WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – The great and certain hope of all Christians is eternal life with God. Our Lord promised us that. In today’s passage, Paul shows us three reasons that promise is guaranteed to be fulfilled:
“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness, in the hope of eternal life that God, who cannot lie, promised before time began. In his own time, he has revealed his word in the preaching with which I was entrusted by the command of God our Savior” (Titus 1:1-3).
Our eternal life was “promised before time began.” – Paul divides the duration of existence into two phases: pre-time and time. In pre-time, the only existence is God. No universe, no matter, no space between particles of matter, no time measuring the movement or even existence of matter. There was no one-second-following-another. Just eternal God.
At a point of His choosing, God started time and created existence other than His own. That was the “beginning” of “In the beginning, God created…” (Gen. 1:1). Literally, He set in motion “the chronology of the ages” (Greek chronon aionion in Tit. 1:2).
However, Paul makes it clear that this promise of eternal life for “God’s elect” was made in pre-time, “before time began.” It is not subject to the chances and choices of time. We will certainly have what God promised. “For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him. He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Eph. 1:4-5).
Our eternal life was promised by “God, Who cannot lie.” – The promises people make are subject to circumstances beyond their control and fluctuations in their integrity. None of that applies to God. “God is not a man, that he might lie, or a son of man, that he might change his mind. Does he speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill?” (Num. 23:19). The eternal life He has promised us will be delivered because of the power and character of the One making the pledge.
God Himself established the plan to bring us into eternal life. – From before time, God surveyed all of time, and He established a vast, comprehensive, and perfectly effective plan to bring salvation to all to whom it was promised. Paul saw himself and Titus as parts of that plan, “entrusted by the command of God” to lead the chosen into the faith and knowledge of the gospel by which they would receive eternal life. “This is why I endure all things for the elect: so that they also may obtain salvation” (2 Tim. 2:10).
WONDERFUL THING IN LIFE – In every place and time during this age of redemption, God creates, prepares, and calls millions of servants like Paul and you and me. Throughout our lives, He strategically places us in the paths of individuals whom He has prepared to receive a portion of the gospel that could come only from us. We don’t know who those individuals are, but we do know that our Lord “wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). Our part is simply to share Christ in the little ways He’s given us. What a privilege and honor to be part of this plan!