Summary: A closer look at the apostle Paul.
Title: The Posture of Paul the Trailblazer
The word Posture means:
“A frame of mind affecting one’s thoughts or behaviour; an overall attitude.”
The posture of our heart and mind determine our behaviour and overall attitude. I remembered sharing with you sometime ago in my sermon entitled “The posture of a revivalist” that when a person had a low self esteem, he will normally slouched and when he talks he would rarely look the person in the eye.
A person who is proud walks with his nose in the air and when he comes into contact with others his attitude stinks.
For this reason Jesus said in Matt 12:34
“You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”
The Pharisees had an evil posture in their heart and this is demonstrated in their outward speech and actions.
The last few weeks we have been examining the life of Paul. You have heard the preparation and the personality of Paul. I want to conclude this series by expounding on the posture of Paul.
It is important to see what is within the man himself. Today we have a host of successful ministers who looked like trailblazers on the outside. They have big successful ministries, some were even involved in works of revival, however when you look into their inner posture, you will be shocked that many are driven by fame and greed.
Was Paul driven by a hunger for fame? What were his inner motives that drove him to do what he did? Was he a proud and arrogant man who had such a strong mind of his own that he refused to listen to anyone around? He even disputed with Barnabas who was the one who brought him into the ministry. And if that is not enough, Paul scolded Peter who was one of the pillars of the church in Jerusalem and if that is not enough, he even published the incident in his letter to the church in Galatia (Galatians 2:11-14)
This afternoon I want to expound on the posture of Paul that made him such an amazing trailblazer for the Lord.
1. Posture of Love
RO 1:1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
Paul often referred to himself as a bond-servant of God. According to Jewish laws, no Hebrew is to be a permanent slave of another Hebrew. After 6 years of service, a slave was to be released. However if a slave who has been freed desired to continue with the master, out of his love for the good master, he would have a mark made in his ear to signify that he is a bond-slave. (Ex 21:5-6)
Paul understood the master’s love for him. From a man with a murderous heart, God showed his mercy upon Paul, saving him and called him into ministry. Paul knew the depth of God forgiveness in his life and that is why he often referred to himself as the chief of all sinners.
Having understood God’s love and forgiveness, Paul chose to become a bond-slave or a love-slave. He chose to permanently serve his master as a servant because he so love his master.
Paul’s action for God as a trailblazer was not spurred by fame or greed but out of a pure love for Jesus. When it was within his rights to demand financial support for his ministry expenditure, he chose to work as a tent maker.
Ac 20:33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing.
Ac 20:34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions.
Ac 20:35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
Through the years, there were many ministers whom I looked up to as models. I have learnt much from their writings and their ministry. Sometimes it hurt my heart when I found out that they demand a certain fee and certain class of hotel for them to come to a country to minister.
Paul was so different, though it was right for the people to support him, he chose not to in order not to stumble anyone.
His posture of love for is demonstrated by his love for the churches and the unsaved.
In Acts 20:36-21:1, how much Paul had endeared himself to the church in Ephesus. It was indeed a moving scene.
2. Posture of total reliance
The Apostle Paul was a born leader. Right from the beginning his leadership traits was seen in the way he systematically hunt down those who belonged to the way. Paul was the lead man in persecuting Christians. When he became a believer, that leadership nature surfaced once again. He started preaching vehemently. It is interesting to note that Barnabas was the one went to look for Paul to assist him in the ministry at Antioch. In the later chapters of Acts, it seemed that Paul became the leader of the mission team.