Paul, at the beginning of the book of Titus, calls himself a slave and apostle.
Though we often misunderstand both concepts, they tell us that Paul was fully under the authority and direction of Jesus Christ.
In this episode, we listen to a recent sermon by Nathan from the book of Titus which compels us to fully rely and depend upon Jesus in our lives.
Listen to or download the episode
- Titus 1:1 – Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ …
- Paul had quite a pedigree, but his identity was not in himself
- Philippians 3:4–6 – though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more! I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.
- Bond-servant; slave; subject
- Sense: Someone who is legally owned by another and whose livelihood and purpose is determined by their master.
- One who is solely committed to another (BDAG)
- Dan McConnaughey: the most popular name for a believer in the NT is “slave” (inferenced every time we call Jesus “Lord”)
- Slaves received
- Roman law required even bad masters to provide:
- protection, provision, direction
- Psalm 23 – A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.
- Delegate, envoy, messenger, one who is sent
- Originally was someone taught directly by Jesus and had the authority to speak on His behalf (12 Apostles + Paul) … Capital “A” apostle
- Other apostles: messenger or representative, someone commissioned and sent by Jesus or another apostle to represent and proclaim a given message.
- While they had authority, they were not THE authority—they were under the authority of the one sending.
- Sent with a message
- Ephesians 3:6-9 – … that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power. To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to proclaim to the Gentiles the good news of the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for all what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things …
- Paul has authority to bring correction and clarity to the early church … but he was under the authority of Christ.
- His goal was Christ!
- Philippians 3:10 – … that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death …
- 1 Corinthians 1:23 – … but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness …
- 2 Corinthians 4:5 – For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus.
- Culturally, our identity is in
- What we do/accomplishments (profession)
- Our struggles (problems)
- Our heritage (parentage)
- Our nation (polity)
- Our ability, talent, or wisdom (power)
- We often know Bible characters by their problems (not their transformation)
- Prodigal Son
- Blind Bartimeaus
- A Christian’s Identity
- In Christ
- IN (en) – not a movement in and out but a steady, consistent position
- What if we saw our identity IN Him rather than in ourselves?
- Colossians 1:18 – … so that he himself may become first in everything …
- In Christ
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Question: What is your identity in Christ?
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NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) is a Christian who has an overwhelming passion for Jesus, the Gospel, and Studying God’s Word. He is a writer, teacher, and communicator who helps other believers understand and apply the Bible as they grow and mature in their faith—desiring that they gain greater intimacy with Christ, experience the victorious Christian life, and transform the world through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Read more about him here.
About the Deeper Christian Podcast
Many Christians feel frustrated because they don’t grow spiritually. The Deeper Christian Podcast helps equip Christians to understand the Word of God and cultivate a passionate love for Jesus that turns the world upside down.
Whether you want to learn how to study God’s Word, grow in your faith, cultivate a powerful and effective prayer life, share the Gospel boldly, deepen your intimacy with Jesus, live victoriously, or transform the world through the indwelling life of the Holy Spirit, the Deeper Christian Podcast with NRJohnson (Nathan Johnson) will encourage and equip you to grow spiritually and live a Christ-centered life.