I absolutely love how people are defined in the Scriptures. Rarely (if ever) does a name just appear. Typically there is some definition such as “daughter of” or “brother of.” Even Jesus is announced as the Son of God. Take a look at 1Timothy 1:1-2 (NASB):
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope,
2 To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Immediately the reader knows that Paul is an apostle (believer, advocate, supporter, disciple) of Jesus. The reader also knows that God is our Savior, Jesus is our hope and our Lord and Timothy is a true child of the faith. Yes, all that in less than 50 words!
In this crazy world it is important to know who you are. The world is forever trying to define us and typically chooses to do so by standards such as our social station, our geographic location, our function in life, our size or shape or color, our political affiliation…
What do you say when someone asks you, “Who are you?” Do you respond, “I’m a mom.” “I’m a doctor.” “I’m a Girl Raised in the South.” “I’m a divorcee.” “I’m so and so’s daughter.”
Let’s go back to Paul. He announces himself as an apostle of Christ Jesus. Understand that Paul could have written, “Paul, a tent maker according to his vocation…” Or perhaps he might have chosen, “Paul, a Roman Citizen according to his citizenry…” There were many accurate and true monikers that Paul could have assigned himself. Fourteen of the 27 books of the New Testament have been attributed to Paul. Surely he could have written, “Paul, a great author…” or “Paul, a teacher…” Approximately half of the book of Acts is about Paul’s life and works. Wouldn’t you think he would want you to know that?
That’s typically how we operate – introduce ourselves by the important titles, the impressive titles, the titles that mean the most to us. I think the latter is what Paul did! And I, for one, confess that my first thoughts do not always parallel Paul’s. In absolute honesty, to introduce myself as a disciple of Christ or a child of Christ – well, those descriptions aren’t even in the pool of descriptors from which I typically fish.
If I believe the Bible. If I have, as Galatians 2:20 (NASB) says, “been crucified with Christ,” then also according to that same Scripture, “…it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” If these things are true, then who am I?
Debbie, an apostle of Christ Jesus…
Who are you?