The Three Christian Servants Needed For National Christian Spiritual Renewal and Reformation
Over the last two and a half years as I have labored to faithfully exposit the Scriptures to for our body, I’ve come to realize that the church should labor to produce three types of “servants”, or what the world would call, “leaders.” The first type of servant is the “elder.” He is the servant of God in the church. He teaches and rules as a shepherd and an example to the local church. The second type of servant is the “deacon or deaconess.” He or she is the servant of God for the church among the poor. They organize and implement service to the legitimate poor in the church first, and then secondarily, in the community. The third type of servant is the “civil magistrate.” Paul in Romans 13 tells us that this person is the servant of God. Now contrary to the elder or deacon, the civil magistrate is the servant of God whether they love the Lord or not. All authority, ecclesiastical or civil, comes from God and belongs to God. (Matthew 28:18, Romans 13:1, 1 Peter 2:13-14)
The church’s goal is to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt 28:19-20a) We are to remember to pray for Kings and all those in authority as a regular practice. (1 Timothy 2:1-2) By logical extension then, if we are to make disciples of the nations and pray for their kings and rulers, we should also be producing men that are able to fill those roles and serve the Lord knowingly in that capacity, since they serve Him whether they know Him or not. The Christian civil magistrate is the servant of God in his city, state, or nation.
So as some of you ponder your calling in life, do not fail to take into consideration whether God would call you to be a civil magistrate, a servant of God to your community in the civil arena. He plays a significant role in the life of his nation. He is to be a faithful person to the Lord Jesus Christ and a public example of righteousness. And more often than not, revivals and renewals begin with his example and leadership. We see this in the Bible among the kings of Judah. But we also see this in extra-biblical history too. Some examples would be Constantine who called the Nicene council, Ambrose who was first a civil magistrate before he was a bishop, Frederick the Wise who protected Martin Luther in Germany, and Edward VI of England who protected protestants like Thomas Cranmer.
All of us are called to be servants of God. But some are called to be leaders in service and particular examples for others to follow. At Solomon’s Porch we want to see not just the church renewed and reformed, but we want to see our nation renewed and reformed too. For that to take place we have to be committed to the long term project of (1) A discipleship that teaches both personal and corporate faithfulness to God in the one true religion recovered in the Reformation and delivered to us in the faithful historic confessions of that era. (2) Church planting that carries these same principles forward and duplicates them in both new and renewed bodies of believers. (3) Renewing the church’s commitment to the service of our community. First to the poor of our community through the deacon/deaconess, and secondarily (but not less important) to the city, state, and nation through committed Christian magistrates . These three persons are the three legs of a strong and stable stool upon which righteous nations may sit securely.