TITUS 1:1-2: “From Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. I was sent to lead God’s chosen people to faith and to the knowledge of the truth that leads to a godly life. My message is based on the confidence of eternal life. God, who never lies, promised this eternal life before the world began.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: What is the goal of faith? What are we reaching forward to in our lives as believers in Jesus Christ? Is it simply eternal life, or is it much more? Paul, in his opening words to Titus, gives us some insight to these questions. His ministry was to lead people to faith in Jesus Christ, and to the knowledge of the truth. Yet, it was not simply to lead them to know Jesus so that they would have eternal life. Rather, it was to engage them in a lifelong, or more correctly, an eternal journey – of becoming like Jesus Christ. Our life of faith is supposed to lead us somewhere both qualitatively and quantitatively.
Paul’s message was based on his confidence of eternal life. His confidence was founded, not on his own perception of what he hoped for, but rather on God’s promise of what is sure and true. And he reminds Titus – God never lies! In fact, this promise of eternal life was not something that God came up with after Adam and Eve sinned. No, it was God’s intent from the very onset of creation. In fact, God, who is eternal, is simply fulfilling His desire for His creation that existed in His heart before He ever created the world and mankind. Adam and Eve’s sin attempted to break that promise. However, the Cross of Jesus Christ makes it a reality for all who believe once again!
This promise of eternal life is not simply a future hope of glory. There is that, but it is more importantly at this moment, a present promise of blessed assurance. The call to walk in faith, to endure hardship, to suffer loss for the Kingdom of God, makes absolutely no sense if there is not an eternal hope. This eternal hope, this heavenly journey, this blessed assurance, is the very foundation of confidence through Jesus Christ that enables us to walk in faith today. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians put it very succinctly.
- “Certainly, if the dead don’t come back to life, then Christ hasn’t come back to life either. If Christ hasn’t come back to life, your faith is worthless and sin still has you in its power. Then those who have died as believers in Christ no longer exist. If Christ is our hope in this life only, we deserve more pity than any other people.” (1 Corinthians 15:16-19 GW)
If there is no resurrection, then there is no heaven. If there is no heaven, then this life is it. If this life is it, we deserve more pity than any other people. As we look over the annals of history, we do not witness the pathway of mankind moving toward greater enlightenment. This is what many want to believe, but history has always been two steps forward and three steps back. Mankind continues to slide further and further away from God and His righteousness. We cannot attain moral excellence apart from the hope and assurance of eternal life.
It is only through faith in Jesus Christ, the blessed hope of eternal life, and the unchanging nature and Word of God, that we are able to lead a godly life! This is the goal of faith!
Lord, in these uncertain times, in the midst of a sea of doubt and unbelief, grant me the grace to lay hold of eternal life and press on toward Your high calling in Christ Jesus! As I walk each day, as I grow in faith, change my heart, my attitudes, and my actions and make me more like Jesus. Lord, let Your Kingdom come, let Your will be done, in and through me today!
In Jesus Name!