Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness
I love the humility with which probably the greatest Christian ever describes himself: as a slave of God. Even the title of “Apostle”, which false teachers often like to adorn themselves with, simply means messenger. Yes, the Apostles were those who had seen Christ in the flesh, but it wasn’t simply to elevate themselves, but to proclaim Jesus to the world.
Why was Paul a slave with a message? Was it in order to emancipate himself? Was it a means to the end of lining his pockets? Was it to earn the adulation of an adoring fanbase? No!
Paul was a slave with a message for the sake of the faith of God’s elect. Because we don’t know those whom God has chosen to bring to faith, we should declare the gospel to all and sundry. When some come to faith then, we are to build them up in it.
When Paul talks about knowledge of the truth, he doesn’t simply mean to be aware of the good news of Jesus. The knowledge he’s on about isn’t an intellectual knowledge, as in “I know about the Queen”. It’s a relational knowledge along the lines of “I know my wife”. Knowledge of the truth doesn’t simply touch the head and fail to impact our hearts and lives. It accords with godliness. In other words, it makes us better people, like my wife makes me a better person!
“Lord, may we see ourselves as we are, slaves of Yours with Your message to proclaim to the world. May Your truth impact our lives, and may our lives impact others, in Christ’s name, amen”