Portrait Of God’s Appointed Servants
It is certain the Lord will not appoint the blind to lead the blind, sinners to call other sinners to repentance, unconverted people to convert hypocrites, ignorant people to lead unbelievers to the Saviour, hirelings to shepherd His flock, hypocrites to proclaim His holiness and enemies of righteousness to be the ambassadors of His righteousness. ]
God cannot appoint a stranger to lead His people to the Promised Land, wolves in sheep’s clothing to watch over His flock, unclean spiritual lepers to serve as agents of cleansing, dogs to be stewards of holy things, and swine to handle the pearls of the mystery of the Kingdom.
God appoints those who are saved to reach out to the unsaved, the sanctified to be His vessels of honour, and the Spirit-filled to transmit His power through the gospel to the world.
God wants believers to understand their calling in Christ and purposefully commit themselves to fulfilling it. Apostle Paul understood his calling as one appointed to preach, teach, evangelise, edify the body of Christ, and prepare the people for the Lord’s coming. And he did the work faithfully.
Paul the apostle introduced himself both as a servant and an apostle. Formerly a blasphemer, an injurious person, a persecutor and chief of sinners whose sole aim was to destroy the churches, he heard the voice of the Lord on his way to Damascus to persecute the church there and became converted.
His conversion was significant in the Kingdom because he laboured much among the Gentile nations and raised other ministers for the Lord. Genuine conversion will lead to true commitment. Paul’s uncompromising conviction, his untiring commitment to God and the glorious gospel were an undeniable evidence of his conversion.
Called and commissioned to preach the gospel he once opposed, he laboured more abundantly than those who were apostles before him. Paul introduced himself as “a servant of God”. The word “servant” means a bond slave.
As a highly educated Jewish scholar, he knew that a servant or bond slave was the most servile person who willingly submitted to the will and rule of his master. Paul accepted the authority and leadership above him. Now, he was a willing servant to God. This means that he had no life of his own; he had no will of his own; he had no plan of his own; he had no purpose of his own. Every thought, plan, act or relationship was subject to and under the control of his Master.
True believers have been bought with a price and are bond slaves of God. Paul the apostle also described himself as “an apostle of Jesus Christ”. An apostle is a special messenger sent by a master of greater, divine authority with a specific message that can neither be changed nor modified. The message or service appointed by the king was always greater than the life, security and convenience of his servants.
The apostles were aware of the compelling authority of the message entrusted to them to deliver to the world and to the Church. Necessity was laid upon them to be committed and faithful to God even when they were hated and persecuted by the world. Paul’s commitment and submission to the Lord was absolute, not gradual. Our commitment, devotion and dedication to the Lord must also be absolute.
God that calls and commissions His servants has also defined their assignment. No servant or messenger is at liberty to decide what he wants to say or do because he is under the total control of his master.
The recipients of the message are also not given the freedom to determine what they like to hear. The Lord ordains the message and the messenger, the assignment and the ambassador. In fact, the message is first determined before a faithful messenger is sought and appointed to spread it. No one has the power to modify the message.
Having been chosen by the Lord, Paul’s mission was to call unbelievers to the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, make the elect have assurance, bring them to the knowledge of the truth and teach them about godliness after knowing the truth. Given the assignment to educate and encourage saints to have a lively hope of eternal life, the anointed minister is ever conscious of his commission.
Further Reading (King James Version): Titus 1:1-4; 1 Corinthians 6:19,20; Exodus 21:2-6; Galatians 6:14-17; Romans 1:1; Galatians 1:1,10; 2 Timothy 4:2; Acts 13:26; 14:3; 15:7; Romans 10:8-10; 2 Corinthians 5:19; 2 Timothy 2:15; Philippians 2:16; Galatians 2:1,3; 2 Corinthians 2:12,13; 8:23; 12:17,18; Romans 16:3,4,6-10,12,13,21; Titus 1:5.
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