"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord" (2 Tim. 1:1-3)
Two radical things from these opening lines:
1. Paul was certain that his apostleship was "by the will of God." He knew He was sent by Jesus. He knew it. No, I mean he knew it! It's so characteristic of his letters that it's almost a calling card, a signature for the apostle. He was so certain of this call from God that he defends it in Galatians 1-2. The great apostle Paul. How much of his greatness stemmed from this soul-deep certainty that he was sent by Jesus in accord with the Father's will? How much of our weakness stems from not having this certainty of God's calling?
2. Here is a serious monotheist mentioning God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord in the same breath! We hardly think anything of it. But for a first century Jew, asserting the Lordship of Jesus in the same breath as the Father was a radical disclosure of who God is. To get a modern-day comparable, one might think of Muslim reactions to Trinitarianism. How radical it is for a Muslim to go from tenacious monotheism to Trinitarianism. How radical it was for Paul to come to this knowledge of God. It is astounding that a person's centuries old view of God could be changed in an instant! How kind of the Savior to disclose Who God is to babes.
4 Suggestions for Post-Election Listening - The Gospel Coalition kindly posted my article, “4 Suggestions for Post-Election Listening.”
9 hours ago