Wednesday, June 2, 2021
I personally do not like the official title I have. I respect others who have similar titles and I use their title when addressing them in formal settings. For example, I do not call my doctor by his first name. I say, “Doctor.” I do the same for those in similar professions where a title has been earned. However, for myself, I have always cringed at the title “Reverend.” I do not like being called that.
There are four ways to get a title:
- Choose one for yourself and tell everyone to use it when addressing you.
- Have one chosen for you by your friends. When I was in college my “friends” gave me the title of trumpet. Look at my face and you will see why.
- Have a title bestowed upon you based on what you have accomplished.
- Have a title given to you as an act of grace from God.
The author of the book of Galatians was given the title Apostle by God. It is important for Paul to make sure his readers understand that he is not writing them based on his human qualifications, but under the authority of His divine appointment.
Galatians 1:1 “Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—”
Paul says that he is not qualified to preach the Gospel and lead the church because people approved of him. He is not authorized to correct and teach because he met some human requirements for a degree. He is the authorized agent of grace because he is the recipient of grace. He is authorized to represent Jesus Christ because the Father has declared it to be so.
Today, the church of Jesus Christ places a lot of emphasis on human education and experiential equipping when considering the qualifications of a pastor. However, ultimately, it is through Jesus Christ and God the Father, in the power of the Holy Spirit, that men and women are qualified for ministry. Man’s education and experience do nothing to add to the call of God, they only confirm what is already there. When human education and achievement replace Holy Spirit equipping the church of Jesus Christ is in trouble.
This applies to every Christian as well. We limit the grace of God in people’s lives by requiring human standards to be achieved before we label someone as qualified. We even do it to ourselves. We consider ourselves unqualified to serve the Lord until we have met some self-imposed standard. And the standard keeps moving because we never feel qualified to declare ourselves qualified.
The Apostle Paul said our qualification is not from men nor through men, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father. Your qualification is assigned by Jesus, and the title He gives you is better than anything you could achieve for yourself. God’s love has been lavished on you so that you are called “Child of God.” And according to Colossians 1:12, you are fully qualified!