And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
In this section of John’s vision, we are introduced to four “beasts” (living creatures) which pictures for us a different aspect of our spiritual life in Christ. We have already seen that the first beast symbolizes the Christian’s authority as overcomer in this world and the world to come.
The second living creature is pictured as a calf, or young ox. This symbolically represents the Christian as the servant of the Most High God.
The most common title for the writers of the New Testament is “a servant of Christ”. It is used by Paul (Romans 1:1 etc); James (James 1:1); Peter (2 Peter 1:1); Jude (Jude 1:1); and John (Revelation 1:1); to describe themselves. What a wonderful group of men to be associated with when we take upon ourselves this wonderful title!
To be a servant of Christ does not imply a forced servitude, but on the contrary, our service to Christ flows from a willing heart of appreciation for all He has done for us. The Christian realizes that living a life of sacrifice for Christ is simply our “reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). After all, since Christ gave His life on the cross for us, surely we can live a life of service for Him… it just makes sense!
Paul in Eph 6:5-6 gives us some various important principles to follow as faithful servants of Christ….
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
Keep in mind, in these verses Paul is explaining that our submission to worldly authorities should be an earthly display of our service to Christ. Here are a few principles we can glean from this passage…
Our service to Christ should involve:
- obedience – the fulfilling of delegated responsibilities
- fear – respect and recognition of authority over us
- trembling – recognition of possibility of discipline/correction if responsibilities are not fulfilled.
- singleness of heart – undivided love and desire to please
- not with eyeservice as menpleasers – motive of service should not be to “impress others” and “receive the praise of men”
Folks, what a wonderful privilege we, as Christians, possess…. To be servants of the faithful servants of the Almighty God, possessing undivided hearts of commitment, respect and fearful trembling as we seek to please the Lord above all else!
May we begin our day by remembering our role as servants of Christ and seek to be faithful in every opportunity of service that will open up to us today.
May the Lord bless us as we seek to serve Him, the One that is so clearly revealed to us in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
For an in depth look at this section of the Revelation: