April 18 – Promised Ages Ago

“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.

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 October 25 – All Spirit Generated

“But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,” –  Titus 3:4-6 (NASB)

How and why God saves people is a general point of discussion. This is because it is nearly impossible for one to consider any salvation is accomplished without some contribution on their part. It’s simple to read what God’s promises are about salvation from the curse and wages of sin (Romans 6:23). It’s more difficult for some to imagine their salvation having nothing to do with how they live their lives. But God promised, and we read His promise in the passage for today: kindness, love, and mercy, all represent aspects of God’s grace. Mercy is goodness given and conferred when it is not deserved or earned. Our our best and purest deeds are never good enough to save. This salvation brings for us divine cleansing from sin and the gift of a new, Holy Spirit-generated and Spirit-empowered, and Spirit-protected life as God’s own children and heirs⸺this is our new birth. It is a promise that is poured out upon us according to His riches in Jesus Christ, our Savior. What a promise it is and one that we can depend upon and live by.

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