Tit. 1:1

Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness,

The letter begins by ascribing authorship to the Apostle Paul and continues with a short description of the position he held. He was both a servant and an apostle [i.e. a servant leader in the Church]. By being a servant, Paul likened himself to a slave submitting to his own master (cf. 2:9) – God. Likewise, his apostleship was given to him by the Lord Jesus Himself (Acts 9:1-19; 1 Cor. 9:1; Gal. 1:1). And even though the position of Apostle was only occupied by thirteen individuals, at its root, the word apostle simply means “sent one.” Thus, Paul both belonged to God and was sent out under the Lord’s authority.

After quickly introducing himself [i.e. his identity and influence], he went on to state his reason for writing this epistle – for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which leads to godliness. Though Paul autographed the letter and explicitly stated his authority, he cared more for the wellbeing of others than himself. As is seen in this book, Paul’s desire was that this church would be provided for and protected by faithful leaders who are committed to God and His Word. And right off the bat, he began a brief statement regarding the doctrine of God’s sovereign election (1:1-3).

However, it must be noted that the reason Paul made this statement here was not to discuss how or when someone became elect. On the contrary, the verse says that he was writing “…for the sake of the faith of God’s elect…” [i.e. for the faith of the Christians]. Paul wrote this letter not because of what happened in the past but because he was concerned for the future of these churches in Crete – the believers who, like Paul, belonged to God as His elect. Nevertheless, he viewed his apostleship as being a divine gift to the Church (cf. Eph. 4:11) and he sought to supplement their faith with a greater knowledge of the truth. Why? Because knowledge is power and true understanding brings freedom to one’s life (cf. John 8:31-32). The Apostle Peter even instructed his readers to continue growing in the knowledge of the truth (2 Pet. 1:5-7; 3:18).

Someone becomes a Christian by faith in the Lord Jesus. They continue to grow as a Christian by learning more about Christ and His Word. And, overtime, the Christian is transformed by the truth of Jesus Christ. Thus, what is seen is that belief impacts behavior. Every decision we make is ultimately rooted in what we believe. This is why Paul ended verse one stating that an individual’s faith and knowledge of the truth will naturally lead them to live lives devoted to godliness.

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