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  • Writer's pictureJohn Lenschow

Who God is

Titus 1:1-4

1. Recognize the context: Literary Context- The reasons Paul functioned as both a servant and an apostle were to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness.

Here Paul used the term God’s elect to indicate the corporate people of God (Rom. 8:33, Col. 3:12). This corporate sense is rooted in the Old Testament concerning Israel as God's people (Isa. 42:1, 45:4). Here, Paul desired God’s people to be established in their faith, trusting and relying on a faithful God, just as people in the past.

Paul also desired God's people to know the truth. This was especially important in order to resist false teaching present on the island of Crete. Knowledge of the truth was not meant to be abstract or theoretical. Knowledge of God and faith in him was meant to lead to godliness.

In the Greco-Roman world, godliness meant an internal sense of reverence joined with proper actions of worship. Paul appropriated this word into the Christian life. For Paul, his purpose as a servant of God and apostle of Jesus Christ was to develop the faith and knowledge of God's people, so they grow in a life of godliness. This life of godliness was to reflect reverence and worship.

2. Read the Scripture: Titus 1:1-4

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness—2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3 and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior, 4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

3. Reflect on the Scripture:

The Christian experience, which is characterized by faith and knowledge of the truth, leads to godliness.The ultimate goal of the Christian life is the hope of eternal life with God. True biblical hope is not merely wishful thinking; rather, it is “certainty” ( Rom. 5:1–5; 8:18–25). Certainty of eternal life is based on God, who is truthful and does not deceive (Num 23:19, 1 Sam. 15:29). God planned and promised this everlasting life with him before the beginning of time.

God’s commitment to eternal life was currently being realized at the appropriate time, in Paul’s day, through the gospel message entrusted to him to preach by the command of God. Here, God is referred to as “our Savior.” Reference to God as Savior was common within the Old Testament and was familiar in the Greco-Roman world. However, it grabs our attention here because Paul more often referred to Jesus as the Savior than God the Father. However, we shouldn't be surprised by Paul's language here since he had much to say about God in the introduction to this letter. Additionally, we know from the rest of Paul’s teaching that the Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) was active in the work of salvation.

Additional note:

When reading and studying Scripture, we should always ask, “What does this passage say about the Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)?” Here Paul has taken the time to tell Titus, and through him, us a great deal about God.

God has had a chosen people throughout history.

God desires for his people to grow in faith, know the truth, and live a godly life.

God has designed everlasting life with him before the beginning of time.

God is truthful and does not lie or deceive.

God brought the gospel message at his appointed time.

God brought about salvation, and he is our savior.

God is our Father (v. 4).

4. Relate to life:

Remember, it is important to be a doer of God’s Word, not merely a hearer or reader (James 1:22-25). Here are some practical ways to actively respond to God’s Word. Consider these or create other ways you can apply the message.

To pray:

Today, prayerfully consider the above list of who God is and what he has done.

Today, prayerfully reflect on how understanding God's character impacts your life today.

To do: (Actions with the Holy Spirit's help)

Given the prayer suggestions above, how do you need to respond today? Think about your attitudes, actions, and words. Think about your family, friends, church community, and co-workers. To study: (Always make sure to read the immediate context of the given passage.)

Read and study the verses above.

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