Posted by: austend | Monday, September 29, 2008

Serving Two Masters

John Owen in his book The Grace and Duty of Being Spiritually Minded {here} brought home something for me the other night.  He was discussing one of the key New Testament principles for living the Christian life that both Paul and Christ mention.  The principle is that you cannot serve two masters.

Consider Christ’s words:

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other….  (Matt 6:24)

He was speaking of money, of course, but the principle remains: you can only serve one master at any one time.

Listen to Paul now:

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?  (Rom 6:16)

We are slaves to one of two things–the flesh or the Spirit.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.  (Rom 8:5)

There is no middle ground.  We are either serving the flesh (living in self-indulgence and sensuality) or we are serving the Spirit (submitting ourselves to God’s character and commands, living to please Him).  There are no other options.  We cannot serve both at the same time.  We are either serving the flesh or the Spirit.  We have to pick one or the other.

So, as you are going about your day, think these things over.  Let your mind mull over them.  Ask yourself at any given moment, “Whom am I serving right now?  Am I living for God or myself?”  Remember that Christ has purchased us through His death to be His servants.  We are not our own.  I hope that you’ll endeavor to live according to the Spirit.

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