The service of the king of kings

The service of the king of kings

20190112 Romans 1 pt 1

Romans 1:1-2

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord,

A Soveriegn Service

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ

Every man on earth is ordained to the service of a master, whether that be that of an employer or of client. The master of all men for all gainful employment of them is either a man or a market, the desires of the men who master us or the market that accepts or rejects us, determines the service which we render them.

I have my own business but that does not mean I am my own boss, my prosperity or lack thereof is determined by the marketand, more directly, by the particular clients of that market.

Those who are gainfully employed are in the service of an employerwho sets both the task and the value of the employee, but even that is determined by the market.

For example, in a time of great construction and where construction workers are few, the demand of the market sets a high value on those few workers. They being both rare and in demand, are essentially set in a public auction; IE, those willing to pay the highest price gain the worker.

But when the market turns, and there be little construction demand but comparatively many construction workers, the market is unwilling to pay the larger sums it did before and the auction is reversed, those willing to be sold at the lesser rate win the work.

It is what is known as the “Free Market System”, it was not invented by man but discovered by man, it is the normal way things work in a free society.

Either way, the market is the sovereign ruler of the servant, it sets both the value of the work and the price of the servant for the work.

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ

Paul is the servant, not of a market, nor simply of a man, but of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and It’s difficult to appreciate this part of the verse without knowing that Paul was not always ‘a servant’ of Jesus Christ…but before, a persecutor of him.

Turn to Acts 7:59 

59 And they stoned Stephen, calling uponGod, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

CHAPTER 8

1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men carried Stephento his burial, and made great lamentation over him. 3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed themto prison. 

Paul, the servant of Jesus Christ was beforetime Saul of Tarsus and led the greatest persecution of those of what seemed a new religion called The Way. 

He made havock of the Church, in the service of his high priest, he sought further permission from this High Priest, consider Acts chapter 9:1-2

 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest:it ishard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lordsaidunto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

Paul began his service in the hands of fickle men, but now A new master called him, one greatly more sovereign than the one he once served.

Consider who it is that Paul is the servant of: This is not a market driven by the desires of man, this is the Holy One of God, this is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. God had created all things by Jesus Christ(Eph 3:9).

John says: 

The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Imagine to yourself of being a servant of such a one as this? 

Compare the service in the markets of men, driven by supply and demand, having highs and lows according to the flesh nature of mankind which gives no guarantee of service, what king of security do you have in such an employment as this?

Now imagine if God is the one to serve!

Three Questions to consider;

  1. Will the employment be more secure than that rendered to man?
  • Is there an opening for another servant?
  • Will the service bear fruit?

A Pre-Ordained Calling

1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to bean apostle,

It is true that the nature of Paul’s calling was particular, he was calledto bean apostle. Beloved the office of Apostle ended in the first century. 

In the vacuum of the word of God, doctrines of devils have infested the contemporary church with gross error.  

The heretics of today who have led and propagated the cult known as The New Apostolic Reformation, will find their abode in the Blackness of Darkness that Jude speaks of, forever.   

These had not seen Christ in the flesh, they had not been specifically sent by Christ, they are not named in scripture as Apostles, nor do they live in the times of the apostles. 

The office of Paul was particular, but his calling to service was Pre-Ordained, he was “a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle”. When was he called?

Paul gives a part of his testimony to the Galatians in the first chapter, turn to Galatians 1:13

13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: 14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

Even prior to his persecution of the Church the Lord had both separated and called him. 

Prior even to his name being changed from Saul to Paul did the Lord separate and call him.

Prior even to the naming of his name by his mother, 

prior to his birth did the Lord already separate and call him to the work of the Gospel, to preach him among the heathen.

SOVEREIGNTY

Is it strange to think that God who made the world continues to ordain and move the world?

We have an introduction of the sovereignty of God in this first verse but will not show it in deapth till it comes up with fervency in the ninth chapter, but we would do well to introduce it in the light of its introduction here.

Is it strange to think that God who made the world continues to ordain and move the world?

There are some who think that God created the world and then let go and watches from a distance, like one who pulls the string on a spinning top and sits back to see how it will end up. But is this the God of the Bible?

Turn quickly with me to Isaiah 46:9

The passages from chapter 44 through to 46 are of great value in what God says of himself. You might consider Job Chapters 38 to the end of the book also significant. But these few verses in chapter 46 sum up well how the Bible presents the god of the Bible as distinct from the god of a feeble mind.

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

It is of interest that the single most commonly used excuse for the heathen-denial of God, emphatically affirms the sovereignty of God. What do I mean?

The most common excuse people give denying God is what is called “the question of evil”.

“If God exists why is there so much evil in the world”, or

“If God exists, why does he let bad things happen to good people” etc

I don’t have time in this message to bring out all the detail of that statement, but clearly one of the doctrines the entire statement presumes is the Biblical Sovereignty of God

Paul was ‘a servant of Jesus Christ, calledto bean apostle,”

He was “Separated from his mothers womb”

To Jeremiah the Lord said, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee,andI ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

But what does the Lord say about you?

Have you also been ordained to the service of the Lord?

Beloved please consider; If you are not in the service of a fickle market but in the service of the sovereign God of the universe, not only is there consistency of work to be gainfully employed, but there is security of employment.

How secure is God compared to the world? God changeth not says the Bible, he is the same yesterday, today and forever, but the world promises and cannot deliver. 

The world promises health, wealth, prosperity, security, friendship and complete contentment and happiness in life but it NEVER, EVER, HAS FULLFILLED THAT PROMISE TO ANYONE, yet we still believe it! I could go off on a tangent here…but ill restrain myself!

The work of the Lord is the ONLY Work that can be secure. But what if the work was Pre-Ordained?

How secure would the work be if God had already before ordained the work for you to do?

 Recall the questions we asked in the first point?

  1. Will the employment be more secure than that rendered to man?
  • Is there an opening for another servant?
  • Will the service bear fruit?

On the first point, if the employment of God that Paul was a servant in, was Pre-Ordained by God himself, it is fair to say it is infinitely more secure than that offered to man! 

Perhaps the passage we next turn to will help answer not only the first, but also the second question. Turn with me to Ephesians chapter 2:8-10

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:it isthe gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

It would take another sermon, even several to bring out the wonder in this passage, so incredible are its implications. 

If you are born again, saved through faith, it did not happen of yourself, but is a gift of God, you are HIS WORKMANSHIP, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

But when did God make such a choice of you, when did God before ordain you?

Ephesians 1:4

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

  1. Will the employment be more secure than that rendered to man? YES
  • Is there an opening for another servant? YES

These two questions will be answered again and again as we consider the next two points, and the answer to question three,  ‘will the service bear fruit?’ Should have the effect of taking our desire away from any false promise the world might offer.

A Devine Separation

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, calledto bean apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

I have a man who works with me, the most trustful and hardworking employee I have ever had, we have been working together for more than ten years. He has a dog that he used to bring onto the building sites named Roon. He is a English Staffy, a beautiful dog and about as faithful as you can get. 

But Roon has one problem, he gets separation anxiety when Robbie is away from him. Robbie is his master and the supplier of all his needs and, it seems, the supplier of his confidence. When Robbie is away, Roon frets. 

Being separated from everything else but to Robbie, makes Roon fret to the point he gets sick.

One of the lead cause of anxiety today is the feeling of being lost, separated from all that seems secure in life, a stable home, a loving environment, a loving partner, gainful employment, and the basic needs to life being met for the ultimate desire of Happiness to be gained, remove one of these and the sickness of anxiety and fear grip your life.

It is happiness the world seeks after and employs a multitude of devices to have it gained.

As mentioned earlier, separation to the worlds promises of health, wealth, prosperity, security, friendship and complete contentment is continued through life until they reach the end goal of happiness in life

BUT SEPERATION UNTO THE WORLD HAS NEVER, EVER FULLFILLED THAT PROMISE TO ANYONE. 

What we see is a world that is anxious and sick, NOT HAPPY. 

Mortimer Adler theChief Editor of The Encyclopaedia Britannica Great Books of the Western World said “When men say that what they want is happiness, they imply that, having it, they would ask for nothing more”

Thomas Aquinas said

“Happy is the man who has all his desires, (ALL GOOD THINGS), or whose every wish is fulfilled”

But Mortimer Adler notes a problem saying 

“man can only come to the possession of all good things only in the succession of his days, not simultaneously; and so happiness is never actually achieved but is always in the process of being achieved. When that process is completed, the man is dead, his life is done”

SEPERATED UNTO THE WORLD leaves us suffering a separation anxietyincurable by the world, But being separated unto the Gospel of God fulfils the good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, calledto bean apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

  • As a servant of Jesus Christ you have the most secure service you can ever be a part of. 
  • To know that all who have come to faith in Christ were called to it, even “before the foundation of the world” proves to us the POWER of God to make good all he promises.
  • Then to be Separated unto the gospel of God shows the work will be the most fulfilling joy we can take a part in. 

Beloved all that in the first seventeen words of the book of Romans and yet there is more.

What is this gospel work but the telling of the way of life everlasting. It is the greatest news in the history of the world because it solves the greatest problem of the world.

The world is NOT Separated UNTO God, but separated FROM God. It is not bathed in the light of Christ but drowning in darkness, it’s not contentment and joy that is growing statistically but suicide. Yet you and I have the greatest news in the world to share, just as the Apostle Paul did, and the work is employed, pre-ordained to be successful, all it needs are the workers to accept the work.

  1. Will the service bear fruit?

A Prophetic Promise

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, calledto bean apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)

It is the gospel of God that God had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures, men many years earlier were also separated unto the gospel of God to tell of its coming. The promise of the coming of the Saviour of the world is written in the book of books well before the arrival of the New testament.

The promise of the coming messiah was not a secret, it was not a thing hidden. The account of the resurrection of the dead was well sought for in Israel. Paul testified that it was that very thing that he was called into question of proclaiming in Acts 24:21. 

Zech 9:9

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: heisjust, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Zech 11:12-13

12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, givememy price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirtypiecesof silver. 13 And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirtypiecesof silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.

Ps 22:13-18

 13 They gaped upon mewiththeir mouths,asa ravening and a roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they lookandstare upon me. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

For centuries it was the virgins of Israel’s expectation and hope that she might be the one to bare the child Isaiah wrote of in Isaiah 7:14. He wrote of the suffering of Messiah in chapter 53, Daniel wrote that the very timing of Messiah to come into the world in Daniel chapter 9 and stated that this same one will be Cut off; that is, Killed. Isaiah said that this would occur saying, for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.(Isa 53:8).

For the most detailed picture of the Gospel of Christ, read Isiah 53, a short chapter that pictures Christ and his suffering for the gospel like no other in the Old Testament.

Why such detail? This is the one all Israel knew would come, they expected him, looked for him, rejoiced even before he came that he would come.

Jacob, the patriarch of the nation, spoke of him when on his deathbed and prophesied. 

Turn with me there, Genesis 49:9-10

Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? 10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

Have you been gathered to Christ? All people will be gathered to Christ, Zechariah tells us it will be the heathen that will turn first to the Lord. These know their sin more readily than the Jew, they desire the forgiveness of it, they desire their lives changed, they desire to be accepted by the Lord, and to him they gather.

10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shallthe gathering of the people be.

“The Sceptre” was the judicial right of capital punishment that was bestowed upon Judah and Judah alone. Shiloh is the Messiah to whom all authority belongs. The Jews have always known and still hold this passage to refer to that great gospel of Messiah.

Rome had taken away the scepter of Judah when it annexed Judea, it removed from Judah the right of capital punishment, this is attested by our own witness in the New Testament, the Pharisees needed to go to Pilot for permission to put Christ to death. 

If the Sceptre was promised not to be removed from Judah until Shiloh comes, and the Sceptre WAS removed in the very years of the life of Christ whom the New Testament claims to be that messiah looked for, then Shiloh came. 

God had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures that gospel committed to Paul and now to you and I.

Will it bear fruit?

Turn to Acts 17:1-7

Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few. But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside downare come hither also;

In less than thirty years the gospel of God was believed by such and number of people that its reputation proceeded it wherever it went. 

This is that gospel committed to you and me, to preach to all people until the lord comes to take us with him.

You are all in HIS service, you are all separated unto HIM and his work is both secure and will bear the fruit HE has ORDAINED since before the world was. 

There is no enterprise on earth that has already been ordained to succeed, but the preaching of the cross of Christ has, and all those gainfully employed in this endeavour have the security of being in The Service of the King of Kings.

Is there a demand for the gospel?

The free market has one thing that separates it from everything else that is controlled by man, everything is determined by demand. Nothing can hope to succeed unless there is demand for it.

Turn with me to John 4:31-38

You recall the passage don’t you? Our Lord speaking with the woman at the well proclaiming to her this very gospel of himself.

In verse 25 

25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

31  In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him oughtto eat? 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and thencometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.

Beloved here the word of the Lord please, and consider deeply.

If it is none other that the King of Kings employment that we are to render service, and this service and its works were pre-ordained for each one of us to walk in and perform, and if the market demand for the hope found in the gospel remains as a harvest white and ready to be gathered in, then the results of ALL our work to that end WILL BEAR FRIUT.

Success in all outcomes are guaranteed but be sure to know the outcome is of the Lord. Some will see fruit now, others will build the foundation for which those coming after will build upon, not seeing the fruit in this life, nevertheless we work the works of God.

Paul, was a servant of Jesus Christ, he was called to be an apostle, and separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,).

You and I are to continue in the blessed work begun by the apostles of Christ, to preach the gospel to a sick and anxious world of people, fearful of life as well of death, and to make disciples of men to continue the work when we are no more here.

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