Summary: To establish the truth was conceived by God in eternity; commission to be preached in due time; and committed to the apostles according to the commandment of God. This lesson deals with the false notion that a divine pattern does not have to be followed.
1. Conceived by God
2. Commission by Jesus
3. Committed to the Apostles
1. In our lesson today we are going to be discussing a theme: “the truth which is after godliness.” Nestled in the salutation of the Apostle Paul to Titus, his “son after the common faith” in our scripture lesson is three invaluable truths. They are, that God had “according to the faith of God’s elect, and the knowledge (Gr: epignosin) 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 Savior,” Titus 1:1-3.
2. First, Paul states that God which cannot lie, has promised before the world began, according to the faith of God’s elect, in hope of eternal life, the truth which is after godliness,” Titus 1:1b-2. God has promised according to our faith and obedience to the truth which is after godliness, the hope of eternal life. This he conceived – before the world began. Only God can call those thing that are not; as if they are for certain. Paul is affirming here that there is a truth which is after godliness. Not a truth, or some truth; but the truth.
3. Secondly, Paul states that God hath “in due times manifested his word (the truth according to godliness) through preaching,” Titus 1:3. Here he makes mention that this word (the truth) was manifested (made known) in due times (his time) through preaching (Gr: kerygmati, or proclamation). The message of eternal life, through the truth which is after godliness, has been communicated through preaching. God has commission his word to be manifested through the preaching of the gospel of Christ. It is through the gospel message we learn how to obtain the promise of eternal life, as a result of the preaching of the truth “which is after godliness.”
4. Finally, Paul states that God hath “committed unto him” this message of eternal life through “the truth which is after godliness, according to the commandment of God our Saviour,” Titus 1:3b. This message of the gospel; the truth which is after godliness, has been committed unto the apostles to be preached in due time (these times), according to the faith of God’s elect, in hope of eternal life (Gr: epi elpis aiônios zôe), 1:2a; 1 Timothy 6:3; 2 Timothy 1:1. God has ordained a pattern for salvation, for worship and church government. These are “divine patterns” and they must be followed.
BODY OF LESSON
I CONCEIVED BY GOD
A. The address and salutation. Before we begin this lesson, let’s notice Paul’s address and salutation to Titus. He writes: “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ…To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour,” Titus 1:1a and Titus 1:4. In this salutation Paul affirms first that he is a bond servant (Gr: doulos) of the one living and true God. In other epistles, he calls himself a servant of Jesus Christ; but in this one – a servant of God. He also acknowledges himself as an apostles of Jesus Christ – by this title he distinguishes himself from other first century leaders (prophets, evangelist and ministers, pastors and teachers, and other holy men of God); and certainly from those false teachers and deceivers, residents of the Isle of Crete. Paul’s apostleship was given to him by Christ; and his willingness to be a servant of God, was a position he chose, in order to be well pleasing to God.