Temple Baptist Church - 3-14-2010
A. One of the greatest of all New Testament Christians was the Apostle Paul. He was Saul of Tarsus before his conversion in Acts 9 and an enemy to the church of the living God. He was both a persecutor of the church and our Lord Jesus Christ. He was gloriously saved on the road to Damascus that day and his life forever changed through a marvelous work of God’s grace.
B. Paul was a man who never thought more highly of himself than he ought to have thought. He never forgot either who he was before his conversion or did he forget who he was afterward. Jesus Christ was his all-in-all; Jesus Christ was the love of his life; Jesus Christ was his reason for living!
C. What a wonderful example of God’s miraculous conversion! Paul opened his epistle to the Romans with a statement which showed the priority of his life. “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ!” In the old testament, we see the example of a bond servant or bond slave.
Deuteronomy 15:12-17 And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. (13) And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: (14) Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him. (15) And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day. (16) And it shall be, if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee; because he loveth thee and thine house, because he is well with thee; (17) Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise.
1. A slave set free from his slavery.
2. A slave who loved the one who set him free.
3. A slave who deliberately chose to place his ear to the post.
4. A slave who became a servant through love and personal choice.
D. Paul, one of God’s chief persecutors became one of God’s choicest servants!
1. His Sin Was Enormous (blasphemous and injurious! To whom much is forgiven, they love much!)
2. His Salvation Was Exciting (Lord, what will thou have me to do? What a marvelous, miraculous, immediate change!)
3. His Service Was Exemplary (And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed. He fought a good fight, kept the faith, and finished his course! “To me to live is Christ!”)
a) Paul’s Perspective “servant” – Romans 1:5 “grace”
b) Paul’s Position “apostle” – Romans 1:5 “apostleship”
c) Paul’s Performance “separated” – Romans 1:5 “for obedience”
d) Paul’s Preaching “gospel of God” – Romans 1:5 “among all nations”
E. You and I that are saved are saved for the purpose. Yes, we are saved from sin and hell. Yes, we are saved to go to heaven and spend an eternity with Christ. But we are also saved to serve as long as we live.
1. In Our Natural State, We Were Slaves to Sin
2. In Our Spiritual State, We Are Made Free To Serve - 1 Peter 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
F. We Need To Realize That We Will Serve Someone Or Something - Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
G. Let us take a short look at this great Apostle of the Gentiles this morning and see what Paul meant when he said, “A servant of Jesus Christ.”
1. Paul Became A Servant To His Lord
a. His Conversion - Acts 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?
b. His Commitment - 1 Thessalonians 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 2 Peter 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. (**Also see Romans 6:16-23)
2. Paul Was A Servant To The Lost
a. His Debt - Romans 1:14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
b. His Desire - 1 Corinthians 9:19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
3. Paul Was A Servant To His Brethren
a. He Pleased The Brethren - Romans 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
b. He Forgave The Brethren - 2 Corinthians 2:7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
c. He Gave Himself For The Brethren - 1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
d. He Loved The Brethren - 1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.