“Paul, a servant of God…” (Titus 1:1).
It’s interesting that Paul would call himself a “servant of God,” for that exact phrase is only used four times earlier in the Bible, and each time it was used of Moses (I Chron. 6:49; 24:9; Neh. 10:29; Dan. 9:11). So while all believers should try to serve God, in using that exact phrase, Paul was saying that he was the servant of God for us Gentiles (Rom. 11:13), just as Moses was the servant of God to the people of Israel.
When I was young man, the CBS affiliate in Chicago promoted itself as “the ten o’clock news.” Of course, those who preferred to watch the news on other channels would have disputed that claim! But when Miriam disputed Moses’ claim to being the servant of God to the Jews, insisting that she had as much authority in Israel as he had, she was stricken with leprosy (Num. 12:2-10). In light of the severity of that judgment, anyone today claiming to be a servant of God on a level with the apostle Paul should be thankful we live in the dispensation of grace! This would include any man who calls himself a prophet, for prophets in the Bible were men who could “prophesy” and speak the very Word of God (cf. Ezek. 37:4).
But while most Christians know better than to think that they are as important as Paul, most of them believe that the other apostles in the Bible were of equal importance with him. After all, James also calls himself a “servant of God” (James 1:1a). But, like Moses, James was the servant of God to the twelve tribes of Israel (James 1:1b), while Paul was sent to us Gentiles (Acts 22:21; 26:17,18; Gal. 1:16; 2:2,7; Eph. 3:8; I Tim. 2:7; II Tim. 1:11).
And that word “Gentiles” includes everyone living in “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph. 3:2), for now that Israel has lost her favored nation status with God, she is just another one of the nations. That means “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:13) is the apostle of the Jews as well, and that makes Paul more important to people living today than Moses or James or any of the other New Testament writers.
We might compare how each of the 50 governors in the United States is of equal authority in our country, but you must look to the governor of your state to learn the rules and regulations that have a direct bearing on your life. In the same way, all of the Bible writers are of equal authority in Scripture, but as Gentiles living in “the dispensation of the grace of God” we must all look to the writings of the man who was appointed to be “the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles” (Rom. 15:16) to learn the things that have a direct bearing on our lives, the Apostle Paul.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.
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