Summary: Whoever you listen to has you.
1. The book of Romans is a wonderful gospel of Grace.
• It’s God’s letter of freedom & liberty to us.
• As we study it together we’ll see the work of God’s Holy Spirit infusing grace & love throughout our lives!
• It opens in v1 with Paul a BONDSERVANT…
Paul is how we know him after His conversion…
• His original name was Saul of Tarsus.
• He was born a Roman citizen into a Jewish home.
• We know at the age of 13 he went to Jerusalem and studied diligently under the rabbi Gamaliel…
• He became a rising star among the Pharisees & eventually took it upon himself to destroy Christianity single handedly.
• In his own life he had a lot to boast about… Philippians 3:3-11
• And so God took ‘Saul the self-righteous’ and made him Paul the bondservant!
APP: I think that is the work of God in all of our lives.
• He takes who we think we are, & makes us his servant.
• He takes who we think we R & makes us who He wants us to be!
• Doing well and rising high!… now a bondservant of the Lord.
• Doing poorly & struggling!… now a bondservant of the Lord.
A bondservant was not one because HE HAD TO BE…
He was a BONDSERVANT because HE WANTED to be.
• He had worked his debt off and it was time to go free.
• But he had fallen so in love with his master & family… things were good there, better than they would be out in freedom.
• And so the servant would choose to stay rather than leave.
• It’s different now. I want to serve no longer out of my legal obligation, from now on I want to serve you of love!
• There was a ceremony when this happened.
• The servant would stand next to the master’s doorpost and the would take the servant’s earlobe and puncture the ear.
• A piece of the ear would stay in the doorpost and a ring would be put in the hole showing his new relationship!
• Strange & interesting huh? Not really…
NOTE: What God is showing us and saying to us is that the Master has a piece of the slave’s ear!
• God knows that whoever has your ear, has you!
• Whoever you listen to has you.
• Whoever has your attention has your devotion too.
• That’s why Jesus says over and over again…
Revelation 2:7 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches…”
APP: Jesus wants your ear. He wants you to be His bondservant!
• He wants you to serve him out of love not out of obligation!
• Really it’s a great time to stand back and ask the Lord if it’s really love that’s motivating you.
2 Cor. 5.14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;
Guys… the two motivations are so different!
• One says, I’ll serving the Lord & I’m working my way to heaven even if it kills me! Gotta work!! Let’s go everybody move!
• OR… Jesus you’re so good to me, better than any other person I’ve ever known… & I voluntarily give you my life. Take it!
• There’s a big difference between serving because I MUST and serving because I get to!
• One is of law & legal obligation… The other out of love & grace
2. (1-2) An apostle separated…
a. An apostle was literally someone sent forth with a message.