Confidence (Titus 1:2)

This letter is from Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. I have been sent to proclaim faith to those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives. 2 This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God—who does not lie—promised them before the world began. 3 And now at just the right time he has revealed this message, which we announce to everyone. It is by the command of God our Savior that I have been entrusted with this work for him.

Titus 1:1-3 NLT
Large gates, standing open

Having spent a few posts on verse one of this wonderful letter, we now push on to verses two and three. I’ll list the first few posts at the bottom so you can catch up if you have missed any of them.

Paul has been sent to teach the truth about God, and this should lead to people living godly lives. I pointed out that if the teaching we give does not do this, we must review and consider whether we are teaching the truth or full counsel of God’s Word. Likewise, you as a hearer of such teaching, must consider if it is leading you to live a more godly life. We can all cite examples of people who claim to be Christian, and who have sat under so called Christian teaching for years, and yet are as a mean as a snake! Church leaders who stray from the Bible into popular or political sermonettes frequently fall into sin. None of us are perfect, and we will all make mistakes – no question. But the general trend of our Christian lives should be a steady journey into Christ’s likeness.

The general trend of our #Christian lives should be a steady journey into Christ’s likeness. #Bible #Jesus #Christianity

Transforming us into Christ’s likeness, and thus helping us live godly lives is not all that this truth achieves. It also gives us confidence that we have eternal life. Eternal life is not something we will achieve when we get to heaven, and indeed, if we do not have it before we leave this earth, it will be too late. Sin separates us from God, and covers us with guilt and shame. On our own, we have no glimmer of hope to reach the perfection of heaven. We must have a Saviour. Jesus paid the penalty for sin and death, and by accepting what He has done, and letting Him act as our substitute, we get into heaven on His merits and not our own.

If you are being taught a performance-based Gospel, which is no Gospel at all, what that means is you must do x, y and z to get into heaven. This is “the Law.” It means you must fulfil all of its obligations to enter the pearly gates. No one is good enough to do that. Far from giving confidence, it hangs over us like a black cloud and leaves us constantly feeling we are not good enough. And we are not, that’s the point!

Let’s say there were only three laws; x, y and z. For your entire life, you keep x and y perfectly. But on at least one occasion, you broke the z law. Can you get into heaven? Not without paying the penalty for breaking that law. All your life you would worry about that. Your confidence would be shattered.

The true Gospel is not about what you have or haven’t done. It is about what Jesus has achieved!

The true #Gospel is not about what you have or haven’t done. It is about what #Jesus has achieved!

I have confidence in getting into heaven not because I’ve kept all the laws, but because I know Jesus has. I can rely on Him to be my entry pass, as I can’t pay the price for the ticket myself. If it is not about what I have or haven’t done, then there is nothing I can do to change it. When I was a sinner (in nature), no amount of good deeds would get me into heaven. Likewise, now I am saved (in nature), no amount of sin can separate me from God.

The question that immediately springs up is- does that mean we can live however we like, indulging in sin and God will just have to forgive us and let us into heaven? No! It’s an obvious question, but it is based on an incorrect premise!

If we encounter Jesus, and understand all that HE has done for us, then that should not result in us wanting to sin. Instead, it will all the more encourage us to live godly lives. We have no confidence in the flesh, that is in ourselves to get us into heaven, but have full confidence in Jesus. As a result, we want to live to please Him. Grace is a safety net that catches us when we fall, it is not a licence to sin.

Before we know Christ, we sin because it is in our nature to do so. We are led by the flesh, and that wants what it wants. Once we encounter Jesus and put Him in charge of our lives, we are given a new nature. It is no longer in our nature to sin, although the habit of sinfulness still exists meaning we still do things wrong at times. We no longer live a godly life to earn our way into heaven, as that is futile. Instead, we live a godly life because it is our new nature to do so, and because it is the right response to a God who has done so much for us.

If you have no confidence in your eternity, it may be because you are trying to earn your salvation. It is like going to a banquet which is already paid for, and insisting on paying your share of the bill yourself. Instead, stop trying to pay and start enjoying the blessing of Christ. Do good things absolutely, but not to get into heaven, but instead because it is right and what Christ would do.

I do not say this as someone who has it all figured out. I still have something of a works mentality” meaning that I still strive to be “good enough” for God. This is wrong, as I, in and of myself, can never be good enough. Rather than trying to add to Christ’s work with my own pitiful attempts, I should just rest in what He has achieved. Any good that I do in this life is all because He has shown me what good is, and enables me to do it. God gets all of the glory.

How is your confidence? Are you trying to earn your way into God’s good books? Do you need to let go of your own efforts and place yourself fully in Jesus’ hands? You will not regret it!

Other posts in this series:

5 thoughts on “Confidence (Titus 1:2)

  1. Confidence is a big issue in our walk with God. I can’t speak for anyone else but it is a weakness in my walk; often that sly voice whispers in my ear “are you certain? ” and I have take time to rebuke him. The certainty comes from the fact that I can always reply “God said so, and He cannot lie!”
    Thank you Andy, God bless you today brother 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Alan. I think it is healthy to check in with ourselves regularly, and to ask ourselves if we are fully committed to Jesus. It can be all too easy to try to justify ourselves through our own actions. I suspect many believers ask themselves or are asked, are they certain… Faith and certainty aren’t necessarily the same thing. We place our faith in Jesus and trust him for the rest.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Having confidence in eternity does help to fight against the tendency to strive in our works
    The striving should remain only from the desire to shed our old self and be more Christlike.
    Enjoying the study on Titus.

    Like

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