Truth which is after Holiness
Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness (holiness);
Paul was one of the foundational members of the early Church. Even though he was not one of the 12 Apostles yet his contribution to the Church growth at that time was far greater than any of the 12.
His knowledge of the Truth can be assessed by the fact he has the largest contribution to the New Testament. Let us look at the interesting way he introduces himself in his letter.
The first words he uses are 'servant of God' which means a bondman or one who gives himself up to another's will. So we see Paul was very focused on who is in control of himself. He knew he did not live for himself but lived for his Creator and that is the most primary fact we need to have in us, if we too want to be as dynamic as Paul in the Kingdom of God. Unless we do not die to ourselves we cannot live for Christ or allow the Lord to work through us.
The second point he makes is calling himself an apostle of Jesus Christ. The word apostle has two meanings one as a noun and the other as a verb. As a noun it represents the calling of a person and as a verb it means 'being sent'. Paul used this word in both its presentations. He knew who he was in the Body of Christ and also knew whom he represents. He knew the authority he carried and the authority of the one who sent him. It is very important we know who we are and what authority we carry to work efficiently in the Kingdom of God, but more than that we should know the authority of Whom we represent. Even though each calling is different yet we are part of the same Body.
The third point which Paul uses to introduce himself is, being one who is 'according to the faith of God's elect'. Paul knew he was part of a body and not a lone ranger. Most workers of the vineyard work like lone rangers and therefore are not successful as Paul was. After knowing our authority it is more important we need to know we are part of a team. It is not what I or you desire or our plans but the Lord's plans for His people.
The last and the most important point which Paul makes is 'acknowledging of the truth which is after holiness'. This point is the most, most important point not only for Paul but for the whole Church and in fact for all creation. We need to realize we are all corrupt bodies which are seeking perfection in the Lord. Due to sin we lost the image of God in us and the sacrifice of Jesus was necessary firstly to clean us of our sins and secondary and more important was to make it possible for us to receive the Spirit of God.
We need to realize first what corruption is and secondary how we are going to get it undone. Corruption is the loss of the 3 Fruits of the Holy Spirit which are Truth, Righteousness and Holiness. In Galatians 5:22-23 Paul listed the 9 Fruits of which we have the seeds off and can grow Fruit. But the 3 Fruits are not there in the list and are noted by Paul separately in Ephesians 5:9 for it is impossible for corrupt man to get them by himself.
Bible tells us none were found holy and the righteousness of man is like rags before the Lord. It also says man suffers because of the lack of knowledge since the Truth is not in him.
Jesus by His sacrifice and victory made it possible for us to receive the Spirit of Truth; it is by the working of the Holy Spirit in us, that we come to know the Truth. It is only when the Truth comes into man that Jesus comes again to finish the job. On the Judgement Day only those who have pursued the Truth and found worthy will receive the gift of Righteousness from the Son and then after entering Heaven they will receive the gift of Holiness from the Father so that we can dwell with God the Father Who is Holy and before Whom nothing unholy can stand.
So ultimately it is all about getting the Truth so that we can receive Holiness.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, we pray that all your workers in the vineyard may be not only as dynamic as Paul, but even more than him. Let them be people of Light walking in the knowledge and understanding of the Kingdom of God, of who they are and the role You have for them. Lord, let them understand it is all team work with Jesus Christ as our head and guided by the Holy Spirit...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,
30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
Matthew 18:20 - For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Ephesians 5:9 - (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness [holiness] and righteousness and truth;)
Psalms 33:12 - Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he has chosen for his own inheritance.
John 1:18 - No man has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.
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