The Daily Word of Righteousness

The Work of Restoration, #85

After him repaired Malchiah the goldsmith's son unto the place of the Nethinims, and of the merchants, over against the gate Miphkad, and to the going up of the corner. (Nehemiah 3:31)

The "Temple Servants"

The "Nethinim" (temple servants) remind us that "his servants shall serve him" in His Temple, the new Jerusalem, forever.

The concept of being Jesus' servant, His bondslave, needs emphasis in the days in which we are living. It appears many of the Lord's people view Christ as their servant, and redemption as a scheme for their convenience in the present world. This is a false viewpoint and certainly will lead to lack of success in our discipleship.

We are Christ's bondslaves, His servants. He died for us; therefore our life belongs to Him. We live each day to do His will, not our will. We do not attempt to convince God through prayer that He ought to bless us and help us in our many endeavors. We present our life a living sacrifice in order that we may do God's will and please Him.

It appears many people who have received Christ as their Savior have never received Him as their Lord. Jesus is our Lord. We serve Him. Our own life is expendable in the work of the Kingdom. Christ is to be magnified by our life. Christ is to be magnified by our death. It matters only that Christ is served and magnified. For us to live is Christ and to die is gain.

The purpose of the work of restoration is to establish obedience to God and the worship of God among the peoples of the earth.

The "Merchants"

The reference to "merchants" indicates that when the wall and gates of Jerusalem (the ability on the part of the members of the Body of Christ to resist sin) have been fully constructed, the Church will be ready to do God's business in the earth. The Lord Jesus Christ working through His saints will establish the Kingdom of God on the earth.

The "merchants" remind us of the parable of the talents, found in the twenty-fifth chapter of the Book of Matthew. The importance that the Lord places on each servant using his talents is emphasized by the severe consequences that will fall on the lazy believer.

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. (Matthew 25:14)

And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:30)

The only sin committed by the "unprofitable servant" was neglecting to work diligently for his master.

Clergy and laity. If we view the restoration as beginning approximately at the time of the Protestant Reformers, it can be seen that one of the major aspects has been the narrowing of the gap between "clergy" and "laity."

The Catholic Church places so much emphasis on the distinction between the clergy and the laity that the ministers are termed "priest" and "father." Such terminology is contrary to our Lord's teaching (Matthew 23:8-10).

As the work of restoration has proceeded, the gap between clergy and laity (an unscriptural concept) has been narrowed, although it still exists in all but the most forward looking of the assemblies of saints.

There is no doubt the concept of clergy and laity, of pastor and congregation, is being redefined and transformed by the Holy Spirit. As the pastor-congregation division often is conceived it is not a suitable concept in terms of the transformation of the believers into fervent disciples of the Lord Jesus and the emerging of the Body of Christ.

To be continued.