Pastor Rick Jackson
I. FOR PURPOSES OF IDENTIFICATION
1.Question- Who are you?
Answer- Not "Saul" the proud, but Paul "the little" (Acts 13:9). No indication of a divine name change like some (Abram, Sarai, Jacob, Simon) but a personal preference perhaps. How do you see yourself? Call me "Mister", "Doctor", "Reverend", "Father" There is a time and place for titles "your honor" "officer" but sometimes it's pride, which God hates.
2. Q.- What are you?
A.- "an apostle of Jesus Christ". Paul had not yet been to Colossae (2:1) so it's important they know his word carries weight. An apostle was a sent one. In this case, one sent with special authority (Eph. 4:11). By stating this he shows his authority, like a policeman identifying himself with his badge. What are you? A child of God, an ambassador for the King, a church member, etc. "Who do you think you are?" No brag, just fact here.
3. Q.- Why are you?
A.- "By the will of God" Paul was not elected to the office of apostle by men but was so designated by Jesus Christ. Why am I a preacher? Not because I chose to be. I was going in a different vocational direction. I may be pastor here because the church voted to call me to the place after seeking the will of God and I accepted after seeking the will of God but, my friends, I was a preacher long before that by the will of God! "Why are you?"
A bartender is not a bartender by the will of God ... Habakkuk 2:15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!
A lost person is not lost by the will of God... 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
If you are not what you are by the will of God it behooves you to let God change you! To be conformed to His will...
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
II. FOR FURTHER CLASSIFICATION
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. 2002. "A man is known by the company he keeps." Our character is reflected in our choice of friends.
This particular way of saying it is from Aesop's Fables. A man wanted to purchase a donkey, and agreed with its owner that he should try out the animal before he bought him. He took the donkey home and put him in with his other donkeys, upon which the new animal left all the others and at once joined the one that was most idle and the greatest eater of them all. Seeing this, the man put a halter on him and led him back to his owner. On being asked how, in so short a time, he could have made a trial of him, he answered, "I do not need a trial; I know that he will be just the same as the one he chose for his companion."
As a former teacher for 13 years, and as a pastor for over 30 years, I can attest to the truth of this proverb. What is more important is the testimony of the Word of God. "Amnon had a friend."
1. Choose Providentially!
Psalm 119:63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.
2. Choose purposefully!
Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
3. Choose positively!
Proverbs 28:7 Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.
Daniel 2:17-18 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
This is how Paul chose Timothy as a companion and friend
Acts 16:1-3 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.
Acts 19:22So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus...
Romans 16:21 Timotheus my workfellow...
1 Corinthians 4:17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord...
1 Corinthians 16:10 Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.
2 Corinthians 1:19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus...
1 Thessalonians 3:2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:
For purposes of identification- who are you? what are you? why are you?
For further classification- who are your companions?