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  • Writer's pictureBurbank Road Church of Christ

Servants and Messengers

Titus 1:1-4

1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness,

2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,

3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;

4 To Titus, a true son in our common faith:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.

This is Paul's introduction in his letter to Titus.

Let's look at how Paul sees himself and ask ourselves, is this how we think of ourselves?

And should we?

I gave us the first 4 verses for context but really want us to look mainly at verse 1.

So first, Paul calls himself a bondservant, which is to say a slave or a servant of God.

He does not consider himself to be anyone important, but just a servant, doing his mater's bidding.

He is being humble, reminding himself Who he belongs to and Who he serves.

Second, Paul calls himself an "apostle of Jesus Christ".

Some translations say, "now an apostle of Jesus Christ", which makes sense giving Paul's personal history.

Now the word apostle carries a lot of different meanings to different people.

He is using the same Greek word we see used for all the apostles.

But he is not implying he is one of the original 12 (or 13 with Judas' replacement).

Instead, Paul is referring to his function, his duty.

The word apostle means a messenger, one sent on a mission, an envoy or delegate.

Meaning in this context, that he is a man sent to represent Jesus Christ.

To preach the gospel, to teach about the Lord.

So, Paul is telling Titus that he is a servant of God and a representative of Jesus Christ.

This tells Titus in what capacity Paul is contacting him.

Then Paul elaborates on how he is a servant and messenger of Christ.

He says, "according to the faith of God’s elect".

Because he believes he is one of the elect, chosen by God.

Peter also tells us that we are the chosen, the elect.

It is the same Greek word.

1 Peter 2:9-10

9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

Sounds like we all have the same job as Paul.

Maybe we do not travel like he did, but in our life, we should representatives of Jesus.

We are servants and are here to proclaim the salvation of Christ.

This is our ministry.

Then my translations says and "the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness".

The simple way to understand this phrase is to back up a second.

Look at the core of the statement, he is saying "according to faith and knowledge".

We looked at the faith, the belief that he is chosen of God, as we are.

So now we look at the second part, the knowledge.

He is a servant and apostle by his faith and knowledge.

What is his knowledge in?

The truth that relates to godliness.

In other words, his knowledge in God's word, God's truth.

We may think that disqualifies us.

We do not know as much as Paul.

But not at all.

We all have levels of knowledge based on time and study and effort.

A new Christian cannot be expected to have the type of knowledge a preacher or elder is expected to have.

They should have a beginner's level of knowledge.

We all start somewhere.

But we can all be a messenger for Christ in the knowledge we possess.

Sometimes we think we must know everything before we can speak for Jesus, but that is not so.

We can just speak of what we know.

It's okay to not know something and to admit that.

Remember, we are humble servants, not the all-knowing God.

So, should we think of ourselves like Paul did?

Are we humble servants and messengers for Jesus?

We should be.

And we should have the same expectation (this is not just a flimsy hope, put a real expectation) of eternal life with our Father that Paul mentions in verse 2.

This is a reminder and encouragement to us that this life is short and temporary, but the work we do for the Lord is worth all eternity.

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