Summary: We can be a successful Christian by following Paul’s example
We all want to be successful. Here are some hints on a successful marriage. Don’t do these:
1. My wife and I have the secret to making our marriage last: Two times a week, we go to a nice restaurant for some good food and relaxation. She goes on Tuesdays, I go Fridays.
2. I asked my wife where she wanted to go for our anniversary. "Somewhere I haven’t been in a long time!" she said. So I suggested the kitchen.
3. My wife told me the car wasn’t running well because there was water in the carburetor. I asked where the car was. She told me, "In the lake."
4. I haven’t spoken to my wife for 18 months. I don’t like to interrupt her.
5. She got a mudpack and looked great for two days. Then the mud fell off.
6. The last fight was my fault. My wife asked, "What’s on the TV?" I said, "Dust!"
These may be funny, but I believe every couple wants to have a successful marriage. And I believe every Christian desires to live a successful Christian life. Yet many of us have blown it. The devil discourages us because of our many failings. We want to serve God but find it so difficult to consistently live the way we know we should. Paul was a successful Christian. And in the first verse of Romans we find some characteristics of Paul’s life that made him successful. These are the characteristics of a successful Christian What are the Characteristics of a Successful Christian?
1. A Successful Christian is a Servant of Jesus Christ.
The Romans knew what a slave was. Of the 120 million people in the Roman Empire, 60 million were slaves. Of the six Greek words Paul could have used, he used doulos. It is the lowest slave. A doulos slave was one who was totally controlled by his Master. He was usually bought in the slave market and was brought as a captive from an enemy nation. We are slaves of Jesus Christ. He bought us with His blood from the enemy (Satan). We belong to Him totally and completely. 1 Cor. 6:19 – “What! Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
A family living in a home in West Palm Beach, Florida told a film crew it was okay to use the front lawn as a set for an episode of the “B.L. Stryker” television series. They knew cars would be crashing violently in front of the house. While the front yard was being blown up, the owner of the home was tipped off and called from New York demanding to know what was happening to his house. It seems the people who were living in the house were only tenants and had no right to allow the property to be destroyed as the cameras rolled. Many times we live our lives under the mistaken impression that they belong to us. Paul tells us we were “bought with a price.” We must live as those who know God will call us to account for the ways we have used this life entrusted to us.
Why does it appear some people are more submissive to the Lordship of Christ? The answer: they have more love. A Jewish slave could only be held for 7 years. The seventh year he was set free. However, if he wanted to stay with the family voluntarily, he could have his ear pierced, identifying him with that family till death. He would be a lifetime slave. Paul was a lifetime slave. His heart had been captured by the love Christ had for him? 2 Cor. 5:14 – “For the love of Christ constraineth me…” We know what a constraint is. It is a device that holds someone or something. Paul was a slave of love to Jesus Christ.
To submit more you need to love more? To love more you may need to realize all of what Christ did for you:
1. He forgave you of all your sin.
2. You don’t have to go to Hell.
3. You get to go to Heaven.
2. A Successful Christian is Sent on a Mission
Paul was literally spoken to by Jesus Christ. On the day Christ saved him, he was going to Damascus to arrest Christians. Jesus appeared to him in a bright light and revealed Himself to him. Paul immediately accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior. This is what Jesus said to Him: Acts 26:16,17 – “…I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou has seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee.” Paul did not receive his job from man. And he did not appoint himself to the position. God chose his job.