Thursday, November 27, 2014

Servants and Apostles

Titus 1:1-3 - Paul, a bond servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, but has in due time manifested His word through preaching...

Jam packed scripture. What we are called to be...according to our faith in Christ. Servants and apostles. Yes, a servant is a slave. But he is also one who, as Strong's Exhaustive Concordance says: gives himself up to another's will, those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men; devoted to another to the disregard of one's own interests. A root definition is to be bound to. We can look at slavery as being bound negatively in the natural, but in the spiritual it is anything but. If we are bound to Christ, we are secure.

But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. (‭Romans‬ ‭7‬:‭6‬)  Some believe we must work our way to heaven by doing good or perhaps by attempting to do our best to follow rules. That is what is considered the law, legalism. Old Testament laws included having to offer up animal sacrifices to god to atone for sins. When Jesus came He became the sacrifice that man would no longer be under the law, which no one could perfectly keep. When we receive Christ we change. We serve and do works, not to be approved by Christ but because we are in Christ, in the Spirit, do for Him.

An apostle, on the other hand according to Strong's, is: a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders. While not all Christ followers are given the specific call to be an apostle, we are each admonished to be messengers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is our faith in Him that allows us to do this. We are called to show people who He is, lead them, as it were, to Christ. This also is through the Spirit.

Who we are called to be... When we have come to the realization of who Jesus is, we become God's elect. We have acknowledged the truth which brings godliness and that hope of eternal life in and through Christ. Hallelujah. I think about the turmoil in this world today. Oh that people would know the Lord, know what His truth is. I can assure you things would not be like this. There would be less wrong thinking and more understanding.

Part of that truth is God cannot lie. What we hear Him say throughout the pages of His Word from beginning to end may not always resonate with some, but it still is His truth,  that promise, from the beginning of time. He never changes, but He changes us...changes a person's viewpoint and while some may think those views are narrow, that there is no tolerance, it's still the truth of God's Word.

Yes, I am a servant of God, I believe that He does not lie, He does not change so I must change and therefore my views are narrow too. But I know what is truth. I will proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the truth that it is. I cling to the hope in eternal life through Christ alone.

2Timothy 1:8-9 - Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began...

1 comment:

  1. I received an email with the comment: a servant in this context would have been willing! A slave was not. I believe that this scrip was about the voice to serve. I do not believe "a servant is a slave". I believe a great difference is in CHOICE, not by bound or direction of anyone, even our good Lord.

    In doing additional research on the word servant/slave, I find, as I alluded to in the blog, it was not always a negative connotation. The word servant and slave both come from the same biblical concordance definition and one Bible translation might use servant, another slave. It can be confusing. I wholeheartedly agree that the servant in this context is one who does not begrudgingly serve but does it willingly, joyfully. In following Christ I would not consider being a slave a bad thing. A slave to Christ is good, a slave to sin is not.

    I hope this helps!?