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.”
Who are the elect? We are the chosen of God, the called out ones, the ones called of God to his service out from the world. We were chosen by him even before he laid the foundations of the earth, called to a holy calling, chosen to be holy and blameless before him, and predestined to be conformed the likeness of Jesus Christ. Jesus formed us in the wombs of our mothers, and in God’s book were written all the days formed for us even before any came into being. God created us for a purpose and that purpose is to serve him.
[Psalms 139:13-16; Romans 8:29; 2 Timothy 1:8-9; Ephesians 1:3-4]
And what is our faith? Well, faith comes from God. Jesus is the author and the perfecter of our faith. And faith is gifted to us by God and it is not of our own doing lest we should boast. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first draws us to Christ, i.e. unless he first persuades us as to his holiness and righteousness and of our sinfulness and of our need to be delivered from our bondage to sin to walk in holiness and righteousness in obedience to our Lord. All this comes from God.
So, if we are persuaded by God to have faith in Jesus Christ then that faith will be according to the will of God and according to the Word of God. And it will express itself in genuine repentance, which also is given to us by God, and in obedience to our Lord, empowered by God, and in submission to Jesus Christ as Lord and Master of our lives. We will prefer to walk in the ways and the will of God for our lives, so we will forsake our lives of sin to follow Jesus Christ in holiness and in righteousness to the glory of God.
[Jn 6:44; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; 2 Pet 1:1; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6-8; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24]
And what is the truth? Well, the truth, biblically speaking, accords (agrees) with godliness. And what is godliness? It is piety (devotion, faithfulness, holiness, reverence, and respect) towards God. So if we are believers in and followers of the truth that is in Christ Jesus, and that is found in the Scriptures, then we are going to be people whose lives are surrendered to Jesus Christ, who are walking in his ways and in his truth, who have forsaken our lives of sin to follow Jesus in obedience to his commands.
So, the truth has to agree with God and with his holy character and with his divine will and purpose for our lives. And if we want to know the truth then we need to be students of the Scriptures who study the Scriptures in their context and who compare Scripture with Scriptures, for many false doctrines have stemmed from Scriptures removed from their context and twisted to say what they don’t say. And so we also need to test everything we read and hear against the Scriptures in their full context so we get the truth.
[Jn 8:31-32,51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 11:17-24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 5:9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:1-5; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Matt 7:21-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Jas 1:21-25; Eph 4:17-24]
Putting it All Together
So, Paul was called of God to be an apostle of Christ for our sake and for the sake of the faith of us who are God’s elect and for the sake of our knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness. In other words, it was Paul’s responsibility before God to make certain that we who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ have full understanding of what it means to be followers of Christ. It was his responsibility before God to make certain that we understand fully the gospel message and the meaning of faith, etc.
Now, I am not an apostle nor am I a prophet. I am just a woman of God sharing with you what the Lord is teaching me from his word each day during my times of devotions with him. But the Lord has given me a similar task as he did Paul to make certain that the Scriptures are explained clearly so that my readers can know what it means to believe in Jesus Christ and so that they can have the hope of eternal life with God. For many people think they have eternal life but they don’t because they aren’t genuinely saved.
And so that is why I have explained what faith is and what truth is and what it means to be God’s elect because there are so many misconceptions of these things being taught in the gatherings of what is called “church” today. So many people are being taught, for instance, that faith is a mere acknowledgment of who Jesus is and of what he did for us on that cross or it is just repeating words after someone else in what is called a prayer. And they are being taught that faith guarantees them heaven when they die.
But there is no repentance involved in that faith. There is no turning from sin to follow Jesus as Lord in obedience to his commands (New Covenant). There is no daily dying with Christ to sin and to self and daily walking with him in holiness and righteousness to the glory and praise of God – all in the strength and power and wisdom of God. They just tell them to believe in Jesus and now heaven is guaranteed them when they die regardless of how they live on this earth. So they give them freedom to keep on in their sin.
But we are called to a holy calling. We are to be holy in all our conduct, and to be holy is to be set apart from the world and set apart to God and to his service. We are to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ in our character and in our actions. And repentance is required for forgiveness of sins and salvation from our slavery (addiction) to sin. And our salvation is not a one-time deal and then we are in for good. We are saved (past), we are being saved (present), and we will be saved (future) provided that we continue in Christ in faithful obedience until the very end of time.
And the truth is not something we can make up. And we are not going to find the truth if we believe everyone who says he is telling the truth. We have to be those who are testing everything we hear or read no matter who it is who is saying or writing it. And we are not going to find the truth if we are not students of the Scriptures who are testing everything we read and hear and see against the Scriptures IN THEIR CONTEXT. Context is critical to correct biblical interpretation. So, please take this to heart.
[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 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10]
I Stand in Awe
By Mark Altrogge
You are beautiful
You are beautiful beyond description
Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
Like nothing ever seen or heard
Who can grasp Your infinite wisdom?
Who can fathom the depth of Your love?
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty, enthroned above
And I stand, I stand in awe of You
I stand, I stand in awe of You
Holy God, to whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of You
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