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.

b. A representative for a king with an important message!

c. In the big picture we are all sent out with the gospel.

d. Yet in the narrow sense this term refers to a narrow group of 12… Paul being chosen by God not man to the Gentiles.

NOTICE: Paul was separated TO THE gospel of God.

• A lot of people are separated FROM SOMETHING. That’s good.

• You’ll hear testimonies of how God delivered them from drugs, alcohol, and all sorts of stuff that was destroying their lives!

Maybe you were separated once to drugs, or to selfishness, or to bitterness or greed… or some other sinful behavior!

• BUT NOW you’re set apart for Jesus Christ!

• You just want to please Him!

• Saved & Delivered by His wonderful free flowing grace!

HEY… that sounds like you’re telling people they can do anything they want and still be a Christian!

• Well in Jesus a new love has been created and now I do what motivates me in love of my Savior. He has my ear! My life!

• Religion says ‘serve God or go to hell’.

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