Worker vs Volunteer
Everyone enjoys eating out from time to time. There are no dishes to clean or time spent preparing. Just show, up eat, and leave. There are however good and bad experiences while eating at your favorite restaurant. For me, what makes it most enjoyable is the service. When the waiter or waitress is there because they love it and want to be there it is a much different experience than when they have to be there. I think this is a perfect picture of how people experience Christ. Are you a worker or a volunteer? In other words, are you trying to “work” to please God or are you resting in the work of Christ to please him on your behalf. The answer to that question is at the heart of your joy and freedom in the gospel. In fact, how you answer that can have serious implications as to whether you have ever trusted in Christ to begin with.
Let’s think about it from a different angle. When you think about what Christ achieved on the cross; do you see that event as him making salvation possible, or do you see it as him securing salvation for you. If he made it possible then its up to you to make it apply to your life. People who think about it this way see salvation as a climb in which the peak is the reward of all those who successfully complete it. Its like saying Christ paid the price but its up to you to carry the payment to the bank. Another way of saying it is that Christ made it possible for them to please God and earn the reward for pleasing him. The problem with this misunderstanding of the atonement is that when you earn something you deserve something in return. We need to understand we don’t want to earn what we deserve from God. We don’t want to be paid a wage from God, because the wage we deserve is death. Romans 6:23 says. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This would be the waiter that has to be there. He is there to earn a wage not to enjoy the gift of being able to serve. This is why he has no true joy. He can smile and put on a face but his heart is not filled with unending joy. His joy comes when he is off work and able to do what he really loves.
Now for the person who sees Christ’s work on the cross as him securing salvation for them, they have a totally different walk. For this person their climb is an enjoyable experience following the one who has already given them their reward. Its not at the peak that they received their reward but it was at the bottom. They understood they could never please God and what they deserved was death. They aren’t trying to try harder they are resting in his finished work and enjoying the blessing of being God’s child. They are now serving Him as a volunteer because a wage is not needed. They are rich in the free gift of salvation and get to serve him free of duty and full of love. This is the waiter who can smile when the customers are rude and laugh when they drop the tray. They just love being able to serve and their service is much better because of it.
Hebrews 9:12 says it best “he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by the means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” When Jesus cried out on the cross “It is finished”, that’s what he meant. There is nothing we can do to improve it. It is finished and secure. God Bless Pastor Dusty