What would be said about you in Chapter 1 Verse 1 of this book of your life?
The authors of the letters often wrote what I call a “twitter bio” – you know, a short listing of words or descriptions for you at this time in your life, or specific to this current reflection of yourself.
Paul, writing to those Christians in Rome, began his letter:
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God – Romans 1:1
Wow, I love that, as a preacher I see three important words of distinction
A Servant – doulos = a slave, bond servant, What I find interesting often about bond servants is that they were set free but chose to bind themselves in gratitude to their greater master. Paul says, “I’m a slave”. The sense there is that it is someone owned by another, legally, whose entire livelihood and purpose is determined by their owner. Paul says “I belong to God, I am his servant and everything about me is at his discretion.”
Then he says I’m called an apostle. The key word for me is NOT apostle, that was specific to him, but it’s the idea that he was called. That word, kletos – logos bible says “someone whose participation or presence has been officially requested; especially a request to which refusal is NOT AN OPTION. Wow, Hello! I do what I do because there is no option. God has requested my presence, with him, obeying him, serving him, in the field he chooses, and refusal is NOT an option. If it is an option, then it is not a calling.
Do you have a “call” that is from God and of which refusal is not an option?
1 Corinthians 1:1 Paul begins that letter, “Paul, called as an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will”
I am called as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, by God’s will, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul says he is a servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle and
Set apart – aphorizo = to be selected and separated for a purpose; to mark off boundaries, to mark one oneself, to appropriate for or to oneself
That word “appropriate” – carries the idea of resources that have come in for some purpose, or by some means, but now has been selected and designated for something else. It means “suitable for the circumstance; devote a resource to a specific purpose; take for one’s own use”
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, and set apart from the gospel.
My twitter handle is jamesgoforthjr – my profile description says – James L Goforth Jr, Christ Follower, Husband, Father, Son, Friend, Preacher, teacher, Golfer, Musician, Songwriter, Thinker, Pastor of FBC Ferguson.
But if i made it even more focused I would say – James Goforth – Called and Set Apart Servant of Christ and the gospel he provides, Husband and Father, Friend to any who will allow, Worshipper of God.
What would verse 1 of this chapter or book of your life say?
Even more focused mine might say,
Jim Goforth – Called and set apart as a Shepherd at FBC Ferguson, a Missionary to the City of Ferguson, a lover of people, an agent of unity
What would your verse 1 say about you?