Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Man and His Message Part 6

SERMON:             GM15-047

SERIES:              Renewal Through Romans: The Gospel Defined, Explained &           Applied

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM (February 15, 2015)

SUBTITLE:        The Man and His Message Part 6

SCRIPTURE:     Romans1:5-6

SUBJECT:          Paul’s commission

SUMMARY:       The Apostle Paul was commissioned by God to bring about obedience                              to the faith among the Gentiles

SCHEME:           that the Christian grasps the significance of the commission of the apostle Paul in order emulate it

Our theme continues to be: The Recipe of an apostle

This is a good reminder for us all that we need to understand the various ingredients that God used to make this man such a unique player in the eternal plans of God

 Proposition:  The Apostle Paul was qualified by God for his task

Interrogatory Sentence:  What were the qualifications that enabled Paul to write his letter to the church at Rome?

Transitional Sentence: The passage before reveals four (4) ingredients that God used to make Paul such an important player in the life of the church;

·        The Childhood of Paul
·        The Conversion of Paul
·        The Credentials of Paul
·        The Commission of Paul

The Man and His Message
 Romans 5-6)
(Part 6)


Paul was an apostle, which is a special messenger, who gave up his personal rights for the Kingdom of God. He was a messenger of Heaven because he served the Kingdom of God and because his goal was an eternal reward in Heaven not on earth. But as Christians special messengers should we not all do the same?

This morning we will dig deep into Paul’s commission and see just what Paul was assigned to do. But before we do, let’s take a minute and…


Our theme continues to be: The Recipe of an apostle

This is a good reminder for us all that we need to understand the various ingredients that God used to make this man such a unique player in the eternal plans of God

 Proposition:  The Apostle Paul was qualified by God for his task

Interrogatory Sentence:  What were the qualifications that enabled Paul to write his letter to the church at Rome?

Transitional Sentence: The passage before reveals four (4) ingredients that God used to make Paul such an important player in the life of the church;

·        The Childhood of Paul
·        The Conversion of Paul
·        The Credentials of Paul
·        The Commission of Paul

Last week we looked at Paul’s credentials. We examined those things that Paul claimed that gave him the authority to write his letter to this local church.

We saw that Paul revealed four (4) attributes about himself that he trusted would effectively establish and validate his credentials.

Paul revealed that he was a:

·        Subjugated One (Servant) – a doulos or a bondservant. He thought of himself as the lowest of all slaves on the depth chart. He considered God his absolute master and he was a mere slave dedicated to doing the absolute will of God. He professed no will of his own, but was committed to doing the will of God.

Paul also revealed that he was a:

·        Selected One (Sent One) – an apostle – one who had been called and officially sent as a representative on the business of a superior. He used a word or title that designated “one who was sent on a mission on behalf of someone else.” As an apostle Paul was not ministering by his own authority, but by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was on business from God. He was on God’s business and this business had a specific task to perform.

Paul revealed that he was a:

·        Separated one – he had been set apart, cut out of the herd, if you will, he was marked out and set apart by boundaries. His boundaries was the call and commission that God had given to him specifically. He was marked out or cut out from regular believers (if there is such a thing) for a specific job for God.

Finally, Paul revealed that he was a:

·        Scripted one – he did make up the things that he was teaching. His gospel was not new. It was contained in the OT which the Jews were familiar with. The savior that he preached was promised and prophesied in the OT and was declared or demonstrated to be what he had claimed to be, by the power of the HS in the resurrection.

[So, now let’s move now to the fourth ingredient in the theme of the Man and his Message, and that is…] 

4B Paul’s Commission  (5-6)

The Apostle Paul was commissioned by God to bring about obedience to the faith among the Gentiles

Our passage before us emphasizes at least three (3) details about Paul’s commission by God. Paul emphasizes The Purpose of His Commission, The Place of His Commission, and Paul emphasizes The Product of His Commission

[We find Paul’s commission in verses 5 & 6…]

“Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you are the called of Jesus Christ…”

So here we have Paul, who considers himself to be a slave who is writing to saints, says that through Jesus Christ he had received his commission.

In order to understand what Paul meant in these verses we have to ask ourselves a couple of questions:

First – Who is Paul talking about? Notice Paul said, “…’we’ have received grace and apostleship.” Who is the “we?” Who is he talking about? It is possible that Paul is including all of his companions and helpers in his statement.

After all, he might be including Phoebe who visited him and brought him a report of the church, and who is going to carry this letter back to them. He also might have included Timothy, or Lucius, Jason, Sosipater, Tertius, Gaius, Erastus, or Quartus. These individuals are currently with Paul.

Some might say that it could be that Paul is referring to the members of the church at Rome. Of course that would be a huge list of people to include in with the “we.”

This is doubtful for a number of reasons.

It seems if you read enough of Paul you will discover that he “editorializes” often. Paul seems to mean he has received “grace and apostleship.” Paul is saying he received his commission from God and from no other source. It was God who commissioned him. This is the “royal” we or the “editorial” we. He simply used the word “we” in place of the word “I.”

[Now, a second question we would ask…]

Second why was Paul commissioned? Paul draws our attention to three (3) aspects of his apostleship.

1B First he gives us the purpose of his apostleship.

The purpose was to bring about “the obedience of faith.” It seems that this means that Paul presents faith as the basis for, or the motivating force of obedience. Obedience is the natural product of genuine faith. Faith produces obedience.

It seems that Paul is right in line with the Apostle John when he makes his point that faith produces obedience to Christ in the life of a believer. There is no such thing as a believer who is not obedient. Another way of saying this would be that there is no such thing as a genuine believer who is consistently disobedient.

Paul states this principle as the first aspect of why God gave him his commission as an apostle. The purpose was to encourage, exhort, and enlist believers in obedience.

By the way, this shows us that Paul’s first mission or job was not evangelism. I am not discounting evangelism, but that is not the first job of Paul. He was to be used of God to ensure that these people in Rome who said that they were believers were actually characterized by obedience.

Paul saw his mission, his ministry, his commission to be to call men and women to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Paul’s job is to help people live a life of obedience from the time of their conversion and throughout their lives where their obedience grows and deepens as the believer gets older.

Paul is well aware of the fact that there is an initial saving faith which is the seed for a continuing and abiding faith that is made known by the act of disobedience. For Paul obedience always involves faith and faith always involves obedience.

Paul’s job was to call men and women to a faith that was always inseparable from obedience – he was committed to the fact that the savior that we believe in is nothing less than Lord and to an obedience that can never be divorced from faith.

God has a purpose for us – that purpose is obedience of faith.

Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10, NKJV)

He told the Colossians, “…that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing him, being fruitful in every good work…” (Colossians 1:10, NKJV)

Paul instructed Titus, “…to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works…” (Titus 3:8, NKJV)

The writer of Hebrews, which I think is Luke, exhorted the Hebrew Christians, “…consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.” (Heb 10:24, NKJV)

Don’t forget that James, the Lord’s half-brother and the pastor of the church at Jerusalem taught that obedience demonstrated the reality of genuine faith in Christ:

James wrote, “…thus also faith by itself, it if does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17, NKJV)

Ø Keep in mind that we are not saved in order to store up a bunch of theological truths in our brains. We are saved to surrender our lives to the Lord in absolute obedience. I love what Donald Grey Barnhouse said in his commentary, “We are to be mastered men and separated saints.” [1]

Ø Handley Moule wrote, “Self-surrender taken alone is a plunge into a cold void. When it is a surrender to the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me, it is the bright home-coming of the soul to the seat and sphere of life and power.”

IOW, God doesn’t expect cold hearted obedience for the sake of obeying, we are willingly and happily obedient because we know that God loved us and saved us. That knowledge brightens up and makes us willing to obey and it gives us real life and empowerment.

By the way, this phrase, “the obedience of faith” is used by Paul in the beginning and at the end of this letter.

It is important to him. We see just how important this when we read in the last chapter of Romans Paul writes:
“…but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith…” (Romans 16:26, NKJV)

And for the record, the obedience that Paul is anxious to bring about and ensure is not an obedience to a set of rules, regulations, or rituals of human religion. This obeying by faith in Christ is a depending upon Christ for the ability to obey and for the actual obedience.

Ø A victor at an ancient Greek Olympic game is said to have been asked, “Spartan, what will you gain by this victory?” He replied, “I, sir, shall have the honor to fight on the front line for my king.”

This is the spirit and heart that should typify everyone that belongs to Jesus Christ, who is the Lord of Lords, and the King of kings.

John MacArthur records a cute little illustration about how everyone should be involved in the service of God and that they should be obedient to Christ:

Ø After D. L. Moody finished preaching one day, a highly educated man walked up to him and said, “Excuse me, but you made eleven mistakes in your grammar tonight. Moody quietly and politely rebuked his critic when replied, “I probably did. My early education was very faulty. But I am using all the grammar that I know in my Master’s service. How about you?

[This leads us to the second aspect of Paul’s apostleship…]

2B Second – he gives us the place of his apostleship

We are able to see the locality of Paul’s apostleship. It is “among all the Gentiles.” Paul is not called to a specific nation or country or even peoples group. It isn’t like God said go Africa, or to the Philippines, or Mexico. Paul is directed by God to go to the Gentiles.

This calling is distinct from the Jews, who are his own people. Mind you he never forgot his own people. He tried preaching to them first by going to the synagogues. Then he would minister to the Gentiles.
Paul tells us clearly in Romans 15 that he is the apostle to the Gentiles. He makes much of his office as the apostle to the Gentiles. Paul made it clear that his authority extended to this church. Paul has the definite, God-given right to address the people of the church at Rome.

The authority that he has to bring about this obedience is not derived from any man or organization. His authority is derived from the Jesus Christ Himself.

Remember, Paul wrote the Galatians a letter and he made this statement:

“For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:12, NKJV)

3B Third – he gives us the product of his apostleship.

“…grace and apostleship, for his name.”

Notice first of all, that grace must precede service or apostleship. And what is grace? Most say it is unmerited favor and that is true. We can never earn, deserve, or merit anything from God. Grace is those gifts God gives to us for enablement. It is his grace that enables us to do anything for his name sake.

Secondly, we the ultimate focus of Paul’s ministry.

The ultimate focus of Paul’s ministry is: the name of Jesus His Lord. In Scripture, you know, that name refers to the person in his or her true character and significance. Paul is not sent out for his own personal gain or interests. He is sent out by God for the glory and the benefit of Jesus Christ, His Lord.

Verse 6 refers to the Gentiles even before Paul speaks directly to them in verse 7. This verse is almost a parenthesis. It connects “Gentiles” in vs. 5 by the pronoun “whom.”  So Paul makes it clear that is commission includes those in the church at Rome. By virtue of being Gentiles they all under Paul’s responsibility. Those in Rome cannot disavow or deny Paul’s apostleship over them.

Why is that? The last phrase of verse 6 answers that question: “…also are the called of Jesus Christ.” God has called these Gentile Christians to Himself and to Jesus Christ.

Remember this word call and its derivatives contain the idea of an effectual calling. The ‘calling’ is that powerful and irresistible reaching out of God in grace that actually brought them into His kingdom.

I know that many genuine believers have a burden for the lost, or a missionary might have a burden for Argentinians, or Colombians. But we don’t obey for the sake of the lost or even for the sake Argentinians or Colombians, our obedience is for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The primary reason we share the gospel is not so that the lost might be saved, the primary reason we share the gospel is that it magnifies the nature and character of the Lord Jesus Christ. A nice by-product for a lost person is that they can be saved.

Everything we do is for Jesus Christ. The primary purpose of any activity, action, or even attitude is for God’s glory. We share the gospel with every creature in order to magnify or enlarge the character and nature of the Lord Jesus Christ.

[For example, it says in 1 Corinthians 10:31…]

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10:31, NKJV)

Paul will tell the Romans later in chapter 15; “…that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 15:6, NKJV)
Listen carefully, the reason that we do all that we do, our submission, our obedience, and our willingness to be bond-slaves is for the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

[For example:]

Our sins were not and are not forgiven simply for our benefit. Our sins were and are forgiven for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Remember what John said in his first letter? “I write to you little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.” (1 John 2:12)

We as witnesses for Christ are in no way of no importance in sharing the gospel. But salvation is first and foremost for the glory and sake of Christ.

So Paul makes it clear that his commission is to make sure there are no mavericks, but that all believers are obedient to Christ Jesus as Lord; that his commission is to the Gentiles specifically; and that his commission is to bring glory to Jesus Christ.

Now let’s stop here for a minute and backtrack and dig a little deeper. I want you to catch the total significance of what Paul has said. Let’s ask ourselves:

What does it mean to be called of Jesus Christ?

First of all – it means more than simply hearing a gospel presentation. This word for ‘called’ went through a development from the time Jesus first used it Matthew’s gospel and the when it was used in these letters.

Remember Jesus said, “Many are called but few are chosen.” (Matt 22:14, NKJV)

When Jesus used this word it represented the voice of God that goes throughout the world proclaiming the gospel to all ears.

But by the time Christian doctrine is developed by God in the NT letters, the “called” represented those who had listen and who had accepted an acted upon the gospel message.

According to Greek Lexicons and Thayer’s Greek Lexicon in particular, “Everywhere in the NT letters only those are spoken of as called by God who have listened to His voice when it was addressed to them in the gospel message. Those who have ignored the message of the gospel invitation are not counted as being among the “called.”

When you read Revelation 17:14, the word is even further developed:

“He is the Lord of Lords and King of kings; and they that are with him are called, chosen, and faithful.” (Rev 17:14)

So, these Christians in Rome, and for the matter every believer today, have been the object of the effectual calling of God. God calls whom he saves and saves whom he calls. No one who is called is not effectually saved, and no one who is saved is not someone who has not been called. Those who are called are rendered willing and able to heed the gospel message. 

They are removed from the curse, made alive by the HS, given the gift of faith and repentance and pass out of death into life and into the realm of God’s eternal blessings.

The called are the children of God, heirs of God, joint heirs of Christ. The exact moment God gives a person life through the HS they are made a spiritual being and are made complete in Christ.

From that moment onward God is at work conforming us into the image of His Son through the renewing of our mind, Romans 12:1-2.

So, we are able to Paul’s purpose for his apostleship, Paul’s place of his apostleship, and Paul’s product of his apostleship and ministry. He desires to call the believer’s to life of greater faith and obedience. His authority is to the Gentiles and extends to the church at Rome. The product is the glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ.

To summarize we are able to see that Paul has told these Roman believers in the church at Rome everything about himself to establish his credibility.

·        He is a servant
·        He has been appointed by God and is not self-appointed
·        He is brought nothing new to the table
·        His priority is Jesus Christ and his ministry is bringing many to obedience
·        His authority comes from Christ

Our theme has been: The Recipe of an apostle

This is a good reminder for us all that we need to understand the various ingredients that God used to make this man such a unique player in the eternal plans of God

 Proposition:  The Apostle Paul was qualified by God for his task

[Well, let’s wrap this up, shall we?] 

A small boy walked on a beach one day, and he saw a matronly looking woman sitting under a beach umbrella on the sand. He walked up to her and asked, "Are you a Christian?"

"Yes," she answered.
"Do you read your Bible every day?"
She nodded her head. "Yes."
"Do you pray often?" the boy asked next.
Again she answered, "Yes."

With that he asked his final question: "Will you hold my quarter while I go swimming?"

With his questions the little boy was determining the ladies credentials. Was she trustworthy enough to hold his quarter?

In the opening verses of Romans Paul is giving his readers credentials for writing this letter with the expectation that they will pay heed to what he writes. Romans has this fascinating lengthy introduction. He tells us four or five things about his authority to write to them as he does. He tells us he is trustworthy, worthy to be listened to.


  And So, I exhort you as genuine believers to submit to the obedience of faith and to emulate Paul’s commission by proclaiming the gospel to the gentiles around us.

Remember the Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew 28:19-20…

Go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-29, NKJV)
Let’s pray! J
Benediction Blessing:
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (Philippians 4:23, NKJV)

[1] Donald Grey Barnhouse, Romans 1:1 – 5:11, 

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