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Titus 1:1-4



Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness – a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Saviour … (verses 1-3)

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Paul so often strings together such rich concepts, one after another, like pearls on a strand, each immeasurably precious.


So today, I’m simply going to pull several of them off the strand and let them shine.


Faith – Paul is passionate about his calling as servant and apostle because he wants to build faith in God’s chosen ones. That includes me and you. So, I grasp “faith” afresh. I love the image of faith being like a rappelling expedition – up at the edge of the rock face, all roped-up, you lean back, putting the weight of your life in the rope, and the pulley system (and the guy at the bottom, belaying you with the safety rope!). Like that, I choose to lean back, with all my weight, into Jesus.


Knowledge Paul wants me to receive “knowledge of the truth.”That’s why he spent his days writing, teaching, preaching, serving, suffering and praying. So, I take the Scriptures in hand and I pray, as did Paul, that I might “be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col 1:9), with the ultimate result that I “(increase) in the knowledge of God” himself (Col 1:10). He himself is truth – so I look to be filled more and more with him.


Hope – Faith and knowledge are securely rooted in “hope.” Biblical “hope,” of course, is not simply wishful thinking. Rather it’s a certainty that is not yet seen. Like eternal life. Like the coming of Christ. Like the redemption of our bodies. These things are certainties because we have God’s word on it. Standing firmly in hope, then, I lean back in faith, fueled with the knowledge of his truth.


Eternal life ­– I can’t come to this phrase without pausing. Although Paul identifies it as a future “hope” (not yet seen), I can’t help but remembering my Dad always saying that “eternal life” isn’t something that only starts in the future – it actually begins right now. This insight flows out of Jesus’ own statement: “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3). The clarity of seeing it and experiencing it awaits that future day – but, in Jesus, we have stepped into it right now.


Promised – When God speaks, his word is sure, even if he spoke it before the beginning of time, when no one was there to hear! This plan, involving faith and knowledge and hope and eternal life, which has now been brought about in Christ Jesus, was set in place before the foundation of the world. The Lord makes good on his promise.Wonderfully, he was thinking of us before anything came to be.

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Stringing the pearls back together we rejoice as God’s elect. We embrace faith and the knowledge of the truth which leads to godliness. It all rests on the hope of eternal life promised by our God before the beginning of time. But now, at this time, he has brought it to light through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus.


Praise be to our God and Saviour!

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Thank you Lord for your plan, promised long ago. Thank you that you have brought it about in Jesus. Thank you that you have made it known to us who have been called into your Kingdom. Strengthen in us faith and knowledge and hope.


To your glory. Amen.

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Reflect: Three of the good words above are faith, knowledge and hope. Which do you most need to nurture in your life this day?

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