The Berean Expositor
Volume 27 - Page 161 of 212
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"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in
the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord"
(I Cor. 15: 58).
These three passages from the N.T. should be continually in mind. Nothing helps us
in our service so much as the possession of the unselfish spirit manifested by the apostle
in Acts 20: The believer who "feels hurt" so often, is thinking too much of self. To
realize the Lordship of the Risen Christ is to be free from the intimidation and the flattery
of man, and with the Lord at our right hand we too can say: "I shall not be moved."
Symbols of Service.
pp. 112 - 114
The first title given to the apostle Paul in Scripture provides us with the subject of the
present article: "He is a chosen vessel unto Me" (Acts 9: 15).
To any one acquainted with the scriptures and with the worship of the God of Israel,
the word "vessel" would be associated with the tabernacle and the temple. The Altar had
its specially designed vessels of brass, such as pans to receive ashes, shovels, basins,
flesh-hooks and firepans (Exod. 27: 13). The Table also had its appropriate vessels,
and the Candlestick, or Lampstand (Exod. 30: 27 and 35: 13). When the Lord
called Saul of Tarsus to His service, He separated him as a vessel unto Himself. The
Lord Jesus Christ fulfils the typical teaching of the Altar, the Table and the Candlestick,
and we may regard Paul as a chosen vessel, serving Him in all these offices.
The Apostle was chosen by the Lord as a vessel "to bear His name". In Acts 9:
Ananias speaks of Paul as having "authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on
Thy name" (Acts 9: 14). And the Apostle himself confesses in Acts 26::
"I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of
Jesus of Nazareth" (Acts 26: 9).
How the Apostle bore that Name and suffered for it can be learnt from his epistles.
How he must have rejoiced as he wrote to the Ephesians of the ascended Lord, raised far
above every name that is named (Eph. 1: 21), and to the Philippians, of the coming day
when, at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow (Phil. 2: 10).
When the Apostle comes to speak of himself as a vessel, he does not speak of a vessel
of gold or even of brass. So great is the glory of the Name that he has been chosen to
bear, that he speaks of himself as an earthen vessel: