The Living And True God
Written by Administrator
Thursday, 12 February 2009 03:05


For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (I Thessalonians 1:9). To take one verse and examine the meaning is outside the general norm for me, I am far more comfortable with topical studies. The reason for that no doubt is because that is how I prefer to study the Bible, but every now and then it is nice to look a little deeper into a verse.


Turning to God is critical to this study. The Christians at Thessalonica stood as an example of believers whose faith was known both far and near. That testimony showed the effects of the gospel preached unto them by Paul and others, and the results, a turning unto God.

Every Christian has had that pivotal junction in their lives, until that turning they were either:

1. Unknowledgeable of the truth. 2. Unyielding to the truth 3. Unconcerned about the truth. Where Christians were at one time might be where you are today. Beloved, the word “lost” has an uneasy and lonely sound, and one can travel that road for awhile. But if “salvation” is to be connected to your name, you must turn unto God through Jesus Christ (John 14:6).

Hear the word (Romans 10:17) – Believe the word of the gospel (Mark 16:15-16) – Repent of past sins (Luke 13:3) – Confess Christ before men (Matthew 10:32-33) – Be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38) – Remain faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10).

Living separates God from idols which have no life, and the Bible makes that distinction in no uncertain terms. “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them” (Psalms 115:4-8; 135:15-18).

In other words there is no life in an idol, but I believe that there are three reasons why idolatry appeals to certain people:

  1. You can worship an idol however you want to.

  2. Idols make no demands upon those who worship it.

  3. There are no consequences connected to idolatry – an idol can neither bless those who serve it or punish those who refuse to.

God separates Deity from man. Now, I am not saying that there are not some who were so vain in their own imagination that they thought themselves worthy of worship. In Daniel’s day, King Darius was foolishly flattered at the suggestion that none should offer petitions to God or men save to him for thirty days (Daniel 6:7). The enemies of Daniel were able to trap the king with the arrogance of his own importance, in order to have reason to accuse Daniel of wrong doing (Daniel 6:5-9).

The lions den where God protected Daniel from any harm did more than prove that God was with Daniel, it humbled king Darius who had forgotten his place. Here him, “I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end” (Daniel 6:26).

King Herod in his folly did nothing to refrain those who cried that Herod spoke with the voice of a god, and not of a man (Acts 12:22). In short Herod accepted their homage, a reverence that belongs to God alone. His death ought to sound a bell of warning to any and all who would be pompous enough to allow others to bow down before them (Acts 12:23). The apostle Peter faced with a similar situation absolutely refused to allow it to happen. “And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man” (Acts 10:25-26).

We have no desire to be delusional in worship, we do not want to worship an idol, or a man, nor do we want to worship God if He does not exist. Why? We are not so weak as to see ourselves in need of some higher power greater than our own, if no higher power exists.

Now, having said that, neither are we so foolish as to deny what our eyes see, our minds understand, and our hearts tell us – is reasonable beyond dispute. I have once again this year seen baby birds following mama, trees started from seeds dropped in our yard, I know how children are born. I can see and understand those things without any difficulty; reproduction from things already present offers no dilemma for any one of us.

But the first bird, the first tree, the first human cannot be just explained away as random chance. God knew that we would have to abandon all reason to deny the creator (Romans 1:19-20). In other words we would be fools to deny that God exist (Psalms 14:1). Folks, we are neither weak nor delusional, but have reasoned correctly that God is the only sane and sensible answer for the creation of all things (Genesis 1:1; Psalms 33:6-9; 148:1-5; Isaiah 45:12).

To serve the living and true God is not without serious significance, you can know of the living and true God, but it would be meaningless if it did not impact your life. The word serve means: A. To work as a servant. B. To do service. C. To carry out a duty.

Before we get into the meaning of being a servant, we must establish the place to serve. The church is a Divine institution ordained by God from before the creation (Ephesians 3:10-11).

  1. The church is house of God (I Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 3:6).

  2. The church is the kingdom of His dear Son (Colossians 1:13).

  3. The church is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:4).

  4. The church is the bride of Christ (Revelation 22:17; II Corinthians 11:2-3; Romans 7:4).

  5. The church is made up of the saved (Acts 2:47; Ephesians 5:25).

Within this Divine institution there is a place for every member to serve. There is no work on earth that is more value than the work done by those who serve the living and true God.

To work as a servant. To work as a servant means that you have a master to please, and your master is demanding, but Jesus said you know that (Matthew 25:24). In short, you cannot plead ignorance when you called upon to give an account of the things you have done (II Corinthians 5:10).

Your master is observant, He is checking up your progress. In Luke 13:6-9 there is much food for thought for every servant. The owner of the vineyard regularly came seeking fruit, and he found none, and was displeased because he expected to find fruit. The dresser is questioned and the question offer some insight into the master’s thinking:

  1. Why cumbereth it the ground?

    1. The tree was where it should be, but not doing what it should be doing.

    2. The tree was taking but not giving.

      1. It took up room that a productive tree might occupy.

      2. It might just encourage other trees to be unproductive.

  2. Cut it down – bearing fruit is not an option (John 15:1-6).

    1. Patience does have its limits.

  3. The plea of the dresser, give me one more chance to do what I can, then it will be up to the tree.

In the great house (church), the vessels of honour are those who are prepared meet for the master’s use and ready for every good work (II Timothy 2:20-21).

To do service. The giving of ourselves is a demonstration of our devotion: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

When God ask us to give ourselves to His service, the request is not unreasonable. Why? Because our body and soul belongs to Him (I Corinthians 6:19-20). There is the sense of possession by means of the creation to be sure (Genesis 2:7; 1:26; Zechariah 12:1), but here it means in light of the price paid for our redemption (I Peter 1:18-19).

To carry out a duty. There are responsibilities connected to Christianity that are necessary in order for the cause of Christ to be a positive force in this world.

  1. Our relationship with each other – self edification (John 13:34-35; Ephesians 4:15-16).

  2. Our influence in the world (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:15).

  3. Our worship offered unto God (Matthew 4:10).

  4. Our mission to carry the gospel into the world (Ephesians 3:10-11).

So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do” (Luke 17:10).