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SERVANTS OF GOD
‘Paul, a servant of God.’
‘Servant of God,’ ‘servant of Jesus Christ’—this is the title by which each one of the writers of the epistles of the New Testament describes himself in one place or another. The title indicates their work in life, the place they hold in the world, and the definite object to which all their powers and activity are devoted.
That distinct, definite character, which Scripture presents to us, when St. Paul calls himself the servant of God, may be shown under most opposite outward conditions. But under all the different forms it has essential and common features.
I. It is exclusive in its object and complete in its self-dedication.—St. Paul’s surrender of himself was unreserved.
II. It contemplates as the centre of all interest and hope, the highest object of human thought and human devotion, a presence beyond the facts of experience, the experience of the invisible God.
III. It accepts as the measure of its labour and its endurance the Cross of Jesus Christ.—For such a life a price had to be paid, and St. Paul’s price was the acceptance of the fellowship of the Cross of Christ. The likeness of the Cross pervades every life of duty and earnestness—in lifelong trouble, in bereavement, in misunderstanding, in unjust suffering, in weary labour, in failure and defeat—God’s proof and test of strength is laid upon us all.
‘There is no reason why, without extravagance, without foolish or overstrained enthusiasm, we should not still believe that a life like St. Paul’s is a natural one for a Christian to choose. We still reverence his words; and his words have all along the history of the Church found echoes in many hearts. There is a great past behind us; a past which is not dead, but lives—lives in every thought we think, and every word we speak, lives in our hopes, in our confidences and joy in life, lives in those high feelings which thrill and soothe us at the grave. May we not be unworthy of such a past!’
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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Titus 1". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29