The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 6:20 wrote – “For you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which is God’s.”
Consider how the Apostle Paul saw himself – Romans 1:1
“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God.”
1. Paul saw himself as a bondservant of Jesus Christ.
· This term would have resonated with the Romans because it was estimated there were 60 million slaves in the Roman Empire.
· They were seen not as a person with any rights, but as property, belonging to someone else. (They were bought and sold at will.)
· He must do as he was told and go where he was sent.
· He must respect, obey, suffer or even die, with no say of his own in the matter.
· His time, his will, his body, his life, were not his own.
Note: When Paul realized the price that Jesus had paid to redeem him, he chose to stoop to the level of a slave. He saw himself as a bondservant. The bond between him and Christ was God’s love for him and his responding love for his LORD, and Master.
“Thus, to know and love and serve Him,
Let my high absorption be,
Finding as His willing bondman,
Life, unfettered, radiant, free.” Dr. J. Sidlow Baxter
2. Paul realized he had been called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ.
· The word “apostle” speaks of “one who is sent by authority with a commission.”
· On that day, it spoke of a representative of the emperor or an emissary of the king.
· The term Biblically meant the person had the experience of having seen the resurrected Christ. (1 Cor 9:1-2)
Paul had such an encounter with Christ, as he was on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians. (Acts 9:1-9) Paul was specially prepared and sent by Christ to be an apostle to the Gentiles.
Note: The days of the original apostles have passed. No one was given that designation by succession. However, in John 17, Jesus was praying for all who would receive and follow Him and in vs. 18 He said, “Father, as You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”
In John 20:21 we read “And Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’” Our LORD wants to send each of us out into the world to bear witness of Him. Are we willing to go?
Note: Peter talks about the fact that all true believers in Christ make up a spiritual priesthood. (1 Peter 2:4-5)
“You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
*He says it again in verse 9 – “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. His own special people that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
He has saved us, and redeemed us, and wants us to realize that we have a special mission and that is to make Him known to others. We are His sent ones.
In Acts 1:8, just before His ascension, He said “You shall be witnesses unto Me.” We are called not just to know Him, but also to make Him known. Dear Ones, are you intentionally looking for God-given opportunities to make Him known?
3. In Romans 1:1 we see that not only are we like Paul, called to be a bondman (slave) to Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle (sent on) but we are also separated unto the Gospel of God.
Beloved, it is high time that we recognize God’s Divine Ownership of our lives and set about doing what He has called us to do. How would you like to be a witness of the Great White Throne Judgment and a family member or friend has just been told by the LORD that they will be forever separated from Him in hell, and they look at you and say, “WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME?”
Being called by Christ to be His bondman or love slave, and His sent one and exclusively set apart for the Gospel was never meant to be just for Paul. When Christ saves us, He wants us to partner with Him to establish and expand the Kingdom of God in peoples’ lives. The Apostle Paul, in 2 Timothy 2:21 wrote – “Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified (set apart) and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.” Will you today surrender to God’s three-fold call on your life? I pray that we will.