Saturday, September 3, 2016


by Russell S. Miller

          In Paul's epistles he always opens with his name and, in most instances the phrase, "an apostle of Jesus Christ." But in his epistle to Titus, he opens with the declaration:

 "Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness" (Titus 1:1).

Saul, as he was also known, commissioned with authority from the chief priests, was anything but godly in his persecution of Messiah's followers. But suddenly, on the road to Damascus, in Acts 9, the Lord stopped him in his tracks:

 "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 is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? ..." (Acts 9:4-6).

 When the Lord appeared to Paul, at Damascus, he was most acutely aware of how wrong he had been, and of how ungodly his life had been without Christ, and it greatly humbled him. Years later this once proud Pharisee wrote that it was only God's grace that had made him the man of God he had become--"an apostle" and the devoted "servant of Jesus Christ" in ministering "the gospel of God" to the Gentiles (Rom.1:1-5). In Ephesians 3:7 he further tells us that he was "made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God, given unto me by the effectual working of His power.

 "Unto me, who am LESS than the LEAST of all saints, is this GRACE given, that I should PREACH among the Gentiles THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST" (Eph. 3:7,8).

 In our text the word "servant," doulos in the Greek and rendered "bondman" in Textus Receptus, refers to one who serves. Paul was now the willing "servant" of Jesus Christ. Thus he exhorts believers not to be blinded by the devil's lies, "For we preach not ourselves, but CHRIST JESUS THE LORD; and ourselves your SERVANTS for Jesus' sake" (II Cor. 4:5). And because Paul was a faithful "bond slave" of Jesus Christ, he wrote Timothy:

"Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (II Tim. 4:17,18).

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