Tuesday, 22 May 2018
…in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, Titus 1:2
Rather than, “in hope of eternal life,” this better would read, “resting upon the hope of eternal life.” This is evident from the context provided in verse 1. Reading the two as one thought shows this –
“Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, resting upon the hope of eternal life.”
Paul isn’t merely hoping for eternal life for the saints. Instead, he is sure of it, and he is resting upon that. It is a “hope of eternal life” which is based upon the surety of God’s word, and it is “God, who cannot lie.”
These words are probably a contrast to what Paul will say in verse 12, that “Cretans are always liars.” Titus leads the church at Crete, and he is therefore faced with the idea that those around him are constantly making up falsities, or following false traditions or teachings. In contrast to this, what God speaks is truth. He is the Source of truth, and nothing God says will ever be false. This understanding is key to the reliability of our faith. We do not merely possess a dubious faith, but we possess the word of God which is truth. And in that word is the sure hope of eternal life “promised before time began.”
God created the universe. At the moment of creation, time, space, and matter came into existence simultaneously. Before He spoke the universe into existence, He already knew all things that would ever occur in this created realm. He knew that man would fall, and He knew that a Redeemer would be needed to correct this. He also promised that He would, in fact, redeem. In this act, eternal life would be granted to those who believed. By purposing, or promising, a Redeemer, it became an absolutely inviolable truth that eternal life would be granted to those whom He redeemed.
It is this truth upon which Paul’s hope rested, and it is this truth which Paul now conveys to Titus (and thus to us!) with his pen and ink. God has spoken, and it shall come to pass just as promised.
Life application: The word of God is not a book of hopeful possibilities, but rather it is the book of truth. What God has spoken shall occur. The Bible is a record of what God has spoken. It is surer that the words of the Bible will come to pass than that the sun will rise in the morning. Be assured and reassured of this. Our hope of eternal life in Christ is a slam-dunk guarantee.
Lord God, why should we fret about the future? Whether we live or die, if we are Christ’s, then all will come out for good. Are the words found in Scripture merely hopeful ramblings? Or are they the true, fixed, and firm words from You that all will come to pass as written? Surely, we can trust that there is a good end for the saints. The word is written, and it shall be fulfilled. No fear here! Praise You, O God, for Your sure word. Amen.