Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Commanded of God my Saviour

Today we start breaking down the book of 1 Timothy. We'll start in Chapter one. :) (obvious place eh?) :)
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

2To Timothy, my true child in the faith:

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

The first verses of this chapter tell us that Paul wrote this book to Timothy.
Now who does Paul tell us that he is?
1. an apostle
2. an apostle to Christ Jesus
3. by command of God our Saviour and of Christ Jesus our hope.

Hmm...that's interesting. God our Saviour and Christ Jesus our hope. and what's with this "by command of" don't recall really seeing that before. :)

The Contemporary English Version (CEV) puts it like this"1From Paul. God our Savior and Christ Jesus commanded me to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, who gives us hope."

Paul, is an apostle because God commanded it. God ordered him to be an apostle. So he had this responsibility put on him by God's himself to be a servant of Christ. Not a light undertaking. It's weird, I never before thought of being an apostle that a commandment of God. Makes it all seem somehow that much more serious to me. Probably shouldn't but it does.

Clarke tells me that the word used here is important:
We have already seen that the term αποστολος, apostle, literally signifies a person sent from one to another, without implying any particular dignity in the person, or importance in the message. But it is differently used in the New Testament, being applied to those who were sent expressly from God Almighty, with the message of salvation to mankind.......It was by the express command of God that St. Paul went to the Gentiles preaching the doctrine of salvation by faith in Christ Jesus.
Not a position to take lightly. Seems by way of comparison, not something I should take lightly either. God has called me to be his child, and that calling gives me responsibilities as share God's truth. Not something I should ignore or let slide, but consider as of primary importance. I am called of God! I am. Now to just live it every single day. That's the challenge before me.

Paul points to God being my salvation, and to Christ being my hope. This is who called me, this is my hope and my salvation. :)

But I digress a bit...Paul wrote this book to Timothy. Calls him his true child of faith. Most of the commentaries I have read say that Paul's reasoning for stating it this way is that Timothy was a person that he led to Christ. Others attribute it to the way he was raised (by faithful mom and gramma), but point to Paul's role as well.

He extends a greeting. :) This greeting shows that grace and mercy are different (otherwise why extend both to him?) and peace. All three are gifts from God to his people.

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