The Servant Of The Lord

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

Romans 1:1-7 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (2) (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) (3) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; (4) And declared [to be] the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: (5) By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: (6) Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: (7) To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called [to be] saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Several many years ago Rick Warren wrote a book called Purpose Driven Life: What On Earth Am I Here For? Many criticized it in the Evangelical Community as “Christianity Light”. You may not have liked the book (I enjoyed it), but it did ask a good question. “What on earth am I here for?” Writer Mark Twain said it another way:

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.

Why are you here? Too many people think they are on earth just to please themselves. You may be one of these people. If pleasing yourself is your goal, you will soon grow weary of life. If making money is your goal, you are going to find life to be quite tedious. People pursue various things as gods:


Before meeting the Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul was called Saul – and he pursued religious power. Saul of Tarsus was of the Tribe of Benjamin. His mother was Jewish, and his father a Roman citizen. This gave Saul dual citizenship. He was both a Jew as well as a Roman (see Acts 22:25-29). Saul was the youngest member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, the ruling Council of Elders in Israel. It is interesting that one of the meanings of the name “Saul”, according to Hitchcock’s Bible Dictionary, means “Death”. Saul was present at the stoning to death of the first martyr of the Church, a Deacon named Stephen. The Bible says:

Acts 7:57-58 {the Pharisees} cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon {Stephen} with one accord, 58 and cast him out of the city, and stoned him {with stones}: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.

This young man named Saul, a powerful man with dual citizenship, thought it was his purpose in life to rid the world of the followers of Christ. Saul wasn’t satisfied with one killing. He thought this new cult called “Christians” was bad for Israel. So he went to the High Priest. We read:

Acts 9:1-2 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, (2) And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

Saul became a bounty hunter for Christians. He was a Christian killer, and avenging angel of the Jewish Sanhedrin … then Saul met Jesus on the Damascus Road. Jesus knocked Saul down on the Damascus Road, calling to him:

Acts 9:4-5 Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest…

From that moment on Saul became what he once hated. He became a Christ follower. Outside of Jesus Christ, Saul was probably the most influential man in the early Church. Of the New Testament, the Apostle John wrote 5 books of Scripture. A Gentile doctor named Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke and Acts. Peter and James wrote books bearing their names. But Saul of Tarsus – known as Paul among the Gentiles, wrote 13 letters. Paul was the reason that Luke became a Christian.

Saul, who became Paul, discovered the true reason he had been placed on this earth. It was not to follow after money, power, or sex. It was to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice how Paul identifies himself:

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

Let’s break down this statement.

The Christian Is A Separated Person

separated unto the gospel of God

The word “SEPARATED” is the Greek ἀφορίζω aphorízō, {pronounced af-or-id’-zo}, which means “to mark off from others by boundaries, to limit, to separate”. The Christian, born again by faith in Christ, is part of a set apart people. Jesus described how we are to be different in:

Matthew 25:31-40 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Jesus distinguished His “Sheep” from the “goats” as those who were actively compassionate toward others in need. The sheep

Fed the hungry
Gave drink to the thirsty
Befriended the stranger
Clothed the naked
Lifted up the sick and imprisoned

All these things are done in the name of and for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who are separated from the world by Jesus have compassionate hearts toward those in need. The Christian is separated unto the Gospel. It is our calling to share Christ as Lord and Savior with whosoever will. We are no longer products of the darkness of sin, but are to walk in the light with Christ. We stand, lovingly stand, in the truths of God’s Scripture.

Separated unto the Gospel does not mean that we compromise the Word of God. We believe, as Jesus believed, that God’s Word is Truth (John 17:17). We believe that it is faith in Christ alone that saves the soul. We know that we will be hated by the darkness, for we are to stand in the Light. Jesus said of His followers:

Luke 6:22-23 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. 23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

The world believes that our final destination is determined by a set of scales. Your good works are weighed against your evil works. If your good works outweigh your evil works, then you shall enter Heaven. But this is not what the Scripture teaches.

Romans 1:1b-5 … separated unto the gospel of God, 2 (which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3 concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 5 by whom we have received grace

The Gospel that saves, this Gospel that is revealed in Jesus Christ, has been the Gospel that God has spoken of from the very beginning of human history. When Adam plunged humanity into sin, how was his sin covered? God had to cover his sin. The Scripture says:

Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

God killed an innocent, shedding it’s blood, and made coats of skins to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness. This was the first sacrifice. The wages of sin is death, just as God promised (Genesis 2:17; Romans 6:23). God introduced animal sacrifice to make payment for sin. Adam passed this knowledge down to his children. Cain killed Abel because Abel brought the correct sacrifice to God, whereas Cain did not. The Bible says:

Genesis 4:4-7 Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Rather than repent, and make sacrifice – a blood sacrifice – for sin, Cain spilled the blood of his brother. The first murder was over bad religion. God demanded the sacrifice of blood to cover sin. When Israel wanted the death angel to “pass over” their home, God told them to sacrifice a lamb without spot or blemish. The Lord told them to take the blood of that innocent lamb, and mark their homes with it. Why?

Exodus 12:13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

When God gave the Law to Israel, a primary component of that Law was that of animal sacrifice. The animal sacrifice foreshadowed what would one day come to humanity. We are told in,

Hebrews 10:1-4 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

The Law was a foreshadowing of the coming of Jesus Christ. What animal sacrifices did was teach us that we cannot cover our sins with our works of righteousness. No, God must cover our sins. Jesus Christ came – God Incarnate – to be the covering for our sins. The Scripture from Genesis to Malachi foreshadowed the coming of Jesus. God becoming perfect Man, Jesus kept the Law of God perfectly. There was no sin in Him. The Scripture tells us:

Hebrews 9:12-15 … neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood {Jesus} entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

It is the Blood of Jesus Christ, shed on Calvary, that sets us apart from the world. The Pharisees in Jesus’ day rejected Him as Savior, choosing instead to seek rightness with God through their keeping of His Law. Jesus told these Pharisees:

Matthew 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Every sacrifice in the Old Testament was a foreshadowing of what would one day happen in Jesus. When Abel offered his sacrifice, the Bible says:

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous

The works of the Law – the sacrifice of animals – could never save us. But Jesus Christ is the Mediator of the New Covenant … that speaketh better things than that of Abel. Do not refuse the Lord Who speaks to you! How shall we escape if we turn away from Him that speaks from Heaven (Hebrews 12:24-25)?

The Christian is separated from the world by the Blood of Christ. The Christian is separated from the world by new birth. The Christian is separated from the world by a new and living lifestyle.

Beloved, if we are saved by faith, THEN we will work, in love, for Him Who saved us.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

We who have received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are different from the lost of this world. We now belong to God’s Family, God’s Kingdom. We are separate in heart because of His Spirit Who indwells us.

The Christian Is Not Only Separate, But Has A Specific Purpose From God

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle

Every Christian that is indeed a Christian has a general calling to tell others of Christ. But we also have specific callings. We are called and gifted by God to work together with other believers in the Church that belongs to Jesus.

The Apostle Paul was given the gift of apostleship. The gift of apostleship was a foundational gift in the early Church. The Scripture says:

Ephesians 2:18-22 for through {Jesus} we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

We come to God through Jesus Christ, through faith in Him. We have the Spirit of God because of our relationship with Jesus. The Spirit indwells us, and empowers us, giving us access with God the Father. The Blood of Christ purchased our salvation, and our adoption. We are NO MORE strangers and foreigners, which is what we were before Christ. Now that we have received Him by faith, we are fellow citizens with the Saints, and of the household of God. We no longer belong to this world – we are on assignment in it.

Notice the phrase “built upon the FOUNDATION of the apostles and prophets”. The Christian is led by God to bind together with other Christians. God gives us specific callings as Christians, giftings of the Holy Spirit. We use our gifts together with other believers to bless, and to be blessed. The gifts of apostle and prophet were foundational to the Church. The Apostles and Prophets wrote Scripture. It is the Scripture, the Word of God, that guides, grows, and gives power to the Church. Believers are placed together to work, together, for the glory of God. The Bible says:

1 Corinthians 12:4-12 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

The Church is not a brick and wood building. It is a people, gathered together, serving one another while working together for Christ’s glory on this earth. It is a BODY with MANY MEMBERS. The Church cannot exist without purpose driven Christians coming together, using their gifts, to bless the Body and bring light into the world. God separates a believer by His Gospel, and then calls that person to service within the body of the Church.

The Apostle Paul was both called and appointed. Every Christian is called and appointed.

Romans 1:5-6 for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 6 among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

You, dear Christian, have a function – a duty – a gifting – a calling. Grow in Grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ so that you can find your place in the Body! Your salvation was purchased at a great price: it cost Jesus everything He had!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Corinthians 7:22-23 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.

I do not know who will win the Presidential election. Regardless as to who it is, we as Christians, followers of Christ, will need to walk in obedience an in unity, sharing the love and Gospel of Christ to this present America. No politician will ever fix what ails America. Only Jesus can. Only Jesus can. Let us live together for Him.

May God the Holy Spirit touch your hearts with His Word and His love. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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