In our first two studies of the book of Titus, we have been introduced to Paul, and seen that his apostleship was for the combined purposes of evangelism and discipleship. Evangelism, to bring faith to those chosen of God, and discipleship, to educate believers in the knowledge of the truth that is according to godliness.
Now, as we pick up at verse two, Paul continues the thoughts regarding faith and truth...
Faith and truth are in the hope of eternal life. In other words, eternal life is dependant upon having faith and walking in the truth.
It is clear in the Scripture that those who don't have faith have no hope of eternal life. Without faith, it is impossible to please Him. But when we have faith, we hold onto the promise which says,
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."
But in addition to faith, living in obedience to the truth according to godliness is also intricately tied to the hope of eternal life. We have faith, but we must also walk in it, living a life marked by it. Timothy was told,
1Tim. 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
This is an active faith, not passive. James spent much of his book telling us that inactive faith isn't faith at all. And so we must grab hold of eternal life by living a faithful life.
Paul told the Romans that God was going to render to each person according to their deeds:
Rom. 2:7-8 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.
If we have faith and walk in the truth of godliness, we can expect eternal life. If we do not obey the truth, we don't have the hope of eternal life. Oh, we might be saved, but we have no real full assurance from the Scripture which reassures us that when we're not obeying the truth, we should expect anything but wrath and indignation. That's why Jude told us to build ourselves up on our most holy faith while waiting for eternal life (Jude 1:20-21)
Paul says that God promised eternal life long ages ago. This doesn't mean 2,000 years ago, or even back to the beginning of man in Genesis. It is literally, "before times eternal." Various Bible versions communicate
There is quite a divergence of translation here between Bible versions. The NIV says "before the beginning of time," the KJV and NLT say, "before the world began." The ASV renders this most literally, saying, "before times eternal."
It wasn't just early in man's history that God promised eternal life. He promised it before times eternal - before the creation even happened.
The Bible tells us that God chose us before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). To Him, our salvation was a done deal before the world was even created. This is why Paul told Timothy that God...
2Tim. 1:9-10 ...has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace WHICH WAS GRANTED US IN CHRIST JESUS FROM ALL ETERNITY, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel
Before time began, in eternity past...
1John 2:25 This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.
It was promised in eternity past, but at the proper time, that promise He made became tangible - it was realized in time at just the right time. Simon Peter said,
1Pet. 1:20-21 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
Jesus has always existed, but the world didn't see Him until He appeared to them.
John 1:1-2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
Jesus is eternal, and came to the world at the proper time.
John 1:10-13 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
He came to us, then died for us, granting to us the eternity-old promise of eternal life.
Rom. 5:6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
The death of Jesus was at just the right time. He...
1Tim. 2:6 ...gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.
Paul knew that he was one of the people entrusted with the task of preaching that message to people. He'd been commanded by "God our Savior." Who is our Savior? The New Testament tell us it is God.
Jude 1:25 ...the only God our Savior,
1Ti 4:10 ...the living God, who is the Savior...
Lu 1:47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
But wait! The Bible also says...
Lu 2:11 ...a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
2Pe 3:18 ...our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...
Php 3:20 ...we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ
The resolution is of course, that Jesus Christ is God, and we are...
Tit 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus