Wednesday, 27 June 2018
…that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:7
The words, “that having been justified by His grace,” are given to confirm the words of verse 5 which said, “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy.”
God granted mercy upon us while we were still in a position of enmity with Him. As there are no works of righteousness on our part which are included in the process, then we are wholly “justified by His grace.” This is a truth which is clearly and precisely stated in Ephesians 2:8, 9 –
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
The process of salvation is given by God, it is an act of grace, and it comes through our faith (belief) in what God has done in Christ. There is no merit on our part in the process. We are simply asked to believe and receive. In doing so, Paul says that “we should become heirs.” The concept of being heirs is dealt with by Paul on several occasions. His words in Romans 8 help explain what he means –
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” Romans 8:16, 17
In the book of Galatians, Paul then says that by faith in Christ we are “Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (3:26). He says again in Galatians that we are no longer slaves, but sons, and if sons we are heirs of God through Christ (4:7).
And again in Ephesians, he says that the “Gentiles are fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospe…l” (Ephesians 3:6).
As Paul says “we” in this verse to Titus, it means that Jews were under the same station as the Gentiles. Whether Jew or Gentile, all need Christ, and without Christ we are not heirs. But if we are in Christ, we become “heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
This takes us right back to Titus 1:2 where Paul noted the “hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.” From there he showed that this hope comes through preaching; specifically the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are shown here in chapter 3 that being heirs means the realization of that eternal life. It isn’t something that we may possess, but rather it is something that we do possess. Because of faith in Christ, we move from one state to another. If we are heirs; we possess eternal life. The deal is done.
Life application: This verse again implicitly speaks of eternal salvation. By an act of faith, we are made heirs. In that state, we are granted eternal life. Nobody ever questions Abraham’s salvation. The Bible speaks of him as the father of faith, and the pattern for those who will follow after him. If we are “Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise,” then we possess the same salvation as Abraham. If God’s promise to Abraham is true, then His promise to us is as well. Think these things through, and stand fast in your salvation.
Lord God, You set the pattern for righteousness in Abraham. The law, which came much later, cannot override what You revealed in that pattern. It simply showed us how desperately we need Jesus, and how sinful our sin is to You. But Christ, having fulfilled the law, now offers us the same promise of righteousness that was seen in Abraham. We become heirs and partakers in eternal life. What a marvelous gift You have given us. Thank You for Your grace which is found in Christ Jesus our Lord! Amen.