Summary: This sermon looks at the apostle Paul’s new curriculum vitae. The question is does ours match his old or new one?
Paul’s Curriculum Vitae
At the time of the letter Paul had never been to Rome neither had any of the Apostles,yet this Church had been formed by the many Jews who had visited Jerusalem on Pentecost and had been converted. The message of salvation went back to Rome and a Church had been established. Also some would have heard the news in other places in Acts 18:2. Priscilla and Aquilla who were Jews exiled from Italy.
Romans was probably written in Corinth at the end of Paul’s 3rd journey before returning to Jerusalem Rom:15:25. Where he spent 3 months Acts:20:3.
I wonder how you view yourself today? What’s really important to you? Here In these opening verses we have Paul’s new curriculum vitae. What does your C.V look like? Often our CV’s always view ourselves in the best possible light. Most people’s CV’s are self centered and certainly not Christ centered. For instance....
What is your position in life? Business, Politician academic with a PhD. What is your purpose in life? Consecration to career. What is your priority in life? To be successful and to make money. Is that you?
The pride of Paul.
Paul had a glowing Curriculum vitae,I wonder if we could asked Paul at that time prior to his conversion would he have classed himself as a servant or slave? Prior to his conversion Paul was a man who was self-centred legalist regarding the Law of Moses and the traditions of his fathers.
Paul’s testimony Phil.3:4-6.
One who knew his position in life (Pharisee), his purpose (advancement) and priority in life! (Persecution) I believe we would have met a very self-righteous young man.
Paul’s pre-conversion credentials
Here was a rising star in pharaseical circles born in Tarsus and taught under Gamaliel in Jerusalem. He was from the tribe of Benjamin, circumcised on the 8th day, regarding the law he was faultless. Here was zealot in every matter of Religion.
Today they would have called him a fanatic or even a terrorist in the way he would go about persecuting Christians. He really believed he was doing God a service. This rising star was heading for greater things in his circles! And he knew this, Gal.1:13, 14…. He was advancing…
Persecution was his priority
Acts 22:4. I persecuted the followers of this way to their death arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison
Acts 8:1 He approved of the execution of Stephen.
Act.9:1-2 Breathing threats and murder against the disciple of the Lord and sought letters to continue and carry out his threats. He would most definatly be looked upon today as a religious terrorist.
Paul what is your Position?
Paul’s position prior to conversion. (Servant to law) Phil.3:6. Legalistic righteousness faultless
Paul was a servant of the Pharisaical law, he was committed to obeying it, and he was bound by it. Pharisees were ones who were set apart even from other Jews, they were known to keep to he letter of the law and for adding the traditions of the elders passed down to them. Tithing and ritual purity were kept stringently.Matt.23:23-26. (Pharisee/hypocrite) Traditions of his fathers/ adding religious tradition…
Application. Are we guilty today?
In the 18th century. Whitefield and Wesley 1725-1729 were members of the holy club and lived out a life of good works but knew not Christ.
Whilst in Derby recently I read a Church billboard which read, "Man has added 32 million laws yet have not come up with any to match the Ten Commandments.” Psalm 19:7.“The law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul.”
The average person in the street see Christianity as law keeping but. Paul goes to great length in Romans to reveal the work of the law…
The law holds us in bondage and points us to Christ! No-one is righteous
Rom 3:20.Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law.
Rom 3:28.We maintain that man is justified by faith apart from observing the law
v31 do we then nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather we uphold the law.
CH Spurgeon said, “The law is for the self righteous to humble their pride. The Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair.”
Gal.3:24. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. But now Phil.3:7—9 He considers it all rubbish (dung) compared to knowing Christ.
Paul’s new position
V1.Servant, Bondslave. 1cor.9:19. I have made myself a servant to all. Paul regards himself as a Servant (bondslave Greek. Doulos)
A slave is a person who is involuntary bound in servitude to another human being. Used as an instrument of Labour. One who has lost liberty and rights? Slaves would have been bought at the Market price. But Paul is now voluntary bound as a servant to Christ Jesus