Perhaps like no other, the Apostle Paul could give a greeting in a letter that was so full of Biblical theology that it leaves your head spinning in amazement. He does it again in writing to Titus. Paul is writing to Titus from either Ephesus or possibly Macedonia. Titus is on the island of Crete. See the map…
He has a job to do. Titus is to finish appointing the elders (pastors) that Paul had chosen for the churches on the island. Titus was also to encourage the churches to remain faithful and live self-controlled, godly lives.
Here comes the powerful greeting loaded with theological thunder…
1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began 3 and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; 4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
There are so many nuggets of gold in this introductory greeting, that it’s hard to know where to begin. But we’ll try to point out five of those nuggets.
First, Paul wants Titus to understand that his job is to get the truth to the people for the sake of their faith in God. And folks, that’s still the goal. The goal is to understand truth. What is truth (as Pilate asked)? Jesus.
Secondly, in your pursuit of the stuff of this earth, don’t forget the primary reason you exist: to know the truth of Jesus Christ. If you get the rest, but miss that, you’ve missed the boat entirely. Did you catch that? “…for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth.”
And that truth will lead you and me to: GODLINESS. Yep, in the crazy, wacky world we live today, the desire of God for His children remains. He wants us to be godly in all we say and do. Seems simple…but, today godliness is discarded (even in may denominations and churches) for that which is culturally acceptable and politically correct.
Thirdly, God never lives. Four simple words: “God, who never lies.” Do you know anyone who doesn’t lie? I doubt it. In fact, if you say you do, you are probably lying! 🙂 Yet, God never lies. He’s incapable of lying. So you can trust every word of His Word (Scripture). Man, oh man, does that give me confidence when I’m reading His word and I come across His promises. He NEVER lies!!
Fourth, I love the little phrase, “…promised before the ages began…” Never forget God stands outside of time. He has always existed and there has never been a time He has not existed. He wasn’t created or He has no beginning. He is everything and all existence is embodied in Him. He’s so powerful that He spoke the universe into being and yet, He loves us so intimately that He’s numbered the hairs on our head (Luke 12:7) and stores every tear we cry in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). Just contemplating those thoughts bring me great peace and joy! I can exhale a sigh of relief knowing I’m that loved. So loved, in fact, that He came and died for me in the person of Jesus Christ. Wow!
Last, God loves preaching. Yep, you read that right! 🙂 And I’m saying that (not just because I’m a preacher), but because it’s true. “…and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching…” God showed Himself to us through preaching. This is why preaching the Word of God is so important. It’s how a person comes to know Jesus. The word “preaching” is Kerygma (Greek) and it means: that which is proclaimed by a herald or public crier, a proclamation by herald.
Somebody shared the Gospel with you. Who was that? Who was instrumental in that taking place in your life? Can you remember? You see, the Good News was delivered to you by #1 by someone, so that you could #2 understand the truth of Jesus, so that you could #3 realize that the God of the universe (who never lies) and #4 has existed for all-time, #5 wanted you to hear the truth of Jesus so you could be saved and know Him. Folks, it doesn’t get any better than that!
So, what’s driving your life today? What are you pursuing? Are you being like Titus? Are you being someone who is sharing the word of truth (proclaiming as a herald) the truth of Jesus to others by how you live a life of godliness? Are you opening your mouth and KERYGMA (being a herald for Jesus)? If you aren’t, then you have missed the essence of life. This life is not about the accumulation of stuff. It’s about Jesus and the truth that God wants us to know Him and to enjoy Him. Take a moment and pray and thank the Father for revealing Himself to you in truth through Jesus because someone told you the truth. Now let’s go be that “someone” for someone else. 🙂