“Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,” – Titus 1:1-2 (NASB)
In our modern culture the very thought of being someone’s slave is abhorrent. So is the thought of any person having ownership of slaves for their service. But Paul uses the word “slave” to describe himself. Most often translated “bond-servant” it more accurately means an ordinary life-long “slave.” In fact Paul pictures himself as the most menial slave of New Testament times, signifying his complete willingness to submit to the Lord. All believers have been chosen by God by whom we have been “bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:20). The promise we have been given is eternal life in which we have a hope. Paul’s meaning is that all of his ministry was “with a view to” that promise of eternal life. This hope was promised to the elect from eternity past by God, who cannot default on His word. Because God Himself is truth and the source of truth, it is impossible for Him to say anything untruthful. Paul places this act into a time long ages ago. God’s plan of salvation for sinful mankind was determined and decreed before man was even created (Ephesians 1:4). It’s a secure guarantee because the promise was made to God the Son.