And so, we start our adventure through the book of Titus… I’m going to be using and commenting on the verses as set out in the NKJV. We begin by reading Titus 1:1-4
Titus lays a foundation for helping us to be ready (set things in G-dly order) for a time of transition – from the things that are now to the things that will be. Paul warned us that in the last days many people and congregations are going to move away from right doctrine and fall away from the faith (called apostasy – when someone leaves something good – G-d’s will- for that which is evil – i.e. not G-d’s will or purpose See 2 Thess 2:3)
v1: The word ‘servant’ is more accurately translated “bond servant or slave”. This was not a slave who had been enslaved by force or made a slave under threat of punishment. In contrast, a bond slave was an individual who submitted willingly to his chosen master (Deut 15:12-17) In reality every G-d fearing person should be a bond servant to the L-rd (1 Peter 2:15-16)
· All believers have a call to be a servant, however the call to apostleship was a unique one.
· Paul received his call because of faith (faith comes from hearing the truth of G-d – Roms 10:17) Faith was not something unique to Paul. It is something we are all invited to partake of.
· G-d’s elect – notice that faith comes before election. Those who have faith are elected or chosen.
· Faith… And truth – Biblical faith is believing the truth of G-d. When we respond to truth and apply it to our lives we become the elect of G-d, chosen by Him.
v2: Hope – when G-dliness is demonstrated in our lives we live with a proper expectation. Hope does not originate in what we want, but it is founded upon the truth or promises that G-d has given to us (Rom 8:24-25)
· Eternal life is a hope that is not based on earthly life (Heb 11:39-40). The people of faith (mentioned in Hebrews 11) wanted to live their lives according to Kingdom principles. They wanted to manifest the character of the Kingdom (to come) while they were still on earth. Having this perspective is very important for us as end time people. It takes our focus off the ways and thinking of the world and focuses our thoughts and actions on the Kingdom of G-d – the Kingdom to come. Our worldly desires need to be nailed to the cross, instead we should be a people motivated by Kingdom desires or promises (eternal)
· G-d CANNOT lie. What He has promised will be.
· The promise of eternal life was made by G-d before the creation of the world! It was also at that time that G-d purposed for His Son to be slain for us – Rev 13:8. These promises, made then, are all related to Messiah/Christ. G-d(knowing all things) knew that His Son was going to need to lay down His life in order for a Kingdom reality to be offered to all of humanity.
v3: “But” shows a contrast. The promise was given in ancient time BUT the manifestation or outworking of the promise comes about in due time, at the proper time.
· Preaching is a proclamation. It is a message that has importance for all of humanity.
· A commandment is a proclamation that demands a specific response.
· G-d our Savior – Scripture interprets Scripture. By looking at this verse we cannot dogmatically say whether this is a reference to G-d the Father or G-d the Son. If we drop down to verse 4, however, we can see that it is in fact referring to Yeshua. Yeshua is our Savior but here He is also referred to as G-d (L-rd) – this is confirmation of His divinity.
v4: A son is the fruit of a marriage covenant. Titus was not Paul’s biological child. Through the promise (covenant) however they became family. Within the new covenant there is a need to display family responsibility to one another.
· Common faith is faith that is relevant for all human beings. There is only ONE kind of true faith. (this “common” is not referring to something unkosher or unclean as it is used in the context of Acts 10:10-28)
· Grace and mercy are highly significant for our new covenant faith (Jer 31:31-34). It is only once we have received grace and mercy that we can have peace with G-d.