Paul’s Faithful Sayings – Week 13 / March 24th

In Paul’s letter to Titus he gives us three remarkable sayings that are indeed worthy of our attention and contemplation. Around these he builds a letter that instructs Titus to give attention to the important matters having to do with leaders, godly family living and the pursuit of good works. In this devotion I wish to draw your attention to his, “Faithful Sayings.”

Jesus, the hope of eternal life

“Paul, a bondservant of God and an Apostle of Jesus
Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the
acknowledgment of the truth that accords with
godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who
cannot lie, promised before time began, but has in
due time manifested His word through preaching,
which was committed to me according to the
commandment of God our Savior….”
Titus 1:1-3

The message that Paul brings, and which we have also received, is one of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. We have this eternal life now and it shines through our lives by reason of the fact that we live differently to those who live and work in our sphere of influence. Truth without godliness is a farce! This truth is God’s word that existed before time began, is embodied in the person of Jesus and is made known chiefly by preaching. Preaching constitutes a powerful declaration of things that are true and beyond dispute. It is knowing this that imparts authority when it is done. We should do so boldly and ensure that our lives demonstrate it.

Jesus, the coming Savior

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared
to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and
worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and
godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope
and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior
Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might
redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for
Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”
Titus 2:11-14

The grace of God alone sent Jesus into the world to die for us all on the cross. We have received God’s unmerited favor or we have been the recipients of God’s riches at Christ’s expense. We are thus saved from a lost eternity and are reconciled to God. This grace lives in our hearts by the life of Jesus and it teaches us to live upright and godly lives. Thus, we all have a Shepherd inside of us telling us what is right or wrong and God gives us Pastor/Shepherds, outside of us, to make sure that we listen to our inner Shepherd and do not resist His ways. This “Inner Shepherd’ also urges us to get ready and be prepared for Christ’s Second Coming. Those then who tell us not to be concerned about end-time events are thus contradicting the very work of Jesus in us. His soon coming is our blessed hope because by it we will finally be fully transformed, body, soul and spirit, into His image and we shall be with Him for all eternity in a “world” that is far beyond our comprehension of what true beauty is.

While we wait for this day to break in upon us let us live lives worthy of His name and characterized by good works. This indeed is a faithful saying!

Jesus, the One Who pours out the Spirit

“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward
man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have
done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing
of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured
out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having
been justified by His grace we should become heirs of eternal life.
This is a faithful saying.”
Titus 3:4-8

In all of these faithful sayings Jesus is set before us as “our great God” or as “God our Savior.” He has done so many wonderful things for us that our hearts want to burst with thankfulness, praise and worship. We do serve a great God and He has, by Jesus Christ, poured our His Spirit upon us in abundance. The true Christian has undergone a major inner heart renewal in that he or she has been regenerated. That is, totally renewed and filled with God’s redeeming love. In addition we have been given assurance by this renewal, not only of our salvation, but of a unique inheritance reserved in heaven for us. All these things being so, our lives should be overflowing with the blessings and praises of God. This is a faithful saying because it is true and therefore every Christian should be regularly reminded of these things. Also, given all of this, how can we possibly live such defeated and sub-standard Christian lives? It is truly time to awake from our sleep, put on Christ and be filled with the joy of the Lord!!

Paul thus gives us three faithful sayings that are most worthy of being repeated in our churches and homes. Blessed be God our Savior!

Malcolm Hedding.

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