Serving God From the Heart

Whenever we see someone who is genuinely dedicated to an idea or a cause, it’s made obvious that they are doing it from their heart. This is what the Lord expects of those who serve him. According to Paul in Romans, whether or not a person is truly serving God from the heart will come to light sooner or later. He states the following in Romans 6:

17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

19 …for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness…

22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

As is implied in v. 17, God should receive the primary thanks and acknowledgement when a person has obeyed the Lord’s doctrine from the heart. But the individual also gets credit for their freewill choice to submit to the Lord in obedience to his teachings. Being God’s servant is a voluntary act and is never done forcibly. Obeying his doctrine from the heart is a reference to the justification we receive from the Lord by grace through faith in the only way to get to our heavenly Father–his son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The result of obeying him from the heart is that he makes us free from sin in order to become servants of righteousness. Of course, this doesn’t mean we will never sin again in this life. It simply means we become determined to resist sin out of our love for the Father and have the desire to live a lifestyle and to have a character focused on pleasing him even after we may experience a moment of weakness. Furthermore, we know we are in a loving, covenant relationship that requires us to bear fruit unto holiness. That’s an all-encompassing phrase that includes everything from exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit to putting on the full armor of God to exercising the gifts of the Spirit in our everyday lives.

Having fruit unto holiness also implies there is continuing growth and progress in our relationship with the Lord as we, out of growing love for him with wisdom, knowledge and understanding, let him transform us little by little. As John the Baptist said, “He must increase but I must decrease.” And as Paul stated as one of his goals, “I die daily.” Such goals can only be honorable and beneficial for both the Lord and us since the ultimate goal is everlasting life for us as stated in v. 22. An everlasting life that affords us the opportunity to dwell in the presence of our Creator forever.

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