Pastor Tim Berlin, Senior Pastor
II Timothy 2:24 “And the servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”
It is a great heartbreak to me to see people who once were dedicated to serving the Lord and doing His will now being held captive by Satan. In some cases, they don’t even realize yet what has happened. On more than one occasion, I’ve tried to help someone who thinks they have found freedom by trading the “restrictions” of serving God for the allure of what Satan promises. Though that brings sadness and grief, the instruction of Paul to Timothy gives me hope. There are people and churches that have stayed true to the Word of God and are holding the torch of truth high. Faith Baptist Church is such a church. We celebrate this week, 80 years of trusting in the grace of God, embracing the power of God, enjoying the blessings of God, and doing it all for the glory of God. One might ask, “Why has God so blessed Faith Baptist Church?” I think it is because of the many servants who have been faithful to the Lord while serving at Faith. What do these servants look like?
These servants were willing to bring people out of bondage into freedom. The message of Moses and his life is about great positive change for the people of God. He could have used anyone, but He chose a little slave boy, a baby who had been abandoned in the river by his own mother, but raised in Pharaoh’s own home and educated in all of the finest schools in Egypt, to lead the people to freedom. Those who have been ensnared by Satan desperately need someone to come and help them gain their freedom. Moses, the servant of the Lord, rescued the entire nation of Israel from captivity. God has used many servants from Faith to bring people to freedom.
These servants were not authorized to make decisions apart from the approval of their owner. For eighty years the people of Faith have exercised no freedom to determine their own course, but to have it chosen for them by God. The true servant of God is not authorized to make decisions apart from the approval of his owner. We, who have been bought with a price, should be willing to place our decisions at the feet of Him who purchased us with His own blood, doing nothing out of self-will, but only that which He directly orders and leads us to do.
These servants served out of a love for their Master, rather than out of obligation. Why would I give up my rights and freedom? The Bible tells us it is because of love. Love for the Master. When we have fallen so in love with Jesus that we are willing to give up our rights and to dedicate ourselves completely to do His will, then we are ready to bring freedom to those in captivity.
These servants patterned their life after the Lord Jesus Christ. Our model for living is found in the New Testament in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:7 says of Jesus that He “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” This is not the word for an employee, but the word for slave. Jesus gave up all of His rights and privileges, all of the glory and the worship from angelic heaven hosts, to become a slave so that He could rescue us out of bondage from Satan. If He was willing to give up so much for us, how can we do less for the sake of those who are still prisoners to the enemy?
How thankful we are for the multitude of servants who have been so greatly used over 80 years at Faith Baptist Church.