The Shocking, Sweet Spirit of Christ About Service

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning, July 8, 2001, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal                  Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                  Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:19-34

Text: Matthew 6:24

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Introduction: Liberals accuse us Bible-believing fundamentalists of not having “the sweet spirit of Christ.” However, if the Lord were here in the flesh, the liberals would grit their teeth at Him while He preached. They would be just as angry and as full of hate toward Him as were the Pharisees and Sadducees. Last Sunday I pointed out that not all of the Lord’s statements seemed “sweet,” in a message called, “The Shocking, Sweet Spirit of Christ About The Scriptures.” This morning I want to bring another thought along that line in a message titled, “The Shocking, Sweet Spirit Of Christ About Service.”

The statement of the Lord in our text is pretty narrow-minded, isn’t it? Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters.” A double-minded man is not a true servant of Christ. Until you make up your mind who you’re going to serve, you are NOT serving the Lord Jesus Christ. You just THINK you are.

This morning I want us to look at some SHOCKING things the sweet Lord said about following Him.


Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Luke 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

A Christian who is serving God is dying daily to sin and self and living to God. This is what we call “the crucified life.”

This was Paul’s practice.

1 Corinthians 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

He begged Christians to do the same.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

A. This is submission

  • Jesus went to the cross in submission to the Father’s will, like a Lamb to the laughter.
  • To serve God, you need to do the right thing simply because it is RIGHT, and you are submitting to God!

B. This is sacrifice

  • No Christian is serving God well who has not learned to give up God’s tithes and offerings to Him.
  • No Christian is serving God FULLY until he is willing to give up ALL he has for the Lord.

C. This is strenuous

  • Serving God means that even when you don’t FEEL good …
  • You come to every service
  • You sing out with the rest of us
  • You prepare that Sunday School lesson and teach those kids
  • You run that bus route

D. This is suffering

  • A cross is painful!
  • Jesus was NAILED to the cross.
  • He was PIERCED.


John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

A. You need to keep learning it

    • 2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
  • 1 Corinthians 3:1-2 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
  • Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

B. You need to keep loving it

  • A servant of Jesus Christ loves the Bible today as much or more as he did five years ago.
  • You should keep wanting to hear the Bible preached read it through memorize it quote it
  • Psalms 119:127 Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.

C. You need to keep living it

    • Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
  • James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.


Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

The above is a hard saying, but it is the truth. In view of the fact that the Bible teaches that we are to love our family members, one must understand that hate and love are relative, and that one is to hate others in the sense that he should love God FIRST and more than anyone else. So said the Lord in a companion passage:

Matthew 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

We must put the Lord

A. Before family

  • I’m amazed at parents who make a choice about which church to attend based upon their children’s wishes.
  • I’m amazed at people who claim to be saved who will be absent from GOD’S house so that they can be at GRANDMA’S house.

B. Before friends

  • If friends drop by at church time, bring them to church or tell them you’ll be back later.

C. Before flesh

  • ” … his own life also …”
  • The world says, “If it feels good, do it.” I’m telling you, If it is RIGHT do it, even if it feels bad!


Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Luke 17:32 Remember Lot’s wife.

This was Paul’s practice.

Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

A. Don’t long for your sinful past

  • It was ruining your life.
  • It was ruining your family.

B. Don’t look back to your sinful past

  • Don’t dwell on the pleasures of sin.

C. Don’t lean back toward your sinful past

  • Stay away from it!
  • Don’t hang around the old friends and old places.
  • Lot pitched his tent TOWARD Sodom first, and he eventually ended up seated in the GATES of Sodom with the elders of the land!

Conclusion: Jesus said that no man can serve two masters. I call upon you who are saved today to choose to serve JESUS. Make up your mind, as did Joshua in the Old Testament:

Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

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