God Does Not Lie (Titus 1:2-3)

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

Had I planned out my blog posts a little better, I probably would have concluded my thoughts on verse two of Titus 1 yesterday. But here we are…

In yesterday’s post – Confidence – we thought about the fact that teaching the truth of God will give His people confidence in their eternal destiny. Resting fully in Christ’s work at the cross, we have assurance that our entry into heaven is not reliant on our performance. The blood of Jesus cleanses us, and by placing our trust in Him, we have eternal confidence. That is not to say our performance does not matter of course, and I reminded us that we ought to live godly lives because it is right, and because it is would Jesus would do.

A further reason to have confidence is found in the latter half of verse two. We have assurance because God has promised it.

God does not lie. That’s just plain, good theology. Everything God says will come to pass, and anything He has promised will be done. His promises are based on His Word and His character. If God does not lie, then you can bank on his Word.

If #God does not lie, then you can bank on – trust in – His Word, which is the #Bible

God is not a man that He  should lie. Too few of us, myself included at times, are flippant with our words. We say things we do not mean, or say things in haste or anger that we later do not follow through on. How often do we as parents threaten our children with some punishment or restriction that we later do not do. When this happens, our children learn that our words are of little value. We all say things in the heat of the moment that we do not really mean, but not God. God has never uttered a single word He did not fully mean or commit to.

The particular promise that Paul refers to in this letter, is the promise of eternal life. When did God promise this? Before the world began… Again, this speaks of God’s sovereignty. He is outside of time, knowing the end from the beginning, and can make a promise of this kind.

If God promised it before the world began, then He did so before you were born. He did it prior to you doing anything good or bad. Before you said your first word, or conceived your first thought, God had already made the decree. This reminds us that the promise of God is not reliant upon us. Before the foundation of the world, God chose you. And He will not change His mind. That gives us confidence!

The Revealed Message

A phone sending a text message?

We conclude this section of the letter with verse three, which in many respects summarises what we have already covered over the last few posts.

God, as I say above, knows the end from the beginning. Being Sovereign, He knows the precise moment to do something. Now, at just the right time, God has revealed the message to His chosen people. What message? The message of faith which Paul is proclaiming.

Paul does not proclaim it because he feels like it, or it is his hobby. Instead, he does so because it is the command of God. I put this out there to you too, and ask – what has God commanded you to do? And, are you doing it?

We have covered a lot of ground in a few short verses, but all of them centre around this revealed message – that is, the proclamation of faith and the teaching of the truth of God. The result of this proclamation and teaching is eternal life, and the confidence of its knowledge. That is the basis upon which Paul is an apostle. He establishes this as the springboard for what he intends to say in this letter. The contents of this epistle is where we go next, and I hope that you find it encouraging and uplifting.

Have a blessed day!

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:

This Sunday at Church: Praying for your Church’s Outreach Effort

I often share from this wonderful series on a Sunday. Today’s post is particularly powerful so I really do encourage you to give it a read.

This Sunday at Church I want to encourage you to do the following: Praying for your church outreach effort.  It might mean someone’s eternity with …

This Sunday at Church: Praying for your Church’s Outreach Effort

Sent One (Titus 1:1)

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
A sign sending you the right way

In yesterday’s post – A Slave of God – we thought about Paul’s opening words in the letter of Titus. Today we continue on that same line.

Paul identifies himself not only as a slave of God, but also as an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What is an apostle? There are a few different definitions actually, and the one most commonly used is to describe the group who first took the Christian message into the world. These were mainly the disciples of Christ, and of course, Paul himself. Many of them had seen the Risen Lord.

One definition I once heard is that apostle means “Sent One.” I like that, and it has always stuck with me. Hence the name of today’s post I suppose!

If Paul is indeed a “sent one,” then what has he been sent to do? The NLT translation makes it abundantly clear. He has been sent to proclaim faith to those God has chosen.

In many respects, all who minister in God’s Word are called to do this. Whether you write a blog, pastor a church or teach a small group, you are proclaiming faith to God’s people. A proclamation is a public announcement of some kind, and in this case, an announcement of the Good News of Jesus.

Sometimes when I sit and write a blog post, it is not easy. I read the Scripture, think about what God might want me to say and often tie myself in knots. Proclaiming faith is not complicated however, and nor should it be. It is not something that only top theologians can do, nor do you need a doctorate or ordination. I’m not against such things I hasten to add, but let us not disqualify ourselves from stating the simple truth of the Gospel to the world that desperately needs it.

If “apostle” means “sent one,” then where is God sending you? #Bible #Jesus #Christianity

I cannot gloss over the little note that Paul adds. He is proclaiming faith to those God has chosen. This touches on the theology of sovereignty, and makes us ask if it is God’s choice, does that remove our own freedom? You often hear people talk of “free will,” but you will not find that phrase in the Bible itself. While there are choices we can make, we must ask ourselves what really drives them. Without straying into philosophy here, what makes you decide to choose option A over B? If you lived a different life, experienced different things or happened to be born in another part of the world, would you still choose A over B? Hard to say…

The point is, when we are trapped in sin, we cannot choose God. As fallen and sinful creatures, there is nothing in us that wants anything of God. In order for us to be saved, He must choose us. Indeed, God did so before the foundation of the world. If we follow Christ, then we are the elect, and God has adopted us into His family. We can claim no credit for this, but instead rejoice in the truth that God did it all for us.

Is God sending you to proclaim faith to His people? That may not mean you boarding a plane and travelling to some far off land, as God’s chosen people might be just around the corner. If God sends you, then proclaim faith in your words and deeds. Do not say the words and fail to live the life.

Proclaim faith with your words and deeds. Do not preach the words and fail to live the life #Bible #Jesus #Christianity

Still more to come on Titus 1:1 another day! God bless you

I’m Sorry – Andy Brown (Best of 2022)

Not exactly one of my most popular posts from this year, but I really like it! So I’m sharing it with you today. Hopefully you won’t have much cause to use this advice in the coming year, but just in case! 

I was thinking about apologising this week, not that there was a particular incident which I needed to say sorry for, but instead I was reflecting on how bad we are at it – generally speaking! Is that through lack of practise I wonder? We all make mistakes, and yet we often fail to apologise…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2022/02/03/im-sorry/

When one door closes another one opens (RB)

Do spare a thought and a prayer for brother Dean at this time. Thanks for reading.

Hi everyone! Hope that you are well and have had a great Christmas! How was Christmas for you? I have been quiet lately in the blogging sphere. To be…

When one door closes another one opens

Preaching to the Choir – Andy Brown (Best of 2022)

Are you preaching to the choir? Is that wasteful, or does the choir need your encouragement as well? It was a great pleasure yesterday evening to meet (on video) a couple of fellow Christian bloggers, and lovely to share some of our stories, questions and experiences of ministering through this medium. It was humbling to…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2022/04/09/preaching-to-the-choir/

Poor Little Fig Tree – Andy Brown (Best of 2022)

On Tuesday, I wrote a post entitled Anything, which looked at the awesome power of prayer. Yesterday, I shared a post called – A Fig Tree – which picked up that theme, and was written by the excellent blogger Bruce Cooper. Some comments on these posts highlighted to me that many do not fully understand…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2022/06/23/poor-little-fig-tree/

Fasting – Sunday Suggestion – Andy Brown (Best of 2022)

Over the season of Lent, I have been fasting. It has not always gone according to plan, I hasten to add, but it has been an enriching experience in many ways. This Sunday, why not give it a try yourself? Be sure to do it sensibly and wisely if you have never done it before.…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2022/04/10/fasting-sunday-suggestion/

Go for a Goal! – Sunday Suggestion – Andy Brown (Best of 2022)

As we approach the end of another year, how have you progressed with your goals? 

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.Philippians 3:14 (NIV) I want to begin this new year with a series I’ve entitled “Sunday Suggestion.” It’s not too cryptic, and I intend it to be a fairly brief post each week about how you…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2022/01/02/go-for-a-goal-sunday-suggestion/

One Way – Andy Brown (RB)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (ESV) We take another little break from the ATBOB series to think about something I feel is important for us to discuss. The other evening, I caught an episode of…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2018/05/24/one-way/

Prayer and Sovereignty – Andy Brown

If God is sovereign, then what is the purpose of prayer? Why do we pray at all?

Today I share an article I wrote a few years ago, trying to address this very subject.

A couple of years ago, I was challenged about my view of God’s Sovereignty. I once believe that He did not control all things, but rather had delegated some control (for want of a better term) to humankind. Yet, a careful look at the Bible made me question this view, and ultimately dismiss it. God…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2020/07/14/prayer-and-sovereignty/