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Read Introduction to Romans


11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.


The central thought of this verse is “serve the Lord.” The first two clauses show how we are to serve the Lord.

11 Do not be slothful in zeal,

The believer’s zeal should not wane. The word “zeal” means diligence. True service should never come from a cold heart but from a passionate heart that loves the Lord.

be fervent [aglow] in spirit,

“Fervent” means to boil. Christian service should be one of enthusiasm and diligence. It is difficult at times to keep our spiritual fervor at a high level. There are periods of discouragement in ministry.

Dynamic Christianity has burning passion about it. This is not emotionalism but burning conviction about something. A Christian touched by the Spirit cannot be anything but excited about serving the Lord.

serve the Lord.

The phrase “serve the Lord” refers to thoroughgoing devotion to the Lord Jesus. He is the inspiring motive for service. Service is putting ourselves at the disposal of the Lord. There is nothing half-hearted in this service. Zeal and fervency are not an end in themselves; they have a goal to serve the Lord to whom we owe so much.

Acts 20:19, serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews;


Lethargy brings debilitating results to the Christian mission.


It takes great energy and effort to serve the Lord. Church ministry should never be slipshod. The Christian should not flag in his service to the Lord. Many believers are indolent about serving Him. The standard is that we should put our whole heart and soul into serving the sovereign Son of God. There is no drudgery in this. Christian service is exciting, not because it is a self-induced emotion, but because of the truth that is at its basis.