St. Paul: “I was appointed”

I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher” 2 Timothy i: 11.

One of the secrets of apostle Paul’s success in life and ministry was his keen sense of a divine “appointment.” He knew the One who appointed him. He knew the purpose of that commission. He was willing to pay a great price to fulfill it because he knew there were rewards promised to those who fulfill it.

Paul knew that it was none other than God who had appointed him as “an apostle [special messenger] of Jesus Christ” (v 1).  He wasn’t a part of the Twelve who were chosen to follow the Lord Jesus during His public ministry. And he wouldn’t qualify to be a part of the Twelve at a later date because Paul hadn’t been with Jesus from the beginning (Acts i:21, 22).  Yet Paul knew that God had appointed him as an apostle. To those who might have despised him as a late entrant into the company of apostles, Paul would say that God had set him apart from his mother’s womb (Gal. i:15).

Some early Christians hailed church leaders in Jerusalem as “super apostles;” that did not bother Paul (2 Cor. xi:5 NIV). When God called Paul “through His grace,” he did not think it was worthwhile to report to “those who were apostles before” him (Gal. i:15-17).  When an appointment comes from God, all other men, however great they may be, are merely “flesh and blood” (Gal. i:16). When you know that it is God who appointed you, you do not need “godfathers” in the right places!

Paul knew that he was appointed for the sake of the gospel – “the gospel, for which I was appointed …” (v 10b, 11a). He wasn’t called to proclaim his own greatness or the glories of any other person or nation. The only message he had to proclaim was the good news of Jesus Christ. Apart from this heavenly gospel about Jesus Christ, there isn’t any good news on this planet. In Christ we have “the promise of life” (i:1).  It was the Lord Jesus “who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the [proclamation of the] gospel” (2 Tim. i:10). In the absence of any magic potion on earth that can give us immortality, the ‘good news’ of Jesus Christ is the greatest news of all times. No wonder, Paul proclaimed the gospel at every given opportunity as if it was his last chance! His greatest charge to Timothy was: “Preach the word!” (ii:2)

Finally, Paul knew the exact nature of his job. He was appointed as “a preacher and an apostle and a teacher” (i:11). The express duty of a “preacher” – a herald – is to proclaim the message entrusted with him. A herald, in ancient times, stood in a public place to declare a king’s edict. A sense of urgency and authority is conveyed through such proclamation. The mode of communication and the medium are integral to any meaningful communication. When a building is on fire, no one initiates a whisper campaign. Someone just shouts, “Fire!” The method God chose for the dissemination of the gospel was nothing short of “public proclamation.” Paul conformed to God’s methods and faithfully proclaimed the gospel (Titus i:3; 2 Tim. iv:17).

Do you know that God has called you to to proclaim the gospel? The day you decided to be a follower of Christ, God had appointed you to His service. This divine appointment is of much greater value and importance than any lucrative appointment to an earthly post. You cannot delegate or transfer this appointment to someone else. It’s our privilege to take delight in God’s appointment and to fulfill it faithfully.

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