Serving as Sons, Not as Servants

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Serving as Sons, Not Servants

Pastor Keith Hassell


Key Verse:    Psalm 127:1(NKJV)  “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.”


I.       God is a builder.

A.                 “House” is a spiritual metaphor for a family.

1.                  The “house of Joseph” and the “house of David” for example.

B.                 “House” refers to God’s seed-line, His generation, and His family.

C.                 God is still in the house-building business.

D.                 When God builds the house, He also guards the house.  If God does not build it, then nothing protects what is not built according to His pattern.

II.               Three ways that God builds.

A.                 God builds revelationally.

1.                  Matthew 16:18  “Upon this rock, I will build My church.”  God builds His house through the revelation of who Christ is.

B.                 God builds relationally.

1.                  God builds His house by putting us into godly relationships with others in His family.

2.                  The Body is built as each member is properly “jointed” where the Lord has determined them to be connected.

3.                  Personal destiny arises out of family relationships.  Nothing should be allowed to destroy these relationships.  “What God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:6 NKJV)

C.                 God builds generationally.

1.                  God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

2.                  The generation that does not think long range is the “terminal generation.”

3.                  God builds His house by adding sons and daughters.

a.                   The Hebrew word for “son” (Ben) and for daughter (Bath) are derived from the same Hebrew root (Banah-baw-naw) which means:  “to build, obtain children, make, repair, set up”

b.                  Psalm 127:3-5  How does God build the house?  “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.”

c.                   Sons and daughters are

1.                  A heritage from the Lord

2.                  A reward from the Lord

3.                  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior

4.                  A source of happiness to those whose quiver is full

5.                  A source of strength and confidence (not ashamed)

6.                  A source of authority and power over the enemies in the gates of the city

d.                  The Hebrew model for maturity was not based upon knowledge, as was the Greek’s model, but was based upon relationships and developing maturity in those relationships.

e.                   Abram wanted Eleazar, his servant, to be the heir to his house, but God said that He would give Abram a son as an heir.

f.                    Moses was faithful in God’s house as a servant, but Christ was faithful in His house as a Son.

g.                   God is building His house today not with servants but with sons.

h.                   Sonship is not a matter of gender or age.

i.                     Although both servants and sons serve in the Father’s house, the difference is one of relationship, attitude, and motive.

j.                    God will raise up heirs and not hirelings to govern His flock (John 10:11-18).

k.                  Question:  Are you a son or a servant?  Do you think like a son or do you think like a servant?

III.           The Differences between Sons and Servants

A.                 Sons build the house; servants simply serve in the house.

1.                  Servant:  “I am just an usher.”

Son:  “The church is God’s house.  I will insure that every need of the pastor and the people is met to the best of my ability.”

2.                  Servant:  “That’s not my job.”

Son:  “Someone needs to do it.  Why not me?”

B.                 Servants grasp for ministry; sons wait to inherit ministry from the father.

1.                  Luke 16:12 If you are not faithful in what belongs to another, who will give to you your own?

2.                  Sons are sent, servants just went.

C.                 Sons are family-oriented; servants are issue or ministry oriented.

1.                  Servants will split the family over disagreement of issues.

2.                  Servants will attempt to draw people to his or her side.

3.                  Sons are interested in the father’s agenda rather than in “doing his own thing.”

D.                 Sons are “privilege” oriented; servants are “rights” oriented.

1.                  Sons release rights and receive them back as privileges.

2.                  Servants jealously guard their rights.

E.                  Sons use the language of the family; servants or hirelings use individual terminology because they are ministry oriented.

1.                  Sons say, We, our, or us.”

2.                  Servants say,  “Me, mine, my, or they.”

3.                  A son accepts an attack against another member of the house as an attack against himself and will rise up to defend.   Servants isolate the attack to the other person and watch to see the outcome.

F.                  Sons honor headship and cover the nakedness of their fathers; servants or hirelings delight in exposing the nakedness of those over them in authority.

1.         Noah and his sons; because Ham did not cover the nakedness of his father but rather exposed it, he was cursed to be a servant to the other brothers.

2.         Servants use the weakness of leaders to promote themselves.

3.         God both builds and guards His house with sons.

G.                 Sons naturally honor the chain of command; servants or hirelings constantly question the chain of command.

1.                  Sons honor the father’s command out of deep love of the father.

2.                  Servants love themselves.

H.                 Sons build on the vision of the father; servants seek to build their own vision within the house.

1.                  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

2.                  Jesus did the work and will of His Father

I.                    Sons can reflect the heart of the father; servants can only relay information.

J.                   Sons bond new people to the family and the father; servants bond new people to themselves.

1.                  In a storm you realize where people are bonded.

2.                  In a storm, sons bail water while servants bail out.

K.                Sons focus on meetings the needs of the people; servants and hirelings focus on their own appearance.

1.                  Sons are secure in their relationship with the father and can focus on the needs of others within the house.

2.                  Servants are insecure and obtain their sense of significance and self-worth through how well they look and appear to others.

L.                  Sons share how they really think, feel and believe; servants tell you only what they want you to know.

1.                  Sons are transparent, open and trusting.

2.                  Sons can talk about heart issues; servants can only discuss ministry issues.

M.               Sons receive the father’s correction as an expression of the father’s love and commitment to them and are willing to change; servants are threatened by correction and receive it as rejection, placing the blame on someone else.

1.                  Hebrews 12:7 God deals with us as with true sons. 

N.                Sons are teachable and are growing into their full potential: servants come into the house fully grown, unwilling to receive.

1.                  Sons are ready to receive from the father; servants cannot be taught much but feel they should be doing the teaching.

2.                  Sons want to get things right; servants just want to be right.

O.                Sons serve in the house with joy; servants serve in the house with a sense of duty.

P.                  Sons serve out of devotion; servants serve out of obligation.

Q.        Sons are heirs and remain in the house forever; servants are always looking for a better place and will not stay in the house forever

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