Labels, Titles, and Position

Louis_Litt_NameWe have long been taught that labeling people is at the very least unkind and in the extreme demeaning and hurtful. Labels affect responses and expectations. No matter whether the label is viewed through a “positive” or “negative” grid, labeling is almost exclusively unhealthy.

In much the same vein, titles and position are often viewed with a jaundiced eye. Titles and position routinely corrupt the sincerest of hearts while often calling into question the purest of motives. The pursuit of title and position (and the power which accompanies them) has brought about the downfall of many otherwise wonderfully good people.

Yet, in spite of this, God is not shy about labeling His people and giving them both title and position. The New Testament is replete with labels, titles, and position given by God to His people. A cursory look reveals God’s people are called…

Adopted children  (Romans 8:15)

Children of God (Romans 8:16)

Ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20) 

A chosen race (1 Peter 2:9) 

A royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9)

The People of God (1 Peter 2:10)

Furthermore, I dare say our universal aversion to labels and titles has led believers to discount, avoid, and even to a degree, deny what God has given for our good and His glory.

In writing on this topic in his little book on Evangelism, J. Mack Stiles states (page 101), “…we may not feel like representatives of the kingdom of God, but that is what we are. It is how we are seen in the spiritual realms, and it’s an astounding truth.”

Labels, titles, and positions given by God are astounding truths indeed! Though I believe the enemy wants believers to minimize and be dismissive of how God views and empowers us, as we embrace and believe what God tells we are, our lives will shine more brightly and more powerfully for Him.

Here are just a few principles to consider related to our labels, titles, and position before God.

1) Our position establishes our relationship with God. 

Our position as the children of God firmly establishes the uniqueness of our relationship with God. He is our Father, we are His children. As His children we are to obey and submit to Him. He is the one we answer to and defer to above all others. He is our authority.

That we are the children of God also assures us of His protection and provision.  He will hold us safe and secure beginning in this life and extending into all of eternity. We have nothing to fear with God as our Father. He will meet all of our needs in Christ and give us our daily provision of grace, mercy, and strength to live in relationship with Him.

The simple title “the People of God” is very significant as well. This designates that we belong to God. He owns us and by right of ownership He is able to use, direct, and command us for His purposes as He sees fit. Many people recoil at being “owned” by God but when we examine His ownership we see something to be wholeheartedly trusted and embraced.

God owns us because He bought us. He paid for us with the death of His only precious, beloved, sinless Son. He sacrificed what was most precious to Him so that we could be His people.

 2) Our labels assure us of our place of security before God.

Not only are we the children of God, we are the adopted and chosen children of our Heavenly Father. Our relationship with the Father was initiated and accomplished by His own volition and will. He is not stuck with us, rather, we are willfully His. He desires that we are His children and continues to pursue our relationship with Him. He makes provision for our growth and care not begrudgingly, but passionately. We have no fear of being abandoned, cast aside, or forgotten with God. We can live confidently within His amazing grace.

3) Our titles define our purpose and calling from God. 

God was not whimsical or flippant when He gives us the titles of ambassador and priest. These two titles define our calling as being one of service to God and service in His name. In simplest, general terms, the entirety of our lives is to be spent serving God to accomplish His purposes.

Specifically, as ambassadors, we are to speak His words, on His behalf, to those who are not His. We are to tell of His ways, His character, His intentions, clearly elucidating His will for the world He created.

As priests, we are called to serve our Lord by bearing the burdens of others, teaching them, and caring for them in the name of Christ. We are to extend the offer of forgiveness and grace in the name of Christ through the work of Christ.

As ambassadors, we speak on God’s behalf. As Priests we serve on His behalf. This is our calling, this is our purpose. These titles, though, also give to us the authority and right to speak and serve in such a manner. Our commission is from God. We do not need the approval of man nor the permission of society; the King and our Creator has empowered and authorized our work for Him.

It is time we put aside our insecurities and be the people God has labeled us, entitled us, and positioned us to be.

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