This letter is from Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. I have been sent to proclaim faith to those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives. 2 This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God—who does not lie—promised them before the world began. 3 And now at just the right time he has revealed this message, which we announce to everyone. It is by the command of God our Savior that I have been entrusted with this work for him.Titus 1:1-3 NLT
In yesterday’s post – A Slave of God – we thought about Paul’s opening words in the letter of Titus. Today we continue on that same line.
Paul identifies himself not only as a slave of God, but also as an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.
What is an apostle? There are a few different definitions actually, and the one most commonly used is to describe the group who first took the Christian message into the world. These were mainly the disciples of Christ, and of course, Paul himself. Many of them had seen the Risen Lord.
One definition I once heard is that apostle means “Sent One.” I like that, and it has always stuck with me. Hence the name of today’s post I suppose!
If Paul is indeed a “sent one,” then what has he been sent to do? The NLT translation makes it abundantly clear. He has been sent to proclaim faith to those God has chosen.
In many respects, all who minister in God’s Word are called to do this. Whether you write a blog, pastor a church or teach a small group, you are proclaiming faith to God’s people. A proclamation is a public announcement of some kind, and in this case, an announcement of the Good News of Jesus.
Sometimes when I sit and write a blog post, it is not easy. I read the Scripture, think about what God might want me to say and often tie myself in knots. Proclaiming faith is not complicated however, and nor should it be. It is not something that only top theologians can do, nor do you need a doctorate or ordination. I’m not against such things I hasten to add, but let us not disqualify ourselves from stating the simple truth of the Gospel to the world that desperately needs it.
If “apostle” means “sent one,” then where is God sending you? #Bible #Jesus #ChristianityTweet
I cannot gloss over the little note that Paul adds. He is proclaiming faith to those God has chosen. This touches on the theology of sovereignty, and makes us ask if it is God’s choice, does that remove our own freedom? You often hear people talk of “free will,” but you will not find that phrase in the Bible itself. While there are choices we can make, we must ask ourselves what really drives them. Without straying into philosophy here, what makes you decide to choose option A over B? If you lived a different life, experienced different things or happened to be born in another part of the world, would you still choose A over B? Hard to say…
The point is, when we are trapped in sin, we cannot choose God. As fallen and sinful creatures, there is nothing in us that wants anything of God. In order for us to be saved, He must choose us. Indeed, God did so before the foundation of the world. If we follow Christ, then we are the elect, and God has adopted us into His family. We can claim no credit for this, but instead rejoice in the truth that God did it all for us.
Is God sending you to proclaim faith to His people? That may not mean you boarding a plane and travelling to some far off land, as God’s chosen people might be just around the corner. If God sends you, then proclaim faith in your words and deeds. Do not say the words and fail to live the life.
Proclaim faith with your words and deeds. Do not preach the words and fail to live the life #Bible #Jesus #ChristianityTweet
Still more to come on Titus 1:1 another day! God bless you