Wednesday, 23 May 2018
…but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior; Titus 1:3
Paul now builds upon the words of the previous verse. There he said that our hope in eternal life was, “promised before time began.” Now he says, “but has in due time manifested His word.” The translation is a bit lacking. The word “time” is not incorrect, but different words are used to express “time.” The Greek word kairos signifies specific opportune times; seasons. Further, the word as used in this verse is plural. It more rightly says, “but has in due seasons manifested His word.”
There are certain epochs of time which God has laid out, slowly and steadily revealing His plan of redemption for man. We term them “dispensations.” At a particular point in these seasons, God manifested His word, meaning the gospel – the good news – of Jesus Christ. And how did this occur? Paul says that God manifested His word “through preaching.” Here he uses the term en kērygmati, or “in preaching.” The words signify that the work of Jesus Christ – His fulfillment of the law along with His death, burial, and resurrection – would be brought forth to the world in a proclamation. He then acknowledges that he is a part of that process by saying, “which was committed to me.”
Paul is not claiming that he alone had the message committed to him, but that he is a part of the process. He was selected as one of the men who would transmit this message to the world. However, Paul’s commission was a unique one in that it came by a direct calling from the Lord in a heavenly vision. It was also a calling which was specifically to reveal the gospel to the Gentiles. This entire process is then, “according to the commandment of God our Savior.”
As noted, he was called by a heavenly vision. This is recorded in Acts 9. However, it is Jesus who called Him, and it is Jesus who is consistently termed “Savior” in the New Testament. Thus, these words are a direct reference to the deity of Christ. He is the Lord, and He is the second member of the Trinity. As this is so, then each of the apostles was called by God as well. Jesus called them; He is God; thus they were called by God. The entire process is of God, even before time began.
Paul’s words to Titus show us the importance of man to God. He created man, knowing he would fall. And yet, He still created him. And more, in the knowledge that man would fall, He also determined the entire redemptive process, including the work of Christ. This truth is seen in Revelation 13:8 where Jesus is called, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
Life application: God knew that Christ would have to suffer and die to correct Adam’s fall, and yet He still created man. It shows the importance of man to God. The price for redemption is high, and yet He saw it worth paying the price. The words of David ring out as words which should be uttered by each person, “Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him? (Psalm 144:3).
Lord God, when we consider that You created, knowing that we would fall, and knowing that Christ Jesus would need to come and die to pay our sin debt, it causes us to wonder what high value you have set on Your people. How could that price be worth paying? But Your word shows that You, in fact, paid it. What is man, that You would have been so mindful of him? How can such worth exist? Help us to act in a manner which will return glory to You for what You have done. Truly, You are the God of all glory. Amen.