How many of us really know who we are and why we are here on earth? In other words, knowing our purpose in life.
Of course, we all have names and our own personal histories. We have goals, dreams, and characteristics which we feel gives us our own identity, and these things are certainly to be valued.
But when we think about our reason for being, our personal identity and the meaning of life, do we do so with God and His word in mind?
The letter to Titus lays that challenge before us as we investigate–search and try to understand with help from the Holy Spirit the teaching in this letter.
TITUS 1:1-4 (English Standard Version – ESV)
 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, in hope of eternal life, which God who never lies, promised before the ages began 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;
 To Titus, my true child in a common faith,
Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
AN APOSTLE OF CHRIST –
The word “apostle” is derived from the Greek, stello, “to send” and apo, “from away.”
It became an official term when one was sent off under a commission designating him as one’s personal representatives. It was used for one who was an envoy or ambassador (a messenger sent on a special mission).
The official title indicates that this pastoral epistle was an official public letter and not simply a private letter Today it might have been posted in the church program handed at the door before Sunday’s services or put on the church bulletin board in a hallway for everyone to see.
THE SPIRITUAL GIFTING –
Sometimes confused with the Office of Apostle, the office of Apostle was held by a limited number of men chosen by Jesus including the twelve disciples (Mark 3:13-19) and Paul (Romans 11). The requirements included being a faithful eyewitness of Jesus’ ministry and His resurrection (Acts 1:21-22; 1 Corinthians 9:1) and being called by Jesus (Galatians 1:1).
The Apostles were given authority by Jesus to do many different things to establish the church, including writing Scripture along with personal miracles (John 14:26; 2 Peter 3:15-16; 2 Corinthians 12:12).
There are no more who hold the specific office of Apostle today, but the GIFT of apostleship continues in a different sense.
Jesus gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds (pastors), and teachers at His ascension (Ephesians 4:7-12) and these represent a distinct category of apostles.
THE LETTER BEGINS with the author describing himself:
“Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ…”
Besides designating himself as an apostle, Paul begins the epistle by referring to himself as a “slave”.
“SLAVE” [“bondservant”] of God (doulos – Grk.).
Paul here is merely using the basic word for a person who is owned by another person. He is someone whose will is controlled by the will of another. He’s one who serves another to the disregard of his/her own interest.
So Paul knows who he is in Christ! Metaphorically… “one gives himself wholly to another’s will!”
PAUL’S PURPOSE ( 1:1b).
Paul certainly knows who he is in Christ, so he next states the PURPOSE of his servanthood.
Amplified Bible: “…to stimulate and promote the faith of God’s chosen ones…lead them on to accurate discernment and acquaintance with the Truth which belongs to and harmonizes with and tends to godliness.”
According to the FAITH God’s called out ones [“chosen ones”] is a concept of corresponding to the FAITH that is given to him to be an apostle [God’s choice, not his]. [“chosen”: Mt. 24:22, 24, 31; Mk. 13:20, 22, 27; Lk. 18:7; 2 Tim. 2:10; 1 Pet. 1:1-2, 2:9]
GOD’S CHILDREN HAVE BEEN “CHOSEN” IN CHRIST JESUS!
Called out…chosen before the foundation of the world.
- to adoption (Eph. 1:4-5)
- to good works (Eph. 2:10)
- to conformity to Christ (Rom. 8:29)
- to eternal glory (Rom. 9:13)
- to salvation from the delusion of the Anti-Christ (2 Thess. 2:13)
Paul clearly stated the PURPOSE of his apostleship to further the FAITH & KNOWLEDGE of Christ Jesus.
His Spiritual GIFT of APOSTLESHIP was for the FAITH of the chosen; to provide full-knowledge of the Truth that comes from and leads to godliness.
GODLINESS consists of expressions that represent the character of God in everyday living. Godliness is the natural flow of a life in close relationship with Jesus.
Knowing the TRUTH changes lives from ungodliness to holy lives and God was using Paul to call out a people for Himself (1 Thess. 1:2-10) and to teach them the truth that leads to godly living (1 Tim. 6:3).
The PURPOSE of Paul’s ministry was aimed at both salvation and sanctification [“set apart”, “declare holy”, “purified from sin”.] of God’s people.
God’s PROMISE Revealed!
Verse 2 extends this FAITH & KNOWLEDGE into a PROMISE that brings HOPE of eternal life which God, who doesn’t lie, promised before the beginning of time!
THIS “HOPE” —
This HOPE is an earnest yearning, a confident expectation, and patient waiting, all with an outstretched neck with anticipation of life everlasting!
We have the HOPE in salvation BECAUSE…because God can’t lie! (1 Sam. 15:29; Heb. 6:18). He “promised” it before the ages began. (1 Cor. 2:7; Eph. 1:4).
Apparently, LYING was pretty typical of the citizens found on the Island of Crete (Titus 1:12). Paul made it clear at the start that God doesn’t lie!
The foundation of our FAITH is to trust in God’s character. And because God is TRUTH, He is the source of truth, He cannot lie. So the eternal life that God has promised will be ours because He keeps His promises.
PREACHING. TEACHING OF CHRIST BRINGS LIGHT (Verse 3)
The word “manifested” or “brought his word to light” (NASV, NIV) means to make visible that which has been hidden.
The Word of eternal life, how SALVATION OF GRACE had promised before eternity has now come about by Jesus Christ–made flesh (incarnate)–living a perfect life for us, dying for our sins, and being raised from the dead with us.
SALVATION IS NO LONGER HIDDEN!
God reveals His WORD through the proclamation or preaching and this is not the responsibility of just Paul two millennia ago or your pastor/preacher today. In obedience to God’s commandment, it should be our purpose in life as well.
The content of the gospel message reveals what’s hidden from the natural man.
This LIVING WORD of the Gospel was entrusted to Paul and he committed it to Titus.
Paul knew his purpose in life and the gospel message has been passed down through the ages through believers like you and me.
Are we shinning the Light on the World…sharing the Gospel message of Faith and Godliness to others?
If not, there’s no HOPE of eternal life for those in a despairing dark world.
Paul’s Disciple, Titus (Verse 4) –
 To Titus, my true child according to a common (general) faith; Grace (favor and spiritual blessing) and [heart] peace from God the Father and the Lord Christ Jesus our Savior. [AMP]
VERSE 4 introduces and blesses Titus, a true child of the faith [AMP].
Paul had shared Christ by his own personal testimony with Titus and by his sharing, Titus accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
The word “TRUE” means legitimately born. Paul knew Titus was genuinely born again. [The term may also denote a mentor or a protegé relationship].
The word “COMMON” means “to have in common.” This FAITH is the possession of all of God’s people and not just a selected few individuals.
Christians in different denominational groups may all wear different labels, but all TRUE BELIEVERS, those who possess the saving faith, all share the same saving faith! (Jude 3)
There was a definite body of TRUTH depicted in the church (Jude 3)
“…the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints [the faith which is that sum of Christian belief which was delivered verbally to the holy people of God.]” (AMP)
Any departure from this “common faith” is false teaching and must not be tolerated in the church.
Paul’s blessing upon Titus was “…grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.”
GRACE is love in action and springs from the undeserved favor of God upon those who seek Jesus. It brings salvation then sanctification for those who walk in the Spirit. [Sanctification is “the state of proper functioning”–to set apart someone or something apart for the use intended by its designer. To make one holy fro the Greek word hagiasmos.]
GRACE received results in a sense of harmony and well-being, the SHALOM of God.
PEACE binds together whats been separated or broken. When things are disjointed, separated, no tranquility at work, at home and seemingly, all around us.
GRACE & PEACE together have their source in both the Father and the Son. Titus is thus BLESSED with unmerited favor with unshakable PEACE! This BLESSING is for Titus AND…those who serve God in sharing His Truth with the gospel message.
We are given God’s PROMISE of divine provision and inner stability of our external circumstances.
The Letter to Titus, in closing, lays before us the challenge of our purpose for being, our personal identity and the meaning of life.
Much of Paul’s letter encourages ordinary believers, who occupy ALL walks of life, to consider every nook and cranny of their lives so that it may become an expression of the will of God.
God’s eternal purpose will move an ordinary life into the spiritual excellence we are all seeking but never seem to find.
No matter what path God has given us to walk, we are intended to be a vital piece in God’s missionary plan to reach the world for Christ Jesus. Each “piece” has meaning, has PURPOSE!
But to realize this, we may need to make adjustments in the way we view life.
BibleStudyTools.com – Sanctification
Expository Dictionary Of Bible Words by Stephen D. Renn
Bible Translations: NASV, NIV, AMP, ESV.
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