Lifting hearts to God in thanks and praise.

Tuesdays in Titus

Titus 1:1-4

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, and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,

To Titus, my true son in our common faith:

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Let’s start with Paul. He’s grounded in who he is and what he is here for.

Servant of God, apostle of Jesus Christ. That’s pretty big! I can claim the first, but not the second. But look why: For faith and knowledge.
First he says the faith of God’s elect; that those chosen have faith. Whether he is giving them faith or strengthening their faith, he connects his apostleship with others’ faith.
And knowlege of truth that leads to godliness. I suppose that means that all knowledge of truth does not lead to godliness? Yet there is that truth and it is vital to be known.
Then he talks about the faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life.
This hope was promised by someone who does not lie.
It was promised before the beginning of time (what?!).
It was brought to light at God’s appointed season.
Now here’s where I think he’s going to say, by Jesus’ death and resurrection but no, he says by the preaching entrusted to himself by God our savior (is that a reference to Jesus?), entrusted by a command, oh yes, that Damascus road experience.

Paul is pretty sure of himself isn’t he? And he claims strong backing by God, in fact, that it is God who commissioned and commanded him. You know what? This bothers some people who read, and give themselves away by saying they don’t like Paul. That’s a valid statement, but I hope they keep wrestling with him and open themselves up to changing their opinion. Because he was absolutely strong and confident in Christ. Not self pride or pompousness. The reason I can claim that is because his ministry was fruitful.

God did bring his word to light through the preaching of Paul. Many believed. Many lived fruitful lives, gratefully accepted correction, gave cheerfully to the poor (remembering Jerusalem believers) and to his mission, etc, because of Paul.

I like how Paul is able to speak lovingly to Greeks. He’s not stuck in the Jewish pride thing although he could be. Last week I looked at how Titus was a Greek. Here Paul calls him a true son in our common faith. Forget Jew and Gentile, what really determines who we are is our common faith. It’s Jesus who has broken down the dividing wall, as Paul says elsewhere. And Titus is a son, and he’s receiving a letter from Paul and is greeted with Grace and peace.

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

We often read, in all the letters, greetings like this. But stop and think a minute.

Who is Paul that he can send something like God’s grace and peace to someone else? It’s not Paul’s grace he is sending to Titus. He’s actually sending grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. Does it work?

Do you ever receive grace and peace from God because someone has said those words to you?

Have you ever said them, prayerfully asking God to indeed give his grace and peace (in abundance) to the one you are speaking to?

Try it!

Thanks and praise to God!

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