Many people believe that joy comes from being served.  In today’s message we learn that joy comes not from being served, but from serving. There is joy in serving.

But what does it mean to be a servant? The Apostle Paul refers pastor, bishop, and elder? What does it mean to be a deacon? God has called leaders and members to minister to each other in the way that God has called and equipped them. As we this out we’ll have joy for the journey.

Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
Philippians 1:1

There are three phrases in this text that you will hear about in this sermon.

Phrase #1- “…the servants of Jesus Christ”

The word translated “servants” is the plural form of the greek word “doulos”.  The word means a slave.  During that time, slaves were often sold at auctions.  The Roman world included a large slave class.  Interestingly here, Paul calls himself a slave of Jesus Christ.  Before we were saved the Bible says we were “slaves to sin”.  But notice what 1 Corinthians 6:20 says:

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.  1 Corinthians 6:20

Jesus Christ has bought us, and freed us from sin.  He paid the price for our redemption with his own blood.  Now we are his servants.


Phrase #2- “…to the saints in Christ Jesus”

Paul described himself and Timothy as servants, and he described the believers in Philippi as saints.  A saint is someone who has been set apart.  This is not someone who has, because of his own goodness, achieved some level of holiness.  A saint is anyone who has been saved, and therefore set apart.  This is anyone who is “in Christ”.   Ever born again believer in Jesus Christ is a saint.


Phrase #3- “with the bishops and deacons.

Paul included bishops and deacons in his intended recipients of this letter.  What are these two offices?

In the scripture the terms bishop, elder, and pastor all refer to the same office.  You can see that these words are used interchangeably to describe different aspects of this office.

The office of the deacon refers to lay leadership in the church.  The word deacon refers to one who serves.


Here are two very pertinent questions:

  1. Are you a saint? Biblically speaking this is not the same as asking if you are particularly religious.  The question really refers to your standing before God.  Have you been set apart?  Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?  Today you can call on the Lord to save you!  Take a few moments to read this presentation of the Gospel by clicking this link.
  2. Are you a servant? Are you actively serving the Lord by serving people in your life?  How are you serving your family?  How are you serving in the local body of believers?  If would like to serve in our local church please let us know by filling out a connection card at this link.