“What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.” – 1 Corinthians 9:18-19
Though Christ has made us sons and not servants (John 8:35), kings and priest of God (Revelations 1:6), the head and not the tail (Deuteronomy 28:13) , yet of willingness through love do we humble ourselves unto servanthood for the sake of the gospel as a bride for the love of her groom does serve not only Him but all of His family and those whom He loves. If selfishness drives pride and pride drives selfishness (which is the root of all unrighteousness) then it also is a truth that real love drives selflessness and selflessness drives humility (which is the root of all righteousness).
“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” – 2 Corinthians 8:9
God truly is love and real love will always manifest in selfless acts toward God and others.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”John 15:13
This is why Jesus said that you will know those who are His by their love in John 13:35, and by their fruits in Matthew 7:16. Because God is love, those who truly have God living on the inside of them (and therefore manifesting through them) will by proxy have the love of God abiding in them, and showing through them in their actions which will produce the selfless acts of love, the fruits of righteousness. Likewise, He also said that those who bare no fruit will be cast off from the vine to the fire along with those who bare bad fruit. Those who bare bad fruit are those who are rooted in wickedness but just as bad are those who though they have been grafted in, have not allowed the life (love) of the root to flow through them and produce good fruits (selfless acts of humility and obedience to the will of the root). This branch is of no use to the body of the tree and is cast off by the husbandmen (God) into the fire.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” – John 15:1-10
Love for God will drive obedience to God which equates to righteousness. Love for self will drive obedience to the flesh which will drive disobedience to God and equates to unrighteousness.
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” – John 14:15
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” – 1 John 2:15-16
“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” – Galatians 5:13-14
All righteousness is rooted in humility and all humility is rooted in love, because Christ is the root and Christ is love and selfless humility. Therefore, if we truly be rooted in Him and abide in love then we will produce the selfless acts (or fruits) of righteousness as that love flows through us toward others. Therefore, though we are sons and not servants, will we freely choose to humbly serve our good fruits to all, compelled by the love flowing through us from the root to the benefit of all but to the husbandmen most of all. Let that which is in the root (namely selfless love and humility), be also in you, less you be found fruitless, cut off from the vine, and cast into the fire.
“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another.” – John 15:12-17
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:” – Philippians 2:3-9