Summary: A real Christian is a submissive slave called to special service.
Paul, Our Pattern Of A Real Christian
Romans 1:1 Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God
Attention: What would you say if you met a man who said he was a doctor and you scheduled an appointment with him to give you a checkup and you went to his office, but it wasn’t an office, it was a living room and he pulled out his stethoscope to check your heart but it wasn’t a stethoscope it was a cup, and he weighed you but it wasn’t a professional scale it was a little white square on you keep in your bathroom. And what would say if at the end of the checkup he said, “Looks good. That will be $60.”
I would say, “Man, get lost you aren’t a doctor.”
It takes something to be a doctor. You have to go to school. It helps if you have the right equipment. Saying you are a doctor doesn’t make you a doctor, right?
We know that, but do we know that just saying you are Christian doesn’t make you a Christian?
Need: In Cincinnati I have met a lot of people who have thought that. They think that just because they tell me they are a Christian, then that means that they are one.
Bridging Sentence: If saying you are a Christian doesn’t make you a Christian than what does?
Turn to Romans 1:1
Paul in Romans 1:1 explains to the Romans who he is as a Christian and as he is explaining who he is he tells us what it means to be a real Christian.
Textual Idea: Paul’s introduces himself as a slave of Christ who is called to special service.
Sermon Idea: A real Christian is a submissive slave called to special service.
Interrogative: What is meant by a submissive slave called to special service?
Sermon Division 1: A real Christian is a submissive slave.
Explanation: The word “servant” is used in the KJV Bible. The word “bond-servant” is used in the NIV Bible. Paul, however, wasn’t talking of a paid position when he said he was the “douloj” of Jesus Christ. That Greek word “douloj” means slave. Paul said that he was the slave of Jesus Christ.
Notice that I said ‘submissive slave’. The reason that I said ‘submissive slave’ is because Paul had a choice of whether or not he would be Christ’s slave. Christ did not force Paul to be his slave. Paul made a decision to be Christ’s slave. He was a slave of Christ because he wanted to be a slave of Christ.
Illustration: Now we think of being a slave as a horrible thing. And we think that it is horrible because it is horrible. It is horrible for a human being to be forced to give up the rights that God gave to him because other man wants to use him. That is despicable. Tomorrow we are going to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Do you know why we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. day? We do because Martin Luther King Jr. was a man who fought for the equal rights of every man. That is a wonderful thing to fight for because it is horrible for a human being to be forced to give up the rights that God gave him.
Argumentation: But just as one of the most horrible things is for a man to be forced to give up his rights, one of the most beautiful things is when a man or woman willingly give up their rights to another person because of their love for them.
Illustration: In the Old Testament it talks about these men who willingly gave up rights. God said to the Israelites, “You can have slaves, but there are the stipulations.” One the person becoming the slave must be in agreement. This would happen if people got into too much financial debt. They would go to someone and say, “If you pay off my debt I will be your slave.”
That was the first stipulation. The second stipulation was that a person couldn’t be kept as a slave for more than seven years. So, at the end of seven years the person was free. But this is where what we are talking about comes in. Sometimes the person that was the slave would say, “I don’t want to go free. My master is good to me. I love him. I want to be his slave for life.” In that case they would take the man out to the gatepost and use a nail to punch a hole in his ear. That meant that he was a slave for life. He gave up his rights for his life to the man to whom he was a slave. But he did it because he trusted this man, he loved this man, and he loved the life that came from serving this man.