Those who are obedient to the gospel become servants of righteousness (Romans 6:17-18). As servants, they are to serve. They are to be doing those good works for which they were created in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:10). In fact, they are to be “zealous” for those works (Titus 2:14).
Romans 12:1-2 encourages Christians to be “living sacrifices” for the Lord. That is accomplished when we start living for the Lord and doing those things His will would have him do. One of the things the Lord wants His disciples to do is to serve others. He illustrated and emphasized this in John 13.
At what many have come to call the “Last Supper,” Jesus paused, girded Himself with a towel, took water, and washed His disciples’ feet. He told them, “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” (John 13:13-16). Jesus was not binding the rite of “foot-washing,” rather, He was showing that those who would be His disciples were to be of a mind to serve others, regard their needs, and do what they could to help them.
James declares that if one is going to have a saving faith, that serving others is an essential aspect of that faith. In the second chapter he states, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (James 2:14-17). One can profess again and again to be a Christian and to have great faith, but if he does not see to the needs of his brethren he, in reality, has no faith.
Serving others is an important matter to the Lord. When He depicted the judgment scene in Matthew 25, He stressed how it important it is to Him and how it should be to us for He showed that it affects one’s eternal destiny. To the righteous He said, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt. 25:34-40). The unrighteous were told to depart because they had neglected to be of service to others (Matt. 25:41-46).
Opportunities abound for those who would be like Christ to demonstrate their love for Him by their service to their brethren. They can start by giving their brethren a friendly hello and a warm greeting. They can speak a kind word of encouragement; send a card to the sick or those absent from services; prepare a meal for the shut-ins; visit the sick, elderly, the weak, or discouraged; help the sick and/or elderly with chores; provide financial assistance when needed; and, of course, pray for their brethren.
It is vitally important for all Christians to actively serve their brethren for in so doing,