Summary: The Apostle Paul became the embodiment of Romans 12:1.
a. CIT: Paul is the Apostle to the Gentiles.
b. CIS: The Apostle Paul became the embodiment of Romans 12:1.
c. Paul preached the living word alive in Him.
a. The Gospel is best expressed when embodied.
i. Live the Word.
1. Live up to highest principals of the Gospel: humility, repentance, sacrifice, worship – not legalism.
ii. Preach the Word.
1. Christian Pastors and non-Pastors alike must live the word to earn any credibility to preach the Gospel.
b. In Paul’s preaching and living he displayed as he developed the theology of the new life that we have in Christ.
i. If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. II Cor. 5:17
ii. If anyone is in Christ he has a new standing.
iii. If anyone is in Christ he is not in the flesh.
iv. If anyone is in Christ he is dead to the flesh.
v. If anyone is in Christ he is dead-alive to Christ.
c. The believer is to be a living sacrifice.
“The Unsearchable Riches of Christ,” Part-4, Ephesians 3:8
Is there any virtue of less esteem in the Church today? Is there any human character trait less sought than that of a willingness to sacrifice? In the Church today the adage is get not give; layup not lay out; save up store up stock up secure your supply not sacrifice. The Gospel is centered on sacrifice.
God gave His Son and His Son gave His life and seeing the immensity of the treasure that is Christ and the futility that is this world, we sacrifice all to follow Him alone. The Gospel is centered on sacrifice not security.
The man of God of the 19th century, C.H. Spurgeon, once said, “I will not talk to you longer; for what, after all, brethren, can religion cost us compared with what our salvation cost our Lord? What is it to go forward if we compare it with the glory that is beyond? A pin’s prick, that is all; and then you will be in heaven. Oh, to stand amongst the glorified!—to hear the Master say, “Well done!” One might die a thousand deaths to get those two syllables, if there were nothing else—“Well done!” He went on to say that “That religion which costs a man nothing is usually worth nothing.”
Plainly these are truths that the Apostle Paul understood well. In this the fourth sermon in this sermon series, we’ll pause from expositing the text which the Apostle penned in Ephesians 3:8 in order to take a look at an inherent reality of Paul’s preaching. Paul’s preaching was effective most significantly as a consequence of his willingness to sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel.
Paul is loyal to the proclamation of the Gospel message to a level far beyond mere sentiment. He became the very living sacrifice that he speaks of in Romans 12. In other words, the Apostle Paul preached the living word that was alive in him.
Preaching of the Gospel must come through an embodiment of the Gospel message. The Apostle was a prominent Jewish Pharisee with Roman citizenship. He was very well educated, having been trained under the prominent Jewish teacher of the law, Gamaliel.
He was from a very important and posh city called Tarsus. According to all of the standards of humanity then and now Paul was an Important man; a man to be listened to and to be respected.
Yet, none of that was ever going to be able to persuade people to listen to Paul’s presentation of the Gospel, no matter how eloquent, passionate, or well-spoken he may have been. The Gospel went forth with Paul first because of the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit. Second, because he became a living sacrifice.
CIT: Paul is the Apostle to the Gentiles.
CIS: The Apostle Paul became the embodiment of Romans 12:1.
Paul preached the living word alive in Him. He was apprehended, arrested by unsearchable riches of Christ when Christ encountered him on the road to Damascus. That is why he was able to later write “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 ESV)
Paul became the living breathing example of the message God gave through him in Romans 12:1. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1 ESV) So should we.
The Gospel is best expressed when embodied. Any Christian who wishes to proclaim the Gospel must live the word. We must live in the word but much more profoundly we must live the word. This is not to suggest that through legalistic obedience to the law we will be saved or be used of God to serve.