zone and serve God the way He intended. Then Jesus said “I am meek and lowly in heart”. This speaks of not only His humility but also His submission to God in all things. There are some who cannot serve simply because they will not humble themselves and submit themselves to serve. Some feel the work is beneath them which points out their pride. It is pride which brings a man low as Jesus said in Matthew 23:12 “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased”. When you come to Him you will find rest for your souls. Jesus is no slave driver as some would have you to believe. His yoke doesn’t omit rest but those under the yoke of sin can find no rest. The rest He speaks of is the rest for the soul which is the best rest you can speak of. Now, in contrast to the yoke of sin, Jesus’ yoke is light. Satan says the yoke is heavy but Jesus said it was light; which will you believe? How can the yoke be easy? How can it be light? The yoke usually yokes up two animals and they pull together to accomplish their task. When we are yoked you must remember it is His yoke and we are joined with Him and He does the work through us. We are only the vessel or instrument He uses and He gives us the strength to do all we need to do.
First comes salvation then comes service. He is not a hard taskmaster but we are to serve Him if He saved us. Are you willing to serve Him today?