Friday, September 28, 2007

Apostle Approval

Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
(Colossians 4:7, 9 – ESV)

Paul is not wasting words here. In Ephesians 6:21 he uses the words beloved brother and faithful minister to describe Tychicus, Colossians also has fellow servant. Paul had used some of the same words to describe Epaphras (Colossians 1:7), and was encouraging the Colossians, as to who Tychicus was, and his character and recommendation.

Beloved brother, faithful minister, fellow servant in the Lord. In other words, Paul is saying that Tychicus does right by me, he does right by others, and he does right by the Lord. They needed to know about him in some detail because Tychicus was the one who was bringing the letter to them, and what if he changed it, what if he wasn’t in agreement with Paul over some things in the letter, etc.?

They knew Onesimus, and he would be with Tychicus, and so this would relieve them of concerns. Onesimus would corroborate what Tychicus would be saying; they would be in agreement. It seems like Paul was promoting Tychicus and his ministry here, perhaps because he would plant him in Colossae. It may be that Epaphras was not coming back to Colossae, but was heading on to other things Paul had for him. Onesimus bore the letter to Philemon (Philemon 1:10-12), who apparently lived in Colossae, and had a church in his house attended by Archippus (Colossians 4:17 / Philemon 1:2).

Looking at the endorsements of Paul we see a pattern for us to practice; we must be looking carefully at all three areas, not just biblical acumen, but personal relationships and the right attitude and action toward others in the larger context of things. Is he nice to you but mean to others in the church? What about to those outside the church walls, what is he like there? What is his doctrine, what is his devotional life like, and how is that demonstrated? How do the people the man has come from view him? The greater the level of responsibility the fuller the recommendation must be.

Now Paul had enemies, so it isn’t whether or not the person gets along with everybody, or it isn’t if he gets along with everybody within the same sphere, but does the person walk in wisdom toward those that are within and without? Is he faithful to God, faithful to friends and faithful to be faithful to those who oppose him or who don’t know him or who have nothing to give him? Does he meet the standard of approval?

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©


Even So... said...

Pass the potatoes?...

Even So... said...

I'm J.D. Hatfield, and I approve of this message...

donsands said...

Good teaching. I would sat doctrine is most important: Who Christ is, and What the bible is.
But you are so right about character.
They both need to go together in order to be an overseer in the Lord's Church.
I have seen doctrinal brothers who were nasty, and boy was that nasty to have a nasty brother as a leader in the Church.
i have seen brothers who I admired, because they were so godly and kind, and had the basics down, but their theology was a couple inches deep and 30 miles wide.

Thanks JD for the steak (spiritual steak).