Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”
Matthew 4:10
Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.
Matthew 23:10


Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;
Ephesians 6:5
Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.
Colossians 3:22
All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor
1 Timothy 6:1
Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,
Titus 2:9
 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.
1 Peter 2:18
Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Colossians 3:18
Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.
Colossians 3:20

SAB Contradiction 404


Should God alone be served?
It is always a delicate matter to talk about serving others, obedience, submission and being a slave. In the biblical world these expressions indicate remarkable attitudes even in the problematic context of slavery.
The critic however likes to underline another aspect: the seemingly contradictory point that God is to be served alone and yet Christians are exhorted also to serve others: parents, husbands, masters.


Serving in worship
Looking at the precept in Matthew 4:10 we have to do with the spiritual activity of serving God: worshipping Him and living for Him through good works. The word used for serving here is latreuo. Outside the New Testament it can also be used (not only in a spiritual way) for serving people to get reward or payment. However in the New Testament it is a standard word for dedication to God and a godly life as well. In Romans 12:1 Christians are encouraged to give their lives in a “spiritual (rational) service of worship (latreia)”.


Serving in practical matters
None of the examples of work, service, dedication and submission in the No-list is presented as a form of latreuo or latreia, as spiritual service to God. Yes they are all service to God, but not worship, but practical actions in the power of the faith:
– be obedient, Ephesians 6:5
– obey, Colossians 3:22
– regard as worthy, 1 Timothy 6:1
– be subject to, Titus 6:1
– be submissive, 1 Peter 2:18
– be subject to, Colossians 3:18
– be obedient, Colossians 3:20


It is unfair to speak of a Bible Contradiction here because serving God spiritually is different from serving people in a practical way, how much faith (grace) one may have as a source for the latter. Indeed we worship God alone and not people.

No Bible Contradiction