Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God… —Colossians 1:1
An apostle is literally, in the Greek, a “sent one”—an official, authorized messenger.
Not this Sunday but the next, we’ll begin a sermon series through the book of Colossians. Before it was a book of the Bible, Colossians was a letter written by the Apostle Paul to the ancient church in Colossae, Greece.
Why are we reading the ancient church’s mail? In part because it was written by an Apostle.
Christ Jesus, the Savior of the world, personally sent Paul on a mission to spread the good news of the cross and resurrection. Paul was sent with the approval and authority of Jesus.
How good it is that our Lord sent out people—Paul and the Twelve Disciples—as eyewitnesses to Himself and announcers of His victory on the cross.
What a grace that we have a New Testament that contains multiple Spirit-inspired, apostolic, authoritative accounts of Christ’s life and teaching.
Paul says he is an apostle of Christ Jesus “by the will of God.”
We know it wasn’t that Paul was a good person who chose to follow God. Quite the opposite—he was a “good” religious person who was persecuting Christ.
But in the mystery of sovereign grace, it was God’s will to turn Paul around, to bring him to repentance and faith, to send him out into the world as a testimony to God’s mercy and power in the cross. Paul’s conversion story is in Acts 9.
Paul was made an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the gracious, sovereign will of God—along with the other Sent Ones—so that you and I, and all the Church throughout time and place, could have the pure revelation of Jesus Christ /in writing/, inspired, preserved, and made alive for us by the Holy Spirit.
We need Apostles who saw Jesus to tell us about Him, so that we who have not seen Him may yet believe, obey, and be blessed with eternal life, now and forever (John 20:29).
Thank God for the gift of the Apostles.
Please pray for Andy as he prepares to bring us God’s Word from the Gospel of Luke (a protege of Paul’s) this Sunday, and plan to join us again in two weeks as we begin the series, “Mature in Christ,” through the apostolic letter of Colossians.
Looking forward to worshiping with you,