Temple Baptist Church - 6-4-2017
A. Paul beings his salutation with a couple of titles: one given to him by God, and apostle, and the other given by himself, a servant of Jesus Christ. I want to deal with the latter for a few minutes.
B. Being an apostle was of the utmost importance but Paul’s apostleship was based upon his willingness to be a servant of Jesus Christ. Paul knew that Biblical Salvation brought about obligation in service. “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”
1. Paul was a true servant in his salvation. Acts 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
2. Paul did not miss his appointments. Acts 22:10 And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. (Interesting verse! If Paul had gotten saved and did not serve, he would have miss the work that God had for him and it may not have gotten done.)
3. Paul remained a true servant in his life. Philippians 1:20-23 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. (21) For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (22) But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. (23) For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
4. Paul both kept and accomplished what God had for him. 2 Timothy 4:6-7 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. (7) I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
C. Our understanding of servant is nothing like the word in the time of this writing. When we think of a servant, we think of someone we hire to keep house, mow the lawn, etc. A servant, in the biblical sense, is a bond slave. To fully understand what Paul was saying, we need to go to Exodus, chapter 21.
D. Let us read verses 1-6. Exodus 21:1-6 Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them. (2) If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. (3) If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. (4) If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself. (5) And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: (6) Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.
1. Servanthood is a Purchased Destiny. vs. 2 “If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve”
1 Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
1 Corinthians 7:21-23 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. (22) For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant. (23) Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. (Paul never got over what the Lord did for him on the Damascus Road.)
2. Servanthood is a Personal Decision. vs. 2b “and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing”
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Nobody can make you serve him; you can go out free if you want to. You are free.)
3. Servanthood is a Plain Declaration – vs. 5 “And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free”
John 15:9-10 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. (10) 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. (Being a bond servant is based upon one’s love for the Master!)
4. Servanthood is a Public Display – vs. 6a “Then his master shall bring him unto the judges”
1 Peter 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (Bond servants are not ashamed of their Masters!)
5. Servanthood is a Permanent Distinction – vs. 6b “Then he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.”
Galatians 6:15-17 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. (16) And as many as walk according to this rule, peace beon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. (17) From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. (There will be the personal of a mark on the ear and a permanent mark on the door, the place of surrender.)