Bible Study: Titus 1:1-4

Titus is one of three letters known better as the Pastoral Epistles.  The other two letters are both addressed to Timothy.  It was written by the elder Paul to encourage the younger Titus.  Titus was a pastor on the island of Crete.  Paul leaves us instructions that are relevant to pastors and Christian leaders in the present age.  We begin our study by focusing on the letter’s introduction.

Titus 1:1-4

Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour; To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Now and later

Against the backdrop of ministry, and the entirety of Christian experience is the tension of now and later.  In the tension usually described as already/not yet, the focus in on the promise of the heavenly reality and it breaking into the present age.  Remember the saying, “A little bit of heaven to go to heaven on.”  The tension of now and later focuses on the work of ministry, as Paul points out in this passage.

We are servants of God, sent out by Jesus Christ, declaring the hope of eternal life, which our God, who cannot lie, promised before creation.  The promise of eternal life is something we will enjoy at a later time of our Christian experience and ministry.  Presently, in the now, God has given us the ministry to preach the Word.  The later is when we enter into God’s rest.  The now is the laboring we do in word and deed to point people to Christ.  Isn’t this a lovely backdrop for ministry?  We can labor in the present age with the hope of a future age.  There is another old saying about ministry, “We may not receive much in this life, but retirement is out of this world.

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