Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Man and His Message (Part 5)

SERMON:             GM15-046B

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 5)

SCRIPTURE:     Romans 1: 1c-4

SUBJECT:          The credentials of Paul

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

SCHEME:           that Christians understand the qualifications that rendered the Apostle Paul effective for the service of God to the Gentiles

Our theme is: 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 1:1c-4
(Part 5)


Bob Harris, was a weatherman for NY TV station WPIX-TV and the nationally syndicated independent Network news, had to weather a public storm of his own making in 1979. Harris had studied math, physics and geology at three different colleges, he left school without a degree. However, he had very a strong desire to be a TV media weatherman.

He phoned WCBS-TV, introducing himself as a Ph.D. in geophysics from Columbia University. The phony degree got him in the door. After a two-month tryout, he was hired as an off-camera forecaster for WCBS. For the next decade his career flourished. He became widely known as “Dr. Bob.” He eventually was hired by the New York Times as a consulting meteorologist. The same year both the Long Island Railroad and then Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn hired him.

 At Forty years of age and living his childhood dream, he found himself in public disgrace and national humiliation when an anonymous letter prompted WCBS management to investigate his academic credentials. When they discovered that the credentials that he had stated were bogus, both the station and the New York Times fired him. 

Why? He did not have the credentials required for the job that he had applied for.

So, it is with the Apostle Paul. He is a stranger to this church and yet he writes this incredible theological letter with over half of it containing instructions and commands that he expected the Roman believers to carry out. In order to pull this off he had to have some strong and impeccable credentials.

Now, we began looking at some of Paul’s credentials last week.  And I hope that we can finish examining Paul’s credentials today.

[But before we do, let’s take a minute and….] 


Our theme continues to be: The Recipe for an Apostle

Our theme 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:  God uses various ingredients to make a believer useful to His plans

Interrogatory Sentence:  What were the ingredients that God used to make Paul into the man who played such an important role in the life of the church?

Transitional Sentence: The passage before us identifies 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 time we met we began looking at the credentials the Apostle Paul. As we began our look at his credentials we examined the fact that Paul was The Subjugated One. Paul described himself as a bondservant, a doulos.

The first thing we noted about this designation was the fact that this is how Paul instinctively thought of himself. Paul seems to say this is who I am, or this is what I am.

The second thing we noted about this designation was the fact that it describe the attitude that was attached to a slave. This designated not only the lowest position of a slave, but it revealed and recognized that a doulos was absolutely submitted or subjugated to the will of his/her owner and had no will of their own. They were not permitted to make a decision or choice based on their own will or desires.

The third thing we noted about this designation was the fact that it was very significant, particularly at this time in history. The Greeks and Romans found their singular identity, worth, and value in the fact that they were free. Although they conquered nations and peoples and enslaved the majority of their captives they could not conceive of the idea of being a slave, let alone being a doulos, a bondservant, which as we have said was the lowest positon of slavery.

The fourth and final thing that we noted about this designation, is that Paul voluntarily subjugated himself to this position due to his recognition of being in Christ having been bought with a the price of Christ’s blood. This is the mindset that you and I are to have if we are a true or real disciple.

Jesus told his disciples, “…if anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself (ἀπαρνέομαι) [to forget one’s self, lose sight of one’s self and one’s own interests] and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23, NKJV)

“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother; wife and children, brothers and sisters, and yes his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26, NKJV)

On at least two occasions Paul told the Corinthian Christians that they had been bought with a price and therefore did not belong to themselves. Being made a Christian by God through His HS based on the shed blood of Christ makes you and me a doulos; a bondservant.

So, the first credential that we see of Paul is that the subjugated his will to the will of God. He said, “Paul, a bondservant.”

[Now, let’s move to the second credential that Paul uses of himself and he characterizes himself as an apostle. Let’s look at his designation as…]

3B  The Credentials of Paul (1b-4)

          1C       He was the Subjugated One
          2C     He was the Selected One

                   “…called to be an apostle…”

Paul uses in my opinion one the greatest words in Greek or English; klntos apostolos

The words “to be” are supplied in the English to fill out the Greek translation, which literally reads, “Called apostle.”

The verb Paul used is used approximately ten (10) times in the NT. (Ro 1:1, 6,7; 1 Cur 1:1, 2, 24; Jude 1; Rev 7:14.

klhtos comes from the family of kalew, klhsis

When it is used in what we call the active voice it means to invite, to call aloud, to call or name by name, or to summon.

[For example]

In Matthew 2:15 - we see God calling His Son out of Egypt
In Matthew 4:21 – we see Jesus as he calls His disciples into service
In Matthew 9:13 – we Jesus as he calls sinners to repentance

The nuance of this word “called” is fantastic and should never missed. It is that God calls men to Himself for His purpose. And the great about this verb, it implies according to Kittle in his Theological Dictionary, that when God calls, it renders man willing to obey.

It is with this phrase that Paul establishes his authority for his ministry, and particularly the ministry he wants to have in this church in which he has never even visited.

What Paul is establishing for this church and for these people who don’t know him, is that being an apostle was not his idea or by his own doing, nor by anything other human agency.

Paul infers that he was invited, summoned, or called by the Lord Jesus Christ. We saw that when we looked at his conversion on the Damascus Road. (Acts 9:15; 22:14-15; 26:16-18)

Paul uses this designation in all of his greetings except when he wrote to the Philippians, the Thessalonians, and to Philemon.

He is including himself as a part of that unique group of appointed men by Christ to have the role of the “foundation” of the church.

Eph 2:20 reads, “…having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone…” (Eph 2:20, NKJV)

apostolos carries the meaning or the idea of “one who is sent or commissioned. It is used of someone who was given an official position or job on the behalf of someone else.

Apostle means “to send” or “to send away or send forth on a specific mission.” It was used of anyone who was commissioned for a particular job or mission.
It was even used of boats which were commissioned for specific purposes; an apostolic boat. But in the NT is was used specifically to designate the 12 apostles and Paul. It meant that the apostles represented God.

By the way – Paul was equal to but not part of the original 12. The disciples did not make a mistake when they elected Matthias to take Judas’s place. Paul’s name is not part of the 12 apostles who name appears on the 12 gates in the New Jerusalem. Paul wasn’t an afterthought, but he was part of the 12. He was specifically called and appointed for the Gentiles.

“…I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith n Me.” (Acts 26:15-18, NKJV)

What is Paul’s purpose in using this designation? He is writing not as a private individual or even as a gifted teacher, he is writing as one who has the authority of God Himself. There the Roman believers (and you and me) need to listen up and pay attention!

This word appears some 79 times in the NT. Most of the time it appears it refers to the twelve (12) apostles and to Paul. But it can be used of any or all believers – because we are all sent or commissioned by God into this world as witnesses or as ambassadors of Jesus Christ. (Ro 16:7; Acts 14:14)

This calling, “called to be an apostle” refers to the effective work of God by which he calls people to salvation or to an office.

Remember E. F. Hutton? When E. F. Hutton speaks, people listen? Well when God calls, he is effective, his purpose happens.

So, Paul states that he is a bond-servant and he is a called apostle; someone who has been divinely appointed by God for a mission or job.

[Paul goes on to list another designation of himself…] 

3C He is The Separated One

“…separated to the gospel of God.”

Because Paul was called and sent by God as an apostle or as an ambassador, his whole life was set apart in the Lord’s service.

When Hernan Cortez landed on the shores of Mexico, he had his captains burn their ships on the beach. This ensured that Cortez and his men were cut off from any retreat. It was move on and victory or defeat and death.

So should it be with believers. We are to burn the bridges to the old life.

The word that Paul used is a severe word. It is the Greek word aforizw. It is used 10 times in nine NT passages. It means to separate or to sever; to cut out. It means to mark out or cut out a boundary. It actually comes from the root word orizw from which we get horizon. The horizon is the boundary that is cut off or marked off by an imaginary line in the sky between the earth and the sky.

aforizw means to limit, to set apart, to mark off, to make a boundary, and or to mark off from others. Paul was separated, or marked off, or cut off by God from all of mankind for his office as an apostle. For those of you who might be interested this verb is a participle which speaks of a past completed action that continues to have present results.

Somewhere in eternity past God marked out, cut out Paul for this job and upon that determination by God in the past, it not only took place what had continuing results.

If you would permit me, let me digress for a minute. I want try to help you see the significance of this word.

aforizw or orizw carries an important meaning for you and me. They mean to set apart, to separate, to limit, to mark or cut out. Throughout the Bible God has marked out or cut out his chosen people from among people in general. God has separated his people from the world: 

[For example…]

He separates the redeemed from the unredeemed
He separates the wicked from the righteous

In Leviticus 20:26 - Israel is marked out from the rest of the nations
In Exodus 13:12 – The first Born is marked out and belongs to God
In Numbers 8:11-14 – Israel’s crops were marked out for God

What is God teaching by this practice of marking or cutting out people and things? What is the lesson?

The lesson is simple – there is to be a separation or a distinction for God’s people. There is to be no intermingling with the unrighteous people of this world.

2 Corinthians 6:17 says, “Therefore, come out from among them and be separate says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:17, NKJV)

When God calls and draws us unto Himself, that calling includes an automatic responsibility of separating ourselves from the unsaved or the unrighteous.

Paul was separated to the gospel of God.

The gospel of God – the good news of God.

Leon Morris:  “Romans is ultimately about God; how God acted to bring about salvation to his people, how His justice is preserved, and how His purposes are worked out and how he can be served by his people.”

Glad tidings. This word is used some 60 times in Romans. It is the good news that God will deliver us from our selfish sin, free us from the burden of sin, and will give meaning to our life and provide an abundant life for us.

Paul wrote to the Galatians, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace to reveal His son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles…” (Galatians 1:15-16, NKJV)

Those in Rome would have understood this word well. It was a common word in the Roman period. It was used especially in the cultic worship of the Emperors.
Most of the emperors declared themselves as “gods” and demanded worship from everyone in the Roman Empire. When favorable or good things happened to the Emperor they would be proclaimed by what we would call town heralds or town criers. They would shout the good news that a child had been born or that a son had come of age or that the Emperors health had improved. The news was called “good news.” The same word for the gospel, the gospel is the good news of God proclaimed to sinners.

So, Paul says that he has been commissioned and set apart to proclaim the good news, not good news of an Emperor, but look at what he says, “…to the gospel of God.” You have to stop and wonder what would make God condescend in order to provide good news for you and me, especially in a world that scorns, rejects and hates God.

Well, at this point Paul moves from a discussion of himself to his message. He established his credentials as a messenger, a messenger of God who had appointed him. He now directs the attention of the Roman Christians to his message. He does this with three different means: with a general mention of his message, then with a scriptural anticipation of his message, and finally with the mention of a special theme.

4C He is The Scripted One (2-4)

Paul calls his readers attention to the Old Covenant, or what we call the OT.

“…which he promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures…?”

1D     Scripted through the Scriptures (2)

Paul wanted his readers to know immediately that the good news he was writing about was not new, that he did not make it up. He wanted to establish the fact that the message, the good news is related to the past, their past and that it is connected with continuity to something that they had previously have had confidence in. What was that? The OT. This good news is not an afterthought by Christ or came from Paul.

Maybe it was for the sake of his Jewish readers that he emphasizes that this gospel did not originate with him. Remember Paul was frequently accused of teaching against Moses and the Mosaic Law. So Paul wanted to make it very clear that this gospel, this good news was the same good news found in the OT, “which he promised before through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures.”

The promise of the coming Messiah and of his wonderful redemption is found throughout the OT, the old covenant which his readers would have been familiar with.
By the way, here is a free-be, you can see Paul’s attitude and opinion or his views of the OT. You can see his thoughts in a three-fold description he gives:

·        He calls them holy writings (Scriptures)
·        He states that they came from God
·        He states these holy scriptures from God came through God’s prophets

Why would this be important?

It shows that Paul believed the OT had a binding authority on him, his message, and his recipients. The key thought is that this good news is not new.

Denney made this statement, “The gospel is not in principle a new thing, a subversion of the true religion as it hitherto been known to the people of God. On the contrary, God promised it before through His holy prophets in the Holy Scriptures. The gospel of good news is the fulfillment of hopes which God himself inspired. (Denney)

Paul is cutting away any and all objections to his message from the Jews who often accused him of introducing something new or something that opposed the Mosaic economy.

Paul’s use of the prophets refers to the OT writers – the spokespersons for God.

Most of the Jews of Paul’s day were used to looking to rabbinical teachers and teaching for their religious instruction. The OT was really looked at as a relic rather than as a source of truth. Even Jesus had to remind his disciples about the truth of Scripture when he said:

“…O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!” (Luke 24:25, NKJV)

It has been said that there are some 332 prophecies about Christ in the OT. Most of them were fulfilled at this first coming. Don’t forget that even Jesus said that he did not come to break, contradict the scripture but to fulfill them:

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17-18, NKJV)

Some of those prophecies are Gen 3:15; 12:3; 49:10; Deut 18:15; Ps 2:2, 45:2, 68:18, 69:12, 110:1, 118:22, 132:11, Isa 2:4, 7:14, 9:2, 7, Isa 11:10, 25:8, 28:16, 42:1; 49:6, Jer 31:31-34, Eze25-27

2D     Scripted through the Savior (3)

“…concerning his son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh…” (Romans 1:3, NKJV)

Paul is now going to use his message to emphasize the divine son ship of Christ. Right here we have a mystery – Jesus Himself is God, but he is also the Son of God.

The gospel concerns God’s Son. The entire sum of the gospel is contained or framed in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, by being known by Him and by knowing Him. We are all well aware that there is no other person or name anywhere under heaven by which men can be saved. To depart from the Son of God by faith alone and grace alone is to depart from Salvation.

Paul’s Message includes two designations – our Lord and born of the seed of David.

The word Lord is the Greek word kurios. It comes from a root which means “supreme,” or “master”, even “sir.” It means to “whom a thing or person belongs to, someone who has the power to decide, the possessor or disposer of a thing, one who has absolute control, such as a master, a sovereign, a prince, and a chief.”

Paul emphasizes to the Romans that Jesus Christ as the Son of God is Lord, or Supreme over everything.

Paul also emphasis that Jesus was born of the seed of David by human birth.

Son of God refers to the deity of Jesus, that He is God

Born of the Seed of David refers to the humanity of Jesus

John 1:14 reminds us that, “…the word became flesh…”

God, through the incarnation entered a new state or condition by assuming a human body and putting himself under human limitations.

God displayed unparalleled wisdom that is beyond our comprehension in displaying His son both as a human and as divine.
Paul continues without a break or even a breath and moves right into verse 4.

3D     Scripted through the Spirit (4)

“…and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead.”

We have actually seen this word “declared” before. It is the word orizw. In addition to being used to mean “to cut out, to mark out, to separate,” it also is used in the NT to signify “to determine, to appoint, to ordain.”

Taken properly in its meaning it means to limit, just like boundary lines are used to set a field to regulate measurements. Jesus was made or became the Son of God at his incarnation but he was declared, defined, or demonstrated to be the Son of God by his resurrection.
Paul is not saying that Jesus became the son of God by or after his resurrection. That would contradict scripture.

Colossians tells us that “He is the image of the invisible god, the firstborn over all creation.” (Col 1:15, NKJV)

The word horizo, to mark out or set a boundary signifies that in the view before men, before the world, before humanity Christ was determined to be the Son of God. In other words, he is demonstrated to be what He already is! He was openly appointed and his resurrection manifested or demonstrated what he was. And Paul says ii was with great power.

Power, a might work, great strength, miraculous power or energy. It was in this sphere of power that this declaration or marking out was made known.

It was “…according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection of the dead.”

Is this Spirit of Holiness the HS or something else? Calvin and a few others took it to mean the HS. But not sure that is the correct interpretation.

First – there seems to be a little antithesis or play going on in the phrase:

According to the flesh – according to spirit

According to the flesh Jesus is the Son of David according to the spirit or the divine nature He is of God or God; flesh is human nature- spirit is his divine nature

The resurrection defined Jesus as the person being spoken of by the prophets as the Son of God. Had he remained dead he would have been proved to be a fraud and not the son of God.

By his resurrection God proclaimed to the entire universe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of David and was His Son. The resurrection did not constituted him as son, it only evidenced it.

When Jesus had declared himself to be the Son of God and the Jews charged him with blasphemy and said that he was a demonic deceiver

By the resurrection we see the clear manifestation of his character and it was vindicated publicly and the controversy was settled forever of who he really was.
In raising Jesus from the dead, God settled the contest for ever. God declared him to be His son, accepted his death as satisfaction and justified his claim.

So, by his incarnation Jesus received his human nature, the very fullness of his spirit, but he received it covered with a veil, his flesh. By His death he satisfied the penalty for sin, by his resurrection he entered into the full exercise of this right and was marked out or defined, or declared to be the Son of God.

Well that wraps up Paul’s credentials. We have examined his childhood, his conversion, and now his credentials. Next week we will wrap up the Man and His Message by looking at Paul’s commission.

Our theme has been: the apostle Paul; the man God chose

Our theme 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:  God uses various ingredients to make a believer useful to His plans

[Let’s wrap this up shall we?] 


Henry Augustus Rowland, professor of physics at Johns Hopkins University, was once called as an expert witness at a trial. During cross-examination a lawyer demanded, "What are your qualifications, or credentials as an expert witness in this case?"
The normally modest and retiring professor replied quietly, "I am the greatest living expert on the subject under discussion."

Later a friend well acquainted with Rowland's disposition expressed surprise at the professor's uncharacteristic answer. Rowland answered, "Well, what did you expect me to do? I was under oath."

I think you see the point – this little story is opposite of what Paul said about Himself. Paul, merely stated humbly that he was a slave, was commissioned by God to be an apostle, and was set apart for the gospel ministry.


  And So, I exhort you as genuine believers to adopt the credentials of the apostle Paul in order to be a useful vessel in the extension of the church of Jesus Christ.

Remember Mary said in Luke 1:38…

“…Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word….”

(Luke 1:38, ESV)

You can see Mary’s credentials, she was a willing servant, she was one sent by God for a mission, and she was separated to God and from the unbelieving religious crowd.

Let’s pray! J

Benediction Blessing:

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (Philippians 4:23, NKJV)

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