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Doctrine of Christian Service

February 9, 2014

DOCTRINE OF CHRISTIAN SERVICE

A.  Definition.
1.  Every Church Age believer is in full-time Christian service.
a.  At the moment of salvation, every believer enters into full-time Christian service.
b.  The phrase “full-time Christian service” does not imply the narrow view of simply being a pastor, evangelist, missionary, or a person involved in some Christian service organization.
c.  Full-time Christian service means more than spending a maximum amount of time performing good deeds or functioning in some extensive system of works.  It means execution of the protocol plan of God for the Church.
2.  It is not what you do that counts, but it is your status quo as a Christian that determines the legitimacy of your Christian service.  Service is a result, never a means of fulfilling God’s plan.  Both motivation, mental attitude, and status quo are real issues in Christian service.
3.  While Christian service is a legitimate function of the protocol plan of God, it is not the means of executing that plan.
4.  Arrogance substitutes Christian service for spirituality and momentum in the plan of God.  You are in full-time Christian service whether you like it or not, whether you are good at it or not.
5.  Christian service or fruit bearing is never a means but always a result of spiritual progress and growth.  Therefore, fruit bearing is the result of our spiritual skills:  the filling of the Holy Spirit, post-salvation epistemological rehabilitation, and execution of the protocol plan of God.  Spiritual skills must precede production skills for the performance of divine good.  The performance of divine good is the result of our momentum through cognition and inculcation of Bible doctrine.
6.  Christian service may function through a spiritual gift, witnessing, prayer, giving, or administration.
7.  Note the sequence of the first two prepositional phrases in Eph 4:12, “for the purpose of equipping the saints, for the work [accomplishment, production] of service.”  First the royal family of God must be equipped with doctrine before it can enter into any kind of service.  As a result of indoctrination, service follows.
8.  Perception of Bible doctrine must precede Christian service to be effective.
9.  Spiritual momentum and motivation must precede Christian service.
10.  Therefore, Christian service is the result of spiritual momentum, but never the means of momentum.
11.  The Greek word DIAKONIA is used for the spiritual gift of service, Rom 12:7.  It is used in a general sense for Christian service, Eph 4:12.  In the New Testament, DIAKONIA has a general connotation of Christian service.  DIAKONIA should not be confused with DIAKONOS, a different word.

B.  There are five categories of Christian service.
1.  Christian service related to your spiritual gift.  Examples: the gift of helps, evangelist, pastor-teacher.
2.  Christian service related to your royal priesthood.  Example: prayer.
3.  Christian service related to your royal ambassadorship, 2 Cor 5.  Example: evangelization of others.
4.  Christian service related to invisible impact.
5.  Christian service related to the laws of divine establishment.  Example – military service, voting, paying taxes.

C.  Christian service is related to our spiritual gift.
1.  At the moment of salvation, every believer receives a spiritual gift from God the Holy Spirit.  He knows exactly what is the best spiritual gift for each one of us.
2.  All spiritual gifts are discovered through learning Bible doctrine.
a.  Some people try to select their spiritual gift through emotionalism.  When emotionalism selects the spiritual gift, it is always wrong.
b.  Some gifts, like the gift of helps, automatically go into action when you reach a certain stage of spiritual growth.
c.  Communication gifts (pastor-teacher and evangelist) are given to men only.
3.  From the gift of evangelism, Christian service is the communication of the Gospel to groups of unbelievers.  The gift of evangelism causes the unbeliever to listen to the believer with this gift, whereas they will not necessarily listen to other believers.
4.  From the gift of pastor-teacher (given to men only), Christian service is the communication of Bible doctrine to believers.
5.  From the gift of administrative leadership and administration, Christian service is the function of church officers and deacons, and leaders in Christian service organizations.  This gift includes leadership gifts.
6.  From the gift of service or ministry, Christian service is the function of all areas of administration in the local church such as Christian service organizations, or teaching children in the local church.  Rom 12:7, “If service, then serve in the gift of service.”  This gift does not include leadership gifts.
7.  From the gift of helps, Christian service is the function of helping others, e.g., helping the sick, the handicapped, the afflicted, the poor, the homeless.  Encouragement of others is part of the gift of helps.
8.  From the gift of showing mercy, Christian service is helping the persecuted, criminals, alcoholics, drug addicts, victims of tyranny, maltreated children, etc.  This is also a part of the gift of hospitality.
9.  From the gift of giving, Christian service is the function of sacrificial giving to the local church, missions, other Christian service organizations, the destitute, and the needy.  You need not be wealthy to have this gift; it makes no difference what your economic status quo.

D.  Christian service is related to your royal priesthood.
1.  Every believer is a priest as of salvation, 1 Pet 2:5-9; Rev 1:6, 5:10, 20:6.  Therefore, this category of Christian service is pertinent to every believer.
2.  As a priest, you represent yourself before God.
3. Christian service is related to our royal priesthood in certain functions.
a.  Intercessory prayer is a service to others for whom you pray, provided you do so effectively.  This is an invisible ministry.
b.  Giving under the privacy of your priesthood.  This is also an invisible ministry.  Giving is a private matter between you and the Lord.  This is grace giving with no strings attached.
c.  The execution of the protocol plan of God through perception of doctrine.
d.  Rebound from the privacy of your royal priesthood.

E.  Christian service is related to our royal ambassadorship.
1.  Every believer is appointed an ambassadorship at the moment of salvation, 2 Cor 5:20; Eph 6:20; Phile 9.  As a priest you represent yourself before God; as an ambassador you represent God to a lost and dying world.
a.  An ambassador does not appoint himself, but is appointed by a higher authority.
b.  An ambassador does not support himself, but is supported by the authority which sends him, i.e., logistical grace.
c.  The ambassador’s instructions are in written form, i.e., the mystery doctrines of the Church Age.
d.  An ambassador is not a citizen of the country to which he is sent.  We have a heavenly citizenship, but serve in the devil’s world.
e.  The ambassador does not live in the foreign country for his own personal interest, and we as royal ambassadors live in the devil’s world to serve our Lord’s interests.
f.  The ambassador does not treat any insult as personal.  This is a part of spiritual self-esteem.
g.  The recall of the ambassador is often a declaration of war or a strained relationship.  All Christian ambassadors are recalled at the Rapture of the Church.
2.  The Christian service of the royal ambassador includes at least four things.
a.  Witnessing or personal evangelism.  As an ambassador for Christ, you are responsible to witness to those in your periphery, known and unknown.
b.  Missionary function.  We support missions.  The function of the missionary, who will generally have the gift of pastor-teacher or the gift of evangelism, serves in this category.
(1)  The missionary does not always have either of these spiritual gifts, for there are other functions in the mission field.  But those in missionary leadership will generally have one of these two communication gifts.
(2)  The Christian service of the missionary is very widespread.  Such service includes the establishment of other local churches, training pastor-teachers, and everything related to the indigenous modus operandi.
(3)  The Christian service of the missionary does not include changing the politics of the country, or teaching the natives to dress, to farm, to be civilized.  His job is to communicate doctrine, not to civilize people; that will come with spiritual growth.
c.  The function of certain spiritual gifts, such as:  evangelism, pastor-teacher, helps, missionary, and working in Christian service organizations.
d.  The function of Christian administration in Christian groups.
(1)  Christian administration is very necessary in the local church.
(2)  In the mission field, there are many areas in which a number of professions and different abilities are required, e.g., logistics (as fulfilled by such organizations as the Missionary Aviation Fellowship), the building of missionary stations, doctors.
(3)  Christian service organizations also need various abilities of believers on their staffs.
(4)  In working with young people specifically, there is tremendous need for both communication and administration.
(5)  Rescue missions have a tremendous need for Christian service, especially from those believers who know Bible doctrine.

F.  Christian service is related to invisible impact.
1.  The ultimate in Christian service is related to invisible impact.  Invisible impact depends entirely upon spiritual growth.  The greatest service you render to the Lord is invisible service, and it depends on the filling of the Holy Spirit, metabolization and application of doctrine, and reciprocal love for God as the motivation.
2.  The most important part of Christian service is consistent post-salvation epistemological rehabilitation, which is perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine.  When you listen to the teaching of doctrine, you are preparing for the most important Christian service you can render as a believer.
3.  Spiritual skills must precede production skills in the performance of divine good.
a.  Spiritual skills plus production skills equals the performance of divine good.
b.  Production skills minus spiritual skills equal the performance of dead works.
c.  Therefore, it is imperative under the protocol plan of God that before the believer gets too heavily involved in Christian service, he or she must grow in grace.  This spiritual growth and momentum comes only from the cognition of Bible doctrine, not from
good deeds and Christian service.
4.  The effectiveness of Christian service is based on the attainment of spiritual self-esteem and the advance to occupation with Christ.
a.  The priority for invisible impact is cognition of Bible doctrine with emphasis on the inculcation of the mystery doctrine for the Church.  If you’re ever going to have maximum production of divine good, you must start by learning doctrine.
b.  Once you have your number one priority correct, you must now concentrate on the teaching of doctrine.
c.  Then you must organize your life around continuing the consistent intake of doctrine, so that you are not distracted by those who say you need to be doing something.
d.  Then you must organize your thinking about what is the most important thing in life, so that you are not distracted.
e.  Now you have momentum from your consistent intake of doctrine.  Eventually, you reach spiritual adulthood and have executed the protocol plan of God.  Now you are in a position to have maximum production in life and glorification of God.  Maximum production comes in two categories:
(1)  Visible production of divine good.
(2)  Invisible impact of the invisible hero, in which he has an impact on history and an impact on angels.
5.  One of the greatest enemies of Christian service is believers who are critical of consistent and regular cognition of Bible doctrine.  Without this and without reciprocal love for God there is no such thing as effective Christian service.  It is dead works.
a.  This kind of believer can be a pastor or a member of a congregation.  He is blasphemous in his judging of others.  They have entered into “the beyond doctrine movement” or emotionalism.
b.  These believers attempt to distract you from the perception of doctrine by saying things like:
(1)  They sit on their hands and never do anything for God.
(2)  You need to be doing more for God.
(3)  They are hiding in doctrine.
(4)  They do not see any fruit-bearing in your life.  (Who made them God’s watchmen for the fruit?)
(5)  We need less doctrine and more works.  We need less preaching and more working.
(6)  Forget doctrine; get involved.
c.  These believers do not understand that the greatest production of the spiritual life is the invisible impact for Christ.  They do not understand the principle that the greater your momentum in the spiritual life, the greater your production of divine good.
d.  These believers reflect the thinking of those who emphasize production skills to the exclusion of spiritual skills.
6.  The biggest part of Christian service and the greatest deeds in all of human history are performed by those believers having invisible impact on history and on angels.  The greatest production of the Christian life is invisible, and it is related directly to Bible doctrine.
a.  Invisible impact can only occur through the execution of the unique spiritual life of all human history.
b.  The execution of the unique spiritual life demands cognition and inculcation of Bible doctrine.
c.  This does not diminish the importance of visible Christian service categories, but it is important to learn that invisible impact belongs to the mature believer, the winner, the invisible hero, who executes the unique spiritual life.
d.  Overt Christian service related to one’s spiritual gift, royal priesthood, and royal ambassadorship is operational in spiritual childhood and adolescence, but does not really become effective until spiritual adulthood.
e.  Spiritual adulthood is the status of effective overt Christian service as well as effective invisible service.  For example:
(1)  In spiritual self-esteem, the status of cognitive self-confidence, the believer produces more divine good than in spiritual adolescence, which is very unstable when it comes to divine service and good deeds.
(2)  In spiritual autonomy, the status of cognitive independence, there is the production of much more divine good than ever could occur in spiritual adolescence.
(3)  In spiritual maturity, the status of spiritual invincibility, there is the production of maximum divine good in both overt and invisible service for God.
f.  The invisible impact of the invisible hero exists in five categories.
(1)  Personal impact, which is the service of blessing by association to others who are associated with the invisible hero in some way.  This often occurs without the other person knowing it.
(2)  Historical impact, which is blessing by association to the Gentile client nation through the formation of a pivot of mature believers.  The pivot is formed through believers, who have executed the unique spiritual life of the Church Age.  The size of the pivot of invisible heroes determines the blessing or cursing of that nation.  As goes the believer, so goes the client nation to God.  Therefore, the size of the pivot becomes the determining factor in history under the principle that Jesus Christ controls history.  A large pivot of invisible heroes means national blessing and prosperity both in spiritual affairs and in the function of government, the status of law enforcement, the military establishment, and the economic and cultural concepts of that nation.  A small pivot of invisible heroes results in the five cycles of discipline, Lev 26; Dt 28:49-67.
(3)  International impact, which is blessing by association to other nations through the spiritually mature missionary.  The spiritually mature missionary has a due impact under blessing by association.  They are a blessing to the client nation from which he comes and to the foreign nation to which he goes.
(4)  Angelic impact is the invisible hero becoming a witness for God against Satan in his appeal trial during the course of human history, 1 Pet 1:12; 1 Cor 4:9; Eph 3:10; 1 Tim 5:21.
(a)  This is the greatest area of glorification of God and Christian service.
(b)  This divine good is unseen by humans, but seen by billions of angels.
(c)  The impact of the invisible hero in the angelic conflict will only be revealed in eternity at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
(d)  The importance of this invisible impact is based on the fact that the post-Canon period of the Church Age is the only prolonged period in history where the angelic conflict is totally invisible.
(5)  Heritage impact, which is blessing by association with the invisible hero after his or her death.  The invisible hero leaves behind blessing by association to the next generation of his loved ones, friends, and associates.  This is often why the wicked prosper.
7.  The secret to maximum production in the Christian life is maximum doctrine in the soul’s right lobe, learning more and more Bible doctrine.

G.  Christian service is related to the laws of divine establishment.
1.  The laws of divine establishment provide the opportunity for the mature believer to perform divine good in certain spheres of life.
2.  Christian service is related to your job.  Part of your full-time Christian service is how you handle your job or profession.
a.  Eph 6:5-8, “Slaves [Christian labor] obey your human masters [management] with respect and maximum effort by means of the integrity of your right lobe as unto Christ.  Not on the basis of eye service, as men-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God by means of the soul.  Serve with good motivation, as to the Lord, and not for the praise of mankind, because you know that each one, if he does anything good [divine good], for this he himself will be rewarded from the Lord, whether slave or free.”
(1)  The motivation for your Christian service comes from occupation with Christ and the integrity you develop from doctrine in the soul.
(2)  Doing your job as unto the Lord is making a role-model out of Jesus Christ.
(3)  Approbation lust is carnal motivation and results in dead works.
(4)  Every believer, whether slave or free, has equal privilege and opportunity to execute the protocol plan of God.
b.  Col 3:22-25, “Labor, obey human management on the basis of all things, not with eye service, as people-pleasers, but with the integrity of the right lobe, making a role model out of the Lord.  Whatever you do, keep on performing it from the soul, as to the Lord and not to people; since you know that from the Lord you will receive the reward of your inheritance, you serve the Lord Christ.  For he who does wrong [on the job] will be paid back for that wrong which he has done, and there is no favoritism.”
3.  Christian service is related to various functions in government service.  This service includes the following areas.
a.  Military service.
b.  Law enforcement.
c.  Government service, such as elected representatives (not activism or crusading) and intelligence organizations.
d.  Other functions related to society in general, such as paying taxes.
4.  Those Christians who are employed in these areas should not only regard such employment as their job, but also as their service to the Lord.  They should do their job as unto the Lord.

H.  Principles of Christian Service.
1.  The only legitimate production of the protocol plan of God is called AGATHOS–divine good.
2.  Divine good is the only good or Christian service that meets the standards of God.  Divine good is the good of God; therefore, it is absolute, and the believer is helpless to perform divine good apart from God’s grace.
3.  The performance of Christian service or good deeds in the status of arrogance or lust motivation parlays good deeds into dead works, evil, or both.  Such dead works are rejected by God at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  It is not the deed or service itself that distinguishes between dead works and divine good but the status quo of the believer performing the deed or service.  Consequently, when carnality performs a given deed, it is classified as dead works, but when the believer under the filling of the Holy Spirit performs the same deed it is classified as divine good.
4.  Spiritual skills must precede production skills for the performance of that divine good.  It is possible for believers to perform divine good in a lot of visible areas.  Christian service is the result of spiritual growth and momentum, never the means.  Christian service is a legitimate function of the protocol plan of God, but not the means of executing that plan.  Just because the emphasis is on learning doctrine doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with Christian service; far from it.  The result of learning doctrine is service.
5.  Robert B. Thieme III has summarized the problem and human and divine good, “Altruism, brotherly love, humanitarianism, reformation, public welfare, liberalism, even socialism are not always antithetical to God’s plan, and therefore, are not always evil.  They may correspond to establishment principles or constitute a bonafide function of government.  Kindnesses, such as feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and giving to the poor and needy, and other acts of charity, done with proper motivation are not only helpful but mandated by the Word of God, Prov 25:21; Ezek 18:7-8, 16-17; Rom 12:20.  The proper motivation includes freedom from self-promotion or personal aggrandizement for both believers and unbelievers, and the filling of the Spirit plus spiritual momentum for believers only.  However, these acts of charity are never permanent solutions for the problems of mankind, Dt 15:11; Mt 26:11; Mk 14:7; Jn 12:8.  The old sin nature quickly corrupts good intentions.  The only lasting solution is the personal, spiritual one:  believing in Christ for the unbeliever; and, growth and utilization of the problem solving devices for the believer.”
6.  Christian service, like all functions of divine good, is always the result of the filling of the Holy Spirit, as well as cognition and inculcation of Bible doctrine.  Therefore, Christian service must always be related to residence in the operational divine dynasphere under the enabling power of the Holy Spirit and momentum from metabolized doctrine.
a.  People can get so preoccupied with their service that they neglect Bible doctrine.  For this reason, Christian service organizations often have a lot of trouble because many of the people involved do not learn Bible doctrine and grow spiritually.  Instead, they assume that their Christian service is spiritual growth.  But the two should not be confused.
b.  The filling of the Spirit alone doesn’t cause any growth.  Spiritual growth occurs only through consistent post-salvation epistemological rehabilitation.
7.  This means that effective and rewardable Christian service must never be divorced from the spiritual skills.  It is not the deed or service itself but the status of the believer performing that deed.
a.  Arrogance or lust motivation parlays good deeds and Christian service into dead works or evil, or both.  Arrogance substitutes Christian service for both spirituality and momentum in the Christian way of life.
b.  Often, a manifestation of lack of human self-esteem is the attempt to gather around oneself those who can be controlled or manipulated.
8.  The only legitimate production of the protocol plan of God is divine good.  Spiritual skills plus production skills equal the performance of divine good.  Production skills minus spiritual skills equal the production of dead works.  Dead works are destroyed at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
a.  All Christian service is not necessarily legitimate Christian service.
b.  For example, working in the YMCA and YWCA isn’t necessarily Christian service in itself.  But it could be a means of Christian service if you are learning doctrine, growing spiritually, and so are motivated to serve.
c.  From your spiritual growth, you can recognize what is legitimate Christian service and what is not.  Just because an organization has the word “Christian” in its title doesn’t mean that working there is Christian service.
d.  It is not what you do, but your status quo as a Christian that determines the legitimacy of your Christian service.  You can be filled with the Spirit, and what you do counts as being rewardable.  You can do the same thing out of fellowship, and it doesn’t count, 1 Cor 3:11-13.
9.  Why are we here after salvation?  Eph 2:10, “For we are His creation, having been created in Christ Jesus for good of intrinsic value good deeds that God has prepared in advance that we should walk by means of them.”

I.  The Motive for Christian Service.
1.  Only motivation related to the spiritual skills is consequential.  Motivation from the arrogance complex of sins can only perform dead works.  The motivation for Christian service must be related to the virtue produced through the perception and metabolization of Bible doctrine.
2.  The performance of divine good must be motivated by the filling of the Holy Spirit (the first spiritual skill), then by the cognition of doctrine (the second spiritual skill), and reaches its maximum by the execution of the protocol plan of God (the status of spiritual maturity). Rom 14:16-18, “Therefore, do not let your good be slandered; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but grace-righteousness and tranquility and happiness by means of the Holy Spirit.  For he who serves Christ in this manner is well pleasing to God and respected by mankind.”
3.  Christian service must never be performed with eyes on people, but Jesus Christ must always be the role model.
a.  Eph 6:6-8, “Not on the basis of eye service, as men pleasers, but as servants of Christ, constantly doing the will of God from your own soul.  Keep serving with enthusiasm, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that each one whatever [divine] good he performs, this he will receive with interest from the Lord, whether slave or free.”
b.  Col 3:23-24, “Whatever you do, accomplish it from the soul as to the Lord and not to mankind; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance [escrow blessings].  You serve the Lord Christ.”
4.  False motivation includes complaining, secret talk, whispering, dispute; hence, rejection of Bible doctrine. Phil 2:13-14, “For God [Holy Spirit] works in you, both to will and to do His good pleasure.  Do all things without complaining [whining, fault finding, grumbling, dissatisfaction, murmuring, griping, irritation] or strife [disputing, arguing, controversy, quarreling].”
5.  Therefore, both motivation and spiritual status quo are major issues in the performance of Christian service and the function of divine good.
a.  Motivation has to do with your mental attitude.  If your status quo is that of spiritual self-esteem, your Christian service is much more effective than that of a spiritual baby or adolescent.  Therefore, the more you advance in the protocol plan, the more effective your Christian service.
b.  Motivation for Christian service must be related to life in the divine dynasphere.  That means your motivation must come from the filling of the Spirit and momentum from metabolized doctrine.

J.  Illustration of Christian Service, 1 Cor 3:11-15.
1.  1 Cor 3:11, “For no person can lay a foundation other than the one that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”  This says you cannot be saved by works.  In other words, you can’t lay a foundation; it was already laid by Jesus Christ when He said “Finished.”  Salvation was completed on the cross.  Nothing can be added to it.
2.  1 Cor 3:12, “Now if any man builds on the foundation with either gold, silver, precious stones [legitimate Christian service], or with wood, hay, or straw [Christian service and works of the cosmic believer],”  Both legitimate Christian service and illegitimate Christian service can be the same function.  But the spiritual believer produces gold, silver, and precious stones; the cosmic believer produces wood, hay, and stubble.
3.  1 Cor 3:13, “each believer’s work will become evident, for the day [Rapture] will show it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each believer’s work.”  After the Rapture, the entire royal family is gathered in heaven.  While the Tribulation proceeds on earth, every believer’s life is evaluated from day one of his salvation until he departed from the earth.  Every believer will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ in a resurrection body and be evaluated.  The believer’s production on earth will be an issue.
4.  1 Cor 3:14, “If any believer’s work which he has built on it [foundation] remains, he shall receive a reward [escrow blessings for the eternal state].”  In other words, the believer builds on the foundation of salvation with Christian service.
5.  1 Cor 3:15, “If any believer’s work is burned, he shall suffer loss [of rewards and escrow blessings], but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.”
a.  Losers do not lose their salvation, but they lose their escrow blessings for the eternal state.  Since escrow blessings are irrevocable, they remain on deposit forever in the hall of records in heaven as a memorial to lost opportunity.
b.  Therefore, the believer who fails to execute God’s protocol plan will lose his escrow blessings for time and eternity.
c.  Billions and billions of years ago, God the Father as the grantor deposited into escrow greater blessings for time and eternity for each one of us as believers in time.  Whether we receive the distribution of those escrow blessings or not as grantees depends entirely upon whether or not we execute the protocol plan of God.
d.  So the loser’s work is burned because it is only wood, hay, and straw, i.e., it was accomplished in the energy of the flesh.  It was the Christian service of a cosmic Christian, a loser with blackout of the soul, scar tissue of the soul, and reverse process reversionism.
e.  Some of you will arrive in heaven like the fighter pilot who crashed his plane and landed in a tree still strapped to his seat, with pieces of his plane scattered for five miles behind him.  You will have nothing to show in terms of Christian service for all the years you spent on earth as a believer.