For us, they add weight to the letters. Yet, they are more than courteous starters. They contain a message we should pay attention to.
The introductions to the epistles shouldn’t be ignored. They are there to tell us more than who the letters came through from God. They tell us what more the writer was to God beyond being a child.
We are proud of being children of God and we are right to be. However, the apostles whose letters are preserved for us were that too. The difference is that they became more and that means that we are meant for, and we should be more too.
Now, how do we know that we should become more? It is because “every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses,” (2 Corinthians 13:1-2, NIV). So, let’s call up our witnesses –
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle …,” Romans 1:1, NIV.
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,” 1 Peter 1:1, NIV.
“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,” James 1:1, NIV.
Beyond being children of God through their faith in Jesus Christ, these ones become servants who took up works in the field of harvest and soldiers on the spiritual battle field of this realm.
Whoever said that people are either missionaries or mission fields was spot-on. Of course, all children of God through Jesus Christ are missionaries because we all have the call to share the gospel of life to this dying world. Even so, we remain mission fields ourselves as God continues to prune us, and to minister to us through other believers.
We can either be for God or against Him. Indifference isn’t a third option. Apparently, we can’t be anything [but an enemy] to God till we’re His children through His Son, Jesus. But there’s a lot more we can, and should, be for Him once He’s our Father.