Romans 1:1 (B): Paul, A Servant Of Christ Jesus, Called To Be An Apostle, Set Apart For The Gospel Of God
 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, (ESV)
We love titles. We tend to be attracted to those who have authority. We like power. This is part of the make up of who we are. In the world that we live in those who have power are able to get what they want. They often have abused others to get the position of authority they possess. We don't want to be abused, but we seem ok with abusing others to avoid being mistreated ourselves.
Paul had great authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ. Our faith is founded on the teaching of the apostles. The apostles were given great power to perform various kinds of miracles so as to validate their message. There is even a story in the Book of Acts where Simon saw the apostles laying hands on people who received the Holy Spirit. Simon wanted to give money and buy that power. (Acts 8)
We may well ask why God chose Paul to be an apostle. The answer is found in the first part of this verse. Before Paul even considers himself an apostle he identifies himself as a servant. Paul was not a slave forced to serve. Rather, he willingly laid down his life for the savior. In a similar way as the savior laid down his life for us, Paul laid down his life for the savior.
Paul was a humble servant. This is the kind of man that God is looking for. Humility is the qualification for authority in God's kingdom. As a result of Paul's willingness to serve, including being an apostle, the course of his whole life was dedicated to declaring the "gospel of God." Paul's ultimate reward for being set apart for the gospel would include martyrdom.
Do you find yourself craving power and influence? Are you jealous of others who have the power you think you should have? Humble yourself and be a servant. God exalts the humble.
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