“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness,” (Titus 1:1 (ESV)
In describing himself as a servant of God and as an apostle of Jesus Christ, Paul proclaimed two truths; he was to be obedient to not only the LORD as his master but also obedient to the LORD’s message.
When Paul called himself a servant (slave) of God, he was acknowledging that God was his Master (Rom. 1:1; Phil. 1:1). Paul was not a slave by his choice, but by God’s choice (Eph. 1:3-6). The LORD owned him (I Cor. 6:19-20.
Additionally, Paul did not comprise and compose his own message to the churches. Rather, it was God’s message and God’s Gospel of which the LORD sent him to herald and proclaim. Paul was not a motivational speaker crafting his own message. Rather, he was a God’s herald and spokesperson that God called to proclaim truth.
In recent years Steven J. Lawson has been in demand nationwide as a speaker at major conferences, particularly those for pastors. Dr. Lawson’s book, The Kind of Preaching God Blesses, is a powerful must-read for every minister who desires to preach God’s Word in a way that truly exalts the Lord and nourishes His people. In 1 Corinthians 2:1-9, the apostle Paul wrote about the keys to effective preaching. In his compact book, Dr. Lawson explains …
1. The priority of biblical preaching—an urgent call to every minister.
2. The poverty of modern preaching—what is lacking in today’s pulpits.
3. The preeminence of Christ in preaching—making Jesus the dominant theme.
4. The power of the Spirit in preaching—replacing self-confidence with God-dependence.
Paul was dedicated to serve God his master and to preach his master’s message (2 Tim. 4:1-5). Nothing could dissuade him from this task.
“Frist, he calls himself a servant of God, and next adds the particular kind of ministry, namely that he is an apostle of Christ, for there are various ranks among the servants of God. Thus he descends from the general description to the particular class. He therefore wishes to be accounted an Apostle of Christ in such a manner that he may likewise glory in being a servant of the eternal God. Thus he shows not only that those two titles are quite consistent with each other, but that they are joined by a bond which cannot be dissolved,” explains John Calvin.
Pray for those leaders in your church who have the responsibility of preaching and teaching. Pray that they will be as dedicated to the Master and the Master’s Message as Paul was.
Soli deo Gloria!