Summary: What has God called you to be? What special gift do you have that sets you apart for the Gospel of God?

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Romans: The Line in the Sand

Message Title: The Serving Line, Part Ib

Scripture: Romans 1:1

Romans 1:1

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God-

I. Introduction

When I was in high school, every year, about two weeks before school started, we would begin football practice. We would have two practices per day, from 7-9 am, and then from 7-9 pm. During that time, it was, of course, summertime in Texas. Temperatures were always in the high 90’s and 100’s (around 40 degrees Celsius ). Because the school was so small, those that had started and played the year before, usually only had to return to their previous positions, unless someone new walked onto the field. Freshmen were not new to the game, they had played in middle school, and the coaches coached both middle and high school, so they knew everyone’s capabilities and potential. They knew what people were suited for which position. Unless a graduating senior left a vacant spot or there was someone new and better than last year’s regular player, players pretty much knew where they were going to play.

Every player had different abilities that enabled them to play a certain position. Speed, agility and small size ensured you would not be on the front line, but you might end up running with the ball.

If you listened to the coach long enough you’d hear him make various comments about the inability of certain players to perform certain tasks. Those players that spent a large portion of their time on the ground would often hear him say something similar to: “you missed your calling…you should have been a farmer, since you like the dirt so much!”

Paul didn’t miss his calling.

II. called to be an apostle

Paul had led a very special life, or so he believed, up until the time he was met by Jesus on that road to Damascus. But, after that, it became a very extraordinary life. A life that seemingly never had a dull moment.

Paul was a called apostle. What is an apostle? An apostle, in the Gospel sense, is one that participated in Jesus’ earthly ministry and witnessed His resurrection. Paul definitely met these qualifications, but we’ll elaborate on that a little later.

Let’s look at the basic meaning of those words before ‘apostle.’ The NIV says that he was called ‘to be an’ apostle, yet it should read a called apostle, an appointed apostle.

The ‘to be an’ was inserted by translators to help, yet it only serves to confuse maturing readers. The difference is subtle and seems to indicate a possible incompleteness, meaning its left up to the person that is being called to accept the calling.

The other, ‘a called apostle,’ has the sense of completeness, as well as acceptance of the one that is called by the one doing the calling.

Let’s look at another that was called. Jeremiah 1:4,5

4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

Jeremiah was called by God. There is a very distinct difference between those that are sent and those that just went.

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