"Whose I Am and Whom I Serve"
Prof. Ronald Cammenga
On Sept.4 Prof. B. Huizinga was installed as the next professor of Dogmatics and OT Studies in the PRC Seminary. The man he will replace - Prof. R. Cammenga (photo above) - led the worship service and delivered a personal and powerful sermon based on the apostle Paul's words recorded in Acts 27:23b, "Whose I am, and whom I serve."
For this post we quote a portion of the sermon as it was transcribed by the seminary secretary, Sharon Kleyn. This quotation is taken from the second point of the sermon, where Prof. Cammenga explains the part, "and whom I serve."
Committed to Serving
“Whose I am, and whom I serve.” The apostle adds that. Adding that, the apostle gives expression to his commitment to serve the one to whom he belongs. The second part of the text is closely related to the first part. They are not two unrelated things that he says about himself. “Whose I am,” on the one hand, “and whom I serve,” on the other hand. But the two parts of the text are intimately and necessarily related. “Whose I am and because I am His, whom I also serve.” That is the relationship between the two parts of the text. You do no injustice to the text to read it that way: “Whose I am, and therefore whom I serve.” That he serves God concerns the whole of the apostle’s life. Every aspect of his life is service of God. He views his entire life as a life of service. But especially does the apostle have in mind his service in the office of apostle. Above all, he has in mind his work in the ministry of the gospel, on account of which he is presently a prisoner on his way to trial before Caesar in Rome.
Now certainly, this is applies of every Christian. Every child of God is a servant of the Lord. The child of God is in every area of his life, in every circumstance of life, in every relationship of life a servant of the Lord. The Christian life is a life of service to God. This is what ennobles the Christian life. This is what dignifies every earthly calling, no matter how lowly that calling may be—husband and father, wife and mother, factory worker or homemaker, construction worker or caretaker of the household. Whether work in the office or on the farm, on the construction site or behind the steering wheel of a truck. Whether pounding nails or picking up garbage, changing baby’s diaper or packing groceries, doing school work or cutting the lawn, it does not matter. Whatever the Christian does, he does as service of God. This is the nature of the life of the child of God: service to God. This is the Reformed doctrine of vocation.
Nevertheless, there is special application to the work of the minister of the gospel. Although this is true of every Christian, it is especially true of those who are called to serve in the office of pastor and teacher in the church. And what is true of the ministry of the gospel generally, is true specifically of the work and calling of the professor of theology. The work of the professor in the seminary is and must be work done in the service to God.