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Servant and Apostle Of?

(child thread of FoundationsOfTheLikePreciousFaith series begun by RandyP )

kjv@2Peter:1:1 @ Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ...


We began our examination previously with the realization that the Apostle Simon Peter is a changed man. Not changed in a way that he could make for himself but, as only the immense influence of Christ could have upon him. This change therefore is not only a change in his identity/self image as evidenced by the many foundations that he is soon to write to us about but, also by virtue of obtained faith a change in his image of Christ whom he now sees in the splendor of righteousness alongside the Father at the right hand throne. Well that first important realization brings us to a second.

It is written later by Peter "for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage" nkjv@2Peter:2:19. While it is pleasurable for man to think of himself as unencumbered, possessing the reigns of liberty over himself, the bible paints a much different picture of man as being a slave to corruption if not for being a slave of righteousness in Christ; there being no middle ground. The oddity is that while the man shy's from being slave to righteousness in Christ there is no such enmity against being slave to sin because the man thinks what is the objectionable corruption is in fact what the gospels claim is to be right; he has become so familiar with this world of corruption that he thinks of it as an extension himself thus he believes that he is in the control and thereby free when actually he is anything but that.

For the nominal or institutional Christian the matter only gets worse. That type of believer removes the label of "corruption" from his sin and slaps the label "liberty in Christ" over it without any substantial change, without any true service (service to a church/institution perhaps but, not service to the person of Christ), without any evidence of the greater "like precious" faith evidenced by the Apostles such as Peter. Even the "like precious" form of believer can regress into this more carnal form of faith if not keeping in remembrance as Peter has outlined. Service eventually flip flops in our minds from us freely serving the person of Christ to the person of Christ serving us liberally.

The question might best be asked by all of us at this point in our examination is shockingly "who/what am I actually serving"? "Who/what am I being apostle of towards others"? The answer is never as easy as we would like it to be.

Contextual Anchors - Servant/Apostle

Note: There is an overwhelming amount of scripture needing to be provided here, so where appropriate key foundations have been broken off into digestible pieces. It will become more and more important to keep coming back to these foundations and explore each morsel's greater depth and individual context as they will become the fuel that ignites true spiritual productivity. These pieces then can be used as element specific study/meditation tools.

1. Servant:

G1401 doulos - bond servant/subject strkjv@STRING:G1401
(see: Word study - DoulosServant or slidy:DoulosServant )

2. Apostle:

Quoted resource: strongs 'G652'

G652 @ ἀπόστολος apostolos ap-os'-tol-os From G649; a delegate; specifically an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ (apostle) (with miraculous powers): - apostle messenger he that is sent.

(see: Word study - ApostolosApostle or slidy:ApostolosApostle )

Jesus Christ:

Note: We will hold off for the moment fastening bulk context till the next page foundation. Suffice it for now that all the context that would be for us to consider in this present regard ties into the " FaithObtainedThroughRighteousnessGodSavior " clause upcoming. We will also consider this further in the KnowledgeOfJesusChrist section ahead.

Doctrinal Context: Sanctification

(see: Topical study TorreySanctification or slidy:TorreySanctification )

Practical Aspects

Personally, I have known a great many people including myself that have confused being a servant and apostle (lower case "a" as compared to Peter) of Jesus Christ with the need for attending Bible College or Seminary; which most of us are unable to ever do. Our vision of servant/apostle becomes not of ourselves but, of those others that could. We might even go as far as saying that kjv@2Peter:1 was written to Pastors and Priests and professional Christian counselors, that the fruitfulness being advanced herein is simply of elders or deacons saving souls. We might go as far as thinking of servant as those fortunate to be in the employ of the Church; leaving the rest of us in a much lesser position of service. We'd be extremely short sighted Biblically however in doing so.

Personally, I have also known a great many people including myself that have confused being a servant and apostle of Christ with the image of serving Sundays in some church sanctioned capacity. There are only so many ushers and new mother room attendants (etc..) needed of course... where then can the thousands of the others of us best serve?

The biggest problem I see with this limited point of view is that our continuing sanctification (what most sets us apart from the corruption that we once were) is found in our service and therefore utter reliance upon Christ. We don't really know our Lord until we get to know Him in these daily and experiential ways. It seems to me that it is better to think of this other church related service as being afforded as a result of the many various obedience's and practical experiences in Jesus Christ every other moment of the week. We are after all slaves of righteousness in Christ full time; are we not?

The second startling realization I have come to thus far personally in this series is that so many times what we think of as serving Christ is actually not much more than serving our own problems; serving them with our own pre-formulated half answers at that. I have noticed for instance with marital issues that their marital problems have over taken the position of master. Somehow the couple feels that the Lord is angry with them, that they must overcome their own problems before they can expect the Lord to resume His rightful position in back into their lives. It is almost as if Christ is waiting for them to fix this distracting crises before He will have anything else to do with them; or so they believe and act. This same notice has been made of the drug addicts that I have attempted to help. This crises (whatever it is) is not distracting to Christ, no rather it was likely caused by us being distracted from our service to Christ and it will likely best be resolved by us resuming our service to Christ regardless of how our corruption would rather approach it.

Perhaps the answer to this is best explained by the Apostle Paul who counseled us:

kjv@Galatians:2:20 @ I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

This follows right along with Peter's servant and apostle clause in that we are not fully servants of Christ if the problems we make for ourself stand in the way, if it is us that lives to solve our problems and not Christ that lives outwardly from within us. How many couples would even be having these marital problems to begin with if it was in fact Christ that had been allowed to live through each one one to each other? How little would any of these massive problems that so easily beset us suddenly become if but put to death upon the Cross so that Christ once again could live through us radiantly? How much more would their marriage be servant and apostle to the person of Jesus Christ and it not just serving the more common corruption that plagues the rest of this world?

There is much more that we could say about the importance of this servant/apostle section of the "like precious faith". The scriptures listed above and below bring a whole new light to the overall chapter context that this series is considering. Please avail yourself at your pace to their dawning light.

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Comment Board:SimonPeter

Further Resources:
dict:all Servant
dict:all Apostle

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