THE SUPREMACY OF SUBORDINATE SERVICE

"I, Tertius, who wrote this Epistle, salute you in the Lord."

It takes great truths to keep us faithful in small acts. This may be seen in Tertius and his writing to Paul's dictation. Writing is a humble occupation when it is done as another directs. Yet his gift—that of writing—was dedicated to God and was used by Paul.

Tertius could not have composed the Roman Epistle himself. But he could do one thing—write it as it came from the heart of the lion-hearted Paul. Tertius may not have understood it after he had written it. But he could write it as the inspired Paul was carried along by God's spirit.

One thing Tertius could do: he could write it down at Paul's dictation so that he could delight in reading it and studying it. Tertius, nor Paul for that matter, did not know that Chrysostom would have this Epistle read to him twice a week; that Melanchthon would copy it twice with his own hands; that Luther said it ". . . .deserves not only to be known word for word by every Christian but to be the subject of his meditations day by day, the daily bread of his soul." Or that this Preface to Luther's commentary on Romans would be read in the little Moravian meeting place in Aldersgate Street in London and that Wesley listened until he felt his heart "strangely warmed"; that Calvin wrote that "It opens the door to all the treasures of the Scriptures"; that Godet would call it "the cathedral of the Christian faith"; that Sanday would write "It is the body of teaching which eighteen centuries of Christian interpreters have failed to exhaust."

No! Tertius did not know all this when he caught the words which fell from the lips of Paul and imprisoned them for us with ink and quill on papyrus. But his small gift, dedicated to God and unto the service of Paul, God's ambassador, has preserved this letter for us. God could have used another man if Tertius had not been willing, but he was at the disposal of the Disposer, and was thus used of Him.

Tertius was proud of his accomplishment: "I...wrote this Epistle" It was humble work, but it derived its dignity from being done well, as unto the Lord. Each has his gift. Each gift is essential to the welfare of the whole, each joint supplieth what has been parted to it as a gift. Tertius dedicated his gift of penmanship to God and Paul. What gift do you have? Is it dedicated to Him? Let Him have it—NOW!

F. N. P. Last updated 31.1.2008