on January 25, 2023
In England, bells are regularly heard ringing from church towers. The bells are arranged in an upper room and hung from a headstock that allows them to swing through a 360 degree circle. This is known as full-circle ringing.
The bells are in full readiness when they are positioned upside down, with the mouths pointing to the heavens. Only then can they cry out their glory to the King who resides in the heavens above.
In Titus 1:1-4, Paul’s introductory words are, “Paul, a servant of God.” He calls himself by the humblest of titles, but we know Paul as the greatest of apostles, a brilliant orator and writer, a man truly after God’s own heart. There is no fame in Christendom that Paul cannot lay claim to, even that of martyrdom.
Yet, Paul introduces himself as a bell upside down.
Paul knew he must be a servant first, and an apostle second, for only then could he truly serve God’s elect and acknowledge the truth that is found in the Christ.
Paul goes on in Verse 2 to claim eternal life, a hope that comes from God alone, and in Verse 3 to boast in his preaching, which was committed unto him by the Savior. In Verse 4, he winds up his introduction to Titus by claiming Titus as a son in the faith and giving all glory to God.
What we must focus on, though, are Paul’s first words. He was willing to be the humblest of men, even though he was the greatest in his faith and works.
How is that like Christ? He is the God of all creation, yet he came and hung upon the tree.
We must turn Christ’s example back on ourselves. Do we ring our own bell, or do we let the Father above ring our bell for us?
When we open our mouths to the heavens, Christ who lives in us will peal his glories unto all the earth, and the nations will know that he is Lord.
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