Tuesday in the Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time

Titus 1:1-4

Which Accords with Godliness

Paul’s letter to Titus was written roughly the same time as his first letter to Timothy, probably after his first imprisonment at Rome recorded in Acts 28.  Sometime between this imprisonment in Rome and his last (A.D. 62-64), Paul and Titus must have gone to the island of Crete (of ancient fame) where they either planted a church or found a church already planted since Cretans were in attendance on the day of Pentecost when Peter stood up to preach (Acts 2:11), though the first option seems more feasible.  Paul left Titus there “so that [he] might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as [Paul] directed [him].”  As for the man himself, Titus shows up in twelve places in the New Testament, mostly in 2 Corinthians as Paul’s emissary.  He also shows up in Galatians (written some fifteen years before these letters to Timothy and Titus) where Paul relates an earlier trip to Jerusalem “taking Titus along with [him],” thus showing that whereas Timothy was a young understudy needing encouragement, Titus was by this time an older and trusted companion of Paul.

A commentary I have states, “It is only in the life of godliness…that the ‘knowledge of the truth’ can be fully learned” (Mounce, WBC, 379-80).  I shall count this as the theme for this brief letter; that is, godly living as the fruit of salvation, as Paul plainly indicates in these four verses and teaches throughout.  Paul writes that he is an apostle of Jesus Christ “for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began, and at the proper time manifested in his word” which Paul was commanded by the Lord to preach. 

So Paul makes it plain here that he, and truly all the apostles, was called for the purpose of calling out God’s chosen ones (the elect) that they may know the truth which produces godliness.  And this is what his letter to Titus is about: knowing the truth so that one may live a godly life.  Indeed, without knowledge of the truth, one cannot hope to live a godly life; and the absence of a godly life is evidence that one does not know the truth (hence, Paul’s warning, “Do not be deceived…,” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).  And this godliness is captivated and driven by the hope of eternal life, “hope” meaning “certainty” and not associated as it is in our day with “wishful thinking.”  And this hope is certain because our God never lies but indeed had this in mind from ages past and promised so, fulfilling His promise at the appointed time (Luke 2:1-20).  To be saved is to live a godly life in the hope of eternal life.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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