“… a bondservant of Jesus Christ … separated to the Gospel of God” Romans 1:1
Paul declares himself a slave to Jesus Christ, not to the church, but that servanthood would be expressed largely in serving God’s people. Paul was “called” (appointed) by the Lord Jesus Christ to be an Apostle, not by the church, though recognised by the believing church to be so. He was made a minister of the Gospel by Jesus Christ, not by the church, but this also was recognised by the church.
Through Jesus Christ and by His grace Paul received his apostleship, ministry and message. Nothing is different for any of us today.
All true believers receive an appointment to a particular role within the church directly from the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Head of a theocracy not a democracy. The Bible does give us direction in coming to an understanding of the particular roles we have in the home, in society and in the church.
Our role in the church has factors that are common to all believers but there are others that are specific to an individual and are often spoken of as “spiritual gifts.”
Being individually specific means that though we are all equal members of Christ’s body, we do not all have the same role or function. This is a vital fact for us to grasp and practice if we are to truly function as a “body.”
The Godhead is revealed to us as three Persons all equal and equally God yet having distinctive different roles with regard to God’s relationship with mankind. This principle is also very evident within the family. A husband and a wife are equally persons but God has given each a specific role though there are common factors. Likewise, children are equally persons but have a different role within the family
All believers receive by God’s grace equality in the church (body of Christ) but also by God’s grace and determination each receives a different role. Some roles may be very similar and others may be quite different. It is not for us to judge God’s determination but to express this unity and diversity through obedience and submission for His glory.
“For who makes you differ from another? And what do your have that you did not receive (as a gift)? Now if you did indeed receive it (as a gift), why do you boast as if you did not receive it (as a gift but by merit)?” (1 Corinthians 4:7)