Introductions are a basic part of human communication. We say, “Hi, I’m _________.” Whatever goes in the blank sets the tone of the conversation. It also sets the tone for future conversations. It might be a name, a title, a description, or all the above. But whatever it is, the introduction is important.
The letters of the New Testament begin with introductions. In this way, ancient letter writing is different from our way of writing letters. Today, the writer of the letter puts his or her name at the end. Thousands of years ago, the writer of the letter put the name of the writer at the beginning. It’s interesting to look and see how the writers in the New Testament introduced themselves.
* Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God
* Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God
(1 Corinthians 1:1)
* Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead)
* Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope
(1 Timothy 1:1)
* Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ
(1 Peter 1:1)
* Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ
(2 Peter 1:1)
* Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James
Having seen a few examples of how these writers thought of themselves, it should make us ask the question, “How do we think of ourselves?” What is the primary way that I find my identity and share that with others? Would we ever think to call ourselves a servant of Christ?
Many of the New Testament letters are written in the face of opposition. The introduction attempts to establish authority while saying something about who the writer is. We are not apostles, but still yet, we shouldn’t be ashamed of who we are. We are servants of Jesus Christ. We shouldn’t be ashamed of that. Instead, others ought to know that this is who we are. How will you introduce yourself?