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Let’s read 2 Peter 1:1-2, “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:   Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.”  Peter acknowledges that he is both a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ.  The Apostle Paul made similar remarks about himself in Romans 1:1 where he says, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God.”  Again in Titus 1:1, he begins with, “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.”

From the Word of God, we know that Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles, while Peter was the apostle to the Jews as we read in Galatians 2:7-8 where Paul writes, “…the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles).”

The apostles of the Lord were given power and authority to minister to the Lord’s people.  We read in 2 Corinthians 12:12, “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.”  In claiming his authority to declare God’s truths, Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:1, “Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.”

Although Peter and Paul were apostles, as were the other eleven apostles (including Matthias), they were also servants, as they stated in the verses we began with.  These men were specially sent from the Lord.  They were able to work miracles as we read of Paul in Acts 19:11 which says, “And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul.”  Peter also worked miracles.  We read of the healing of the lame beggar in Acts 3:6, “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”  These apostles had certain authority from the Lord to teach truths that had previously been unknown.  However, they were first and foremost servants of the Lord.  What a grand lesson for us in these words.  To be truly effective and faithful leaders for the Lord, we must first learn to be servants.  If we cannot follow, we have no right or ability to lead.

The book of James was written by the half-brother of the Lord Jesus.  Although he was not an apostle, he was, indeed a servant as he writes in James 1:1, “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.”  Although John was an apostle, he simply referred to himself as a servant in Revelation 1:1, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.”

What a true blessing it is to be a servant of our Lord.  What higher calling could there be than to serve the One who loved us and gave Himself for us?  May we, as believers on the Lord, and His servants, strive diligently to serve him faithfully so that we might hear those precious words from the lips of our loving savior, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…”  (115.4)