II Timothy 1
…for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher…
II Timothy 1:11
Paul claims three of the spiritual gifts listed in Ephesians 4:11. I tend to disagree with the idea that these “APEST” spiritual gifts are the “only” or “main” gifts. It seems to me that these are gifts for the leadership, “to equip the saints for the work of ministry,” (Ephesians 4:12), meaning that the saints doing the ministry are not (necessarily) expected to have these gifts. I do think it is interesting that Paul calls himself an apostle here; I was wondering about this tonight because I could not think of any passage where anyone other than Paul and the Twelve are named apostles. A cursory search of the ESV on BibleGateway brings up exactly one other apostle: Barnabas (Acts 14:14). In fact, most of the times that the word “apostles” is used in Acts, it’s paired with another word for the other saints: “except the Apostles” (8:1) “and the brothers” (11:1), “and the elders” (15:2, 4, 6, 22, 23; 16:4). In Romans 16:7, Paul notes that “the apostles … were in Christ before me.” So there are 14 Apostles, possibly (the Twelve minus Judas, plus Matthias, Paul, and Barnabas). Are there apostles today? I think it’s probably a little pretentious for anyone living in 2019 to claim to have seen the Lord, which is the qualification for apostleship that the eleven set out when selecting Matthias (Acts 1:22), and which Paul uses as part of his claim (Acts 22:14, I Corinthians 9:1).
All that to say, apostle means something special. Maybe.
II Timothy 2
Song of Solomon 5
The picture painted here is so … overwhelming (and even gaudy, by modern tastes). It makes a big contrast against Isaiah 53:3, “and we esteemed him not.” How humble Christ is to submit to becoming a man!
Song of Solomon 6
Song of Solomon 7
Song of Solomon 8
Yeah, that’s just weird.