“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.
“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” – John 6:40 (NASB)
God is sovereign in everything. No power, no authority, no entity, angel, demon or person supersedes God’s sovereignty. What God decrees, is. What God says holds true. When God inspired the writers of the Bible, the words written were God’s chosen words. God chose what to record and what to proclaim both the good (righteous), the bad (unrighteous), and the ugly (unredeemable evil) events recorded were so because God wanted them on the record. Today’s verse emphasizes human responsibility in our salvation process. As we saw yesterday’s blog, that though God is sovereign, He works through faith, so that we as persons must believe in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God. We must believe that He alone is the way. Only He offers the only way of salvation (John 14:6). However, even faith is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). Although many try, rationally harmonizing the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man with our intellect is impossible humanly. Thankfully it is perfectly resolved in the infinite mind of God. Let’s not disbelieve God’s sovereign word because we
“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” – John 10:28 (ESV)
As faith believers when we know we are safely held and protected in the hands of Jesus, it stirs us to rejoice and give thanks to God. During the Feast of Dedication, (Hanukkah,) Jesus is teaching in the Temple. A crowd has gathered which includes the Jews. The label “the Jews” identifies the elite ruling class of the Jewish religion. They were forever asking questions of Jesus trying to trip him and have a valid accusation to charge and arrest Him. Asking again if He was the Messiah, when does He initiate the establishment of the promised Messianic Kingdom. He has told them and has demonstrated many times the validity of His claim as the Anointed One, the Messiah. In English our word Christ comes from a transliteration of Greek for Messiah. Christ = Messiah. Jesus tells the Jews that they do not understand because they are not among His sheep so they do not belong to Him. Then he makes this promise, a gift of eternal life for all His sheep and those who receive, never spiritually die. We who believe in Jesus as Savior are secure forever in His hand, we are “Unsnatchable.”
“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13 (NASB)
The Apostle John tells us very plainly why he wrote this letter to all believers near the end of the first century (A.D. 90-94). His message extends to all of us through all the years since he wrote the letters. John wrote this letter to give us the assurance that by believing in the name of the Son of God, our salvation is sure. We have eternal life⸺which means more than just a period of time⸺it means a person (1 John 5:20). . Eternal life is a relationship with the person of Jesus Christ it means possessing His nature which He has given to us. This is a certainty of our Christian life. We can trust with confidence what God has promised to us through this letter by John. What a great promise God has given to us so that we can live according to His will and know that we belong to Him. More than just belong but belong as having Jesus within our lives. Although we do experience doubt cast our way by the enemy of God we have this assurance to overcome those doubts.