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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Balmer

We Serve A Sovereign Here

This sermon preview is for Christ the King Sunday 2023. You can view the livestream, once available, here.


"And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way."

- Ephesians 1:22-23 (NIV)


"Just trust me."

Do any words inspire less confidence than that?


We live in an era with low trust in institutions that, at least once, were seen as authorities to be respected. The church or "organized religion" is one of the more highly trusted institutions still on the list, but that is not a matter of bragging - as only 32% of people trust it. (Of course, the question of "Which church do you mean?" is an important one and not asked by the survey).


Perhaps Americans are particularly skeptical of claims to authority, but this way of thinking also seems to be spreading about the world. Is there good authority? Is serving something else, something outside ourselves, simply being servile - like a sheep following without thought?


Certainly, following unworthy leaders leads many to fall victim to predators and con artists. But I want to suggest to you that we all serve someone. As Bob Dylan said, "You Gotta Serve Somebody."


The recently deceased pastor, Tim Keller, once told a story about a British Evangelist who moved to the United States in the 70s.


While in the United States, he ran across a sign that had been put in a tavern in Philadelphia during the American Revolutionary War.


In big letters, the sign said, "We serve no sovereign here"

Guest realized he was in a new country. A nation that actively resisted the idea of servitude, and saw no benefits to it. Now, this does not mean Democracy has no role. Democracy can serve an important role because it provides checks and balances and all people are sinners. But Guest did not believe in having no Sovereign - because he is a Christian… In fact, he saw such a sign "We serve no Sovereign here," as an obstacle to the good news!


Why? Because we're going to serve something. We might think we're using things, that we are choosers and decision makers, but we come to find out, in the end, we just might be serving those things. Keller points to an essay named "Equality" by C.S. Lewis, where he said:


In "You will serve somebody, you will bow the knee to somebody... Human nature will be served. If it doesn't get food, it will bow to poison."


We do serve a sovereign here!

So it matters all the more whom or what we serve. Are they worthy? Do they seek our good? If they don't, we will serve something, but it will lead to our ruin. But if there is a Sovereign, if we serve a Sovereign who is not merely powerful but good, then it is not merely an obligation to serve and to offer him ourselves and our lives, but a joy.


Join us this Sunday as we consider what it means that Christ is King, and why that is good news for our lives.




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