My daily study of Scripture has been in Titus for several days now. This short letter from Paul to Titus, who was on Crete, is packed full of powerful truth.
Listen to Verses 1 and 2 in the NIV:
“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness – a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time…”
Very quickly (too quickly, perhaps) let me break this down:
- Paul is a servant and apostle FOR a reason or purpose. What?
- The reason is twofold:
- The faith of God’s elect or chose people; and,
- The knowledge of truth
- These two things accomplish something. They lead to godliness
- Commentator Albert Barnes says there is no other end or scope than godliness
- If Barnes is right, then our pursuit of godliness or holiness is an end unto itself, not a means to some other end. Think of it! To be godly, Christlike, or holy…what is there beyond that? We don’t strive to live holy lives to get God’s blessings (though He does bless obedience); we strive for holiness to get God…to be like Him. He tells us in Scripture, “Be holy for I am holy (1 Pe 1:16).
- The faith and knowledge of which Paul speaks in Verse 1 have a foundation; they are based on something: the hope of eternal life
- We have this hope because of God’s eternal promise (Verse 2).
- The promise is certain because God does not lie but keeps all His promises.
To summarize this, let’s work backward.
Our always-truthful God has promised eternal life to all who are redeemed. That promise gives us hope. That hope is the foundation upon which our faith and knowledge rest. That faith and that knowledge lead to godliness.
Need some rest? Rest today in the hope of your eternal life if you are saved. The struggles of this life will one day be gone. Let that rest restore the strength of your faith and enrich your knowledge of the truth. What truth? The truth that you are loved by God, redeemed by Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit to live the holy life, a life that brings Him glory and brings you joy and peace no matter your circumstances.
Father, I’m exhausted. Recently, I have doubted that I can go another day, another hour, another minute. I need rest. Let me find it in You and in Your rock-solid promise of eternal life. Renew my physical, mental, and emotional strength through my faith in and knowledge of the truth. Remind me that I can all things through Christ who gives me strength. Amen.