My observations from the life of the apostle – Paul and Lessons learned.
There are things which we read in Scripture about the apostle Paul, his life & his statements!
They reveal His POSITION and APPROACH,
1. to CHRIST,
2. to the CHURCH and
3. to the MINISTRY!
The apostle’s statements as recorded in Scripture!
They reveal PRINCIPLES which are basic to MINISTRY LIFE and SERVICE.
ATTITUDE and APPROACH to ministry.
- These have ‘caught’ my attention and interest and have been a positive influence in my life.
- They have helped to formulate Godly principles IN me for ministry and service!
- They have empowered me with confidence to give leadership in many different ways
- They have helped me to Stay ‘POSITIONED’ (rightly) in my personal responses to Christ and have determined what my ATTITUDE and APPROACH should be to MINISTRY and to LEADERSHIP.
Lessons from the apostle Paul
HIS PASSION TO PREACH THE GOSPEL
READY and WILLING to preach the Gospel
Rom 1:15 So, to the fullest extent of my ability, I am ready to come also to you in Rome to preach God’s Good News. TLB
Romans 1:15 And that’s why I can’t wait to get to you in Rome, preaching this wonderful good news of God. (The Message)
Rom 15:20 It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. NIV
Rom 1:15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome. NIV
1 Cor 9:16 Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! NIV
- That there is a compulsion to preach which comes from the stewardship that is entrusted to us.
- It is the obligation required because such a stewardship has been given by Christ to us.
- We are commissioned to tell the Good News
A TRUST GIVEN
1 Corinthians 9:16-17 Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. NIV
STEWARDSHIP – TRUSTEESHIP
“ I am [still] entrusted with a [sacred] trusteeship and commission ”. AMP
“ for God has picked me out and given me this sacred trust, and I have no choice ”. TLB
“ I have been entrusted with a stewardship ”. NKJV
- Desire to preach in other cities beyond
- BEYOND where the church gathers
2 Cor 10:16 After that, we will be able to preach the Good News to other cities that are far beyond you, where no one else is working; then there will be no question about being in someone else’s field. TLB
- Desire to preach further afield!
- To go preaching STILL further!
Rom 15:20 But all the while my ambition has been to go still farther, preaching where the name of Christ has never yet been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else. TLB
- Desiring to preach TO THE GENTILES
- To those who were not Jews.
- Those outside God’s covenant blessings!
See – Gal 1:16-18
- Always pushing the present boundaries.
- Always wanting to penetrate further into new territory with the Gospel.
- Always straining forth to find another place to preach.
- Not content to remain just where the church regularly gathers.
- Always thinking of another city, town, village to make Christ known!
Gal 1:16-18 to reveal his Son to me, so that I might preach the Good News about him to the Gentiles, I did not go to anyone for advice,17 nor did I go to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before me. Instead, I went at once to Arabia, and then I returned to Damascus. TEV
Galatians 1:15-24 But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was please 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man,17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days.19 I saw none of the other apostles — only James, the Lord’s brother.20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.21 Later I went to Syria and Cilicia.22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.23 They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.”24 And they praised God because of me. NIV
- To REVEAL His Son in me
- So I might PREACH!
- He saw that the whole purpose of God in saving him;
- it was that he might preach!
- That he might be God’s mouth piece
Christ revealed in the believer for the purpose of PREACHING – TELLING about Christ. Preaching to those who do not know him.
The purpose of his choosing of us to be saved is to proclaim the good news of his sons’ redemptive work on the cross – ‘TELLING’ it with WORDS.
- Christ revealed in Paul so he might PREACH!
- This shows how IMPORTANT GOD considers PREACHING!
- GOD chose this METHOD – PREACHING – to make the gospel known .
- This is HIS WAY – HIS CHOICE – to make known His Son’s redemptive work of salvation
- Why do we struggle with this concept of preaching to make Christ known?
- Why do we resort to ‘other’ forms of making the Gospel known.
- The Gospel is to be preached – not explained
- The Gospel is Not to be rationalized – hypothesized or explained away!
- It is to be preached!
- TO REVEAL HIS SON IN ME
- SO I might preach!
This is also true for ALL OF US – we have been saved to TELL the Gospel.
It must be TOLD, with WORDS!
It must be spoken – living is not sufficient!
Living the gospel is important, as is demonstrating God’s love to people through humanitarian and mercy type service – BUT this is NOT SUFFICIENT
The commandment is to TELL – to PREACH – to use WORDS – to ARTICULATE the gospel and DEMONSTRATING it by miraculous signs.
- Gospel has to be ‘told’ – with words
- It has to be spoken!
- It is articulated by words!
- It cannot just be lived – it must be preached!
- It is proclamation – publicly announcing – telling with words – the using of the mouth!
1 Cor 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message PREACHED to save those who believe. NKJV
- The message must be preached
1 Cor 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of PREACHING to save them that believe. KJV
- It’s the message preached that saves
- Because the message has in itself the power to save!
PREACHING the gospel SAVES people.
- If we want to get people saved we need to PREACH the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection.
- We can use all kinds of ways to preach – to tell – to proclaim; and God will give us amazing insights how to do that.
- The right method, at the right place, in the right time, with the right message.
- HIS PASSION TO PREACH – Immediately led him to Arabia and Damascus;
- NOT Jerusalem; NOT to the apostles
- His actions do not reflect an independent attitude or lack of submission to leadership BUT that there was something more pressing within him.
- To make Christ known beyond!
His passion to preach INVOLVED:
1) USING all MEANS and
2) BEING – all THINGS to All MEN So he might,
3) WIN some of them.
- He was willing to go to these extremes for this purpose – to win some people.
- He was PREPARED to use all means. i.e.
- Different kinds of methods, styles, ways, presentations so he might
- reach people with the good news and WIN them for Christ – bring them to Christ the savior.
- Such was his passion he was prepared to use any legitimate way to see people here and be saved.
- He was prepared to IDENTIFY with.
- He was prepared to identify with all men and come down to their level to win them for Christ. (But not denying Godly living or principles).
- Paul was not fixed upon one method or model.
- He did not know which method would be successful at any given time or in any given place!
- BUT did know that God would use any method.
- He did know that God was diverse – had many sides to his wisdom and power!
- He also knew the diversity of God, that he does not do things the same way each time.
- Many seek to find a specific ‘model’ to copy or implement for their ministry or church.
- Why not allow God to show his diversity and his creative power through all means
- Be willing to try different methods of presenting the Gospel.
- The message remains the same, but the method can change.
- Allow God to be God and demonstrate his power through whatever method / way he chooses.
- It is not the method that counts IT IS THE MESSAGE.
1 Cor 9:19-23 And this has a real advantage: I am not bound to obey anyone just because he pays my salary; yet I have freely and happily become a servant of any and all so that I can win them to Christ.
- Freely & Happily became a servant of anyone and everyone so I can save them
20 When I am with the Jews I seem as one of them so that they will listen to the Gospel and I can win them to Christ. When I am with Gentiles who follow Jewish customs and ceremonies I don’t argue, even though I don’t agree, because I want to help them. 21 When with the heathen I agree with them as much as I can, except of course that I must always do what is right as a Christian. And so, by agreeing, I can win their confidence and help them too. 22 When I am with those whose consciences bother them easily, I don’t act as though I know it all and don’t say they are foolish; the result is that they are willing to let me help them. Yes, whatever a person is like, I try to find common ground with him so that he will let me tell him about Christ and let Christ save him.
1 Cor 9:19-23 When with the heathen I agree with them as much as I can, except of course that I must always do what is right as a Christian. And so, by agreeing, I can win their confidence and help them too.
- He was happily prepared to be personally inconvenienced so that he could share the Gospel.
- He was willing TO BE and TO DO whatever it took to get close enough – make friends with – to be able to tell about Jesus.
- His willingness knew no boundaries; it had not conditions.
- He was unlimited in his passion to become all things to all men – that he might win some.
- This is one of the main characteristics I see in the life of the apostle.
In all his teaching, instructing and laying of foundational truths (principles) – HIS ONE PASSION – was:
THE SALVATION OF THE LOST!
Pastor Barry Silverback.