Titus 1:1-3 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.”
Servants of the Lord
All of us who have been born of God into the family of God through God-given faith in Jesus Christ are the Lord’s servants. We belong to him. He owns us. We are his possession. For Jesus bought us back for God with his blood so that we would now honor God with our bodies (our lives).
We died with Christ to sin that we might live to Christ and to his righteousness. Our old self was put to death with Jesus so that we would now walk in newness of life in him. Jesus delivered us from our slavery to sin so that we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness.
And this word translated “servant” here literally means “slave.” We belong to God now. We are his bond-slaves. For he died on that cross that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. We now willingly live under Christ’s authority as his devoted followers.
We have given up our ownership over our own lives. We have surrendered our lives to Jesus Christ. Now we submit to his Lordship over our lives, we forsake our sins, and we follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands, not to earn our salvation, but as part of believing faith in him.
The Faith of God’s Elect
We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father draws us to Christ. And the faith to believe in him comes from God, is founded in Jesus Christ, and is perfected in us by Jesus Christ, too. Thus, this faith will conform to God’s divine will and purpose for our lives.
This word “faith” means to be persuaded, in this case by God. It is a gift from God, and it is not something that can be produced in our own flesh. And to be persuaded by God means to die with Christ to sin and to live to Christ and to his righteousness, and it is to walk in obedience to him, too.
It is to be divinely persuaded as to God’s holiness and righteousness and of our need to submit ourselves to him and to his holiness and righteousness. And it is to prefer what God prefers, which is what is holy, righteous, pure, honest, moral, upright, loving, kind, and obedient.
And this faith is present tense, not just past tense, and it must be ongoing, and it must continue to the very end. And it is a faith which is evidenced in our lives as being genuine by the things that we do, not of the flesh, but of the Spirit of God in submission to Christ as Lord of our lives.
Which Accords with Godliness
Amen! Our faith in Jesus Christ must accord (agree, correspond, be consistent) with godliness. So, if you say you believe in Jesus, but then you believe that God requires of you no repentance, obedience, or submission to him as Lord, your faith is of the flesh, not of God. It will not save you!
For godliness involves reverence for God, which involves devotion to our Lord, showing him respect, honor, and obedience. It is to worship him. And the Scriptures teach that giving our lives to God as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, is our acceptable worship of him.
Godliness also incorporates holiness and righteousness. And holiness has to do with living our lives separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Christ. And righteousness has to do with what is right in God’s eyes, which is what is pure and holy, etc.
So, the kind of faith which results in our salvation from sin and eternal life with God is of God and thus it submits to Christ as Lord, it dies with Christ to sin, and it lives to God and to his righteousness. It walks in obedience to his commands, and it no longer walks according to our sinful flesh.
Hope of Eternal Life
Our hope of eternal life is not guaranteed upon some secular and fleshly faith in Jesus Christ which is created in the minds of humans and not of the will of God for our lives. Our hope of eternal life with God has biblical conditions, and if we fail to meet those conditions, we don’t have it.
We must deny self, daily die to sin and self, and follow Jesus Christ in obedience. We must listen to our Lord and heed his words and do what he says to do as a matter of practice, not necessarily in sinless perfection. But lack of perfection is no excuse for deliberate and habitual sin.
Righteousness must be what we practice if we are to be righteous, and sin must no longer be our practice if we want to have eternal life with God. For we are all going to reap what we sow in this life. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction, but if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life.
If we remain slaves to sin, that will lead to death, not life eternal. But if we are slaves of obedience to Christ, that leads to righteousness, and its end is eternal life. If we walk according to the Spirit, by the Spirit, and we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will have eternal life.
And we must keep his commandments as a matter of practice. If we say we know God, but we are not obeying his commands, we are liars, and the truth is not in us. If we say we have fellowship with God, but we continue to conduct our lives in darkness (sin), we will not have eternal life.
So, we need to take this to heart. We are not saved from our sins, and we are not guaranteed eternal life with God if we continue living in sin, making sin our practice, i.e., if we habitually, deliberately, and premeditatedly choose to sin against our Lord instead of obeying what he says.
For, true faith in Jesus Christ results in us dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness. It results in us no longer being enslaved to sin but us now being bond-slaves (servants) of our Lord (owner-master). And it results in us walking (conducting our lives) no longer according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (in accord with godliness).
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Jn 6:44; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2]
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!