PAUL AN APOSTLE
Paul is known as one of the greatest leaders of his time.
A great Apostle of Christ. Writing more of the New Testament than any other writer.
Yet we see in Romans 1:1 the humility which characterized his life after he was born again.
The Apostle said at the end of his life’s span,
2 Tim 4:7-8
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Could you make this statement tonight?
We all want to reach heaven’s gate realizing we have fought a good fight.
We are all fighting tonight. What are the battles we wage?
We fight temptation.
We fight spiritual wickedness in high places.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Satan wants to destroy you.
1 Peter 5:8
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
He will stop at nothing if he knows you are vulnerable.
How could the Apostle Paul make such a statement at the end of his life.
How can we be sure that we will accomplish the purpose for which we were created?
We must follow God’s pattern.
The Lord Jesus is the perfect pattern to follow. We see Him in the Scriptures.
1 Pet 2:21
21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
God also gives us examples to follow in the leadership that He provides.
II Th 3:7
7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
II Th 3:9
9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
Let us look tonight at those attributes in the Apostle Paul, which we too can follow.
I. PAUL WAS A SERVANT
We think of Paul as a great leader. His missionary accomplishments are great monuments to his usefulness and God’s glory.
But Paul was a servant, a bond slave who belonged to Jesus Christ.
Paul’s admission to being a slave brings out two truths.
1. Paul’s humility.
Before one can take serious the thought of leadership, he must first know how to be submissive.
1 Pet 5:3-7
3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
2. Paul’s ownership
Paul was a slave of Jesus Christ. His body, his mind, his strength had been bought with a price. Now all the accomplishments belonged to Christ.
When I left
They had a right to ask that of me because I learned everything I knew about computers on their time.
I wrote the programs on their time.
In effect they bought my time and anything that I produced on their time.
Christ has bought us with His blood.
From the day we got saved we have been on His time.
1 Cor 6:19-20
19 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 Cor 7:22-23
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.
II. PAUL WAS SELECTED
as a mechanic selects a wrench
as a butcher selects a knife
as a carpenter selects a tool
as an archer selects his arrow
“called to be an Apostle”
A. Paul was selected not because of who he was.
Sometimes we see people who have great talent and we tend to think “my if he got saved what a dynamic personality he could be for the Lord”.
But God is not looking for dynamic personalities.
God is looking for humble individuals who are willing to give themselves to Him for His glory.
God is more interested in availability than he is in intellectual or physical ability.
1 Cor 1:27-29
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
70 He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds:
1 Sam 16:3
3 And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.
1 Sam 16:7
7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
1 Sam 16:10-13
10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these.
11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.
12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.
13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.
III. PAUL WAS SEPARATED UNTO THE GOSPEL
Separation includes two aspects:
Separated from something
Separated to something
The apostle Paul was indeed separated from sin.
God cannot use a dirty vessel.
2 Cor 6:17-18
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.
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of
16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
But we are looking tonight at the separation unto the Gospel.
Separation unto the Gospel would mean that this is the main priority.
This should be our main priority in life.
We have been bought with a price.
We belong to Him.
His mission is to reach the lost with the Gospel.
Paul was separated unto the Gospel.
What will it take to keep you from church?
We have been given the great commission.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Our mission is the same as Paul’s. Go and reach the lost.
Paul was separated to that task. Nothing could stop him.
23 And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:
24 But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.
19 And there came thither certain Jews from
20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and
22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the
2 Cor 11:25-28
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
2 Tim 3:11-13
11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.