To further our knowledge, we read books or “google it;” we may even look on YouTube. What about our faith?
25 There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.
Where do we look to further our faith? Is there a book in the Bible that declares itself as a faith-furtherer? Look no further than Titus! Paul states at the very beginning of his letter: Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— What knowledge can we expect to find in the letter to Titus?
- Many claim to know God, but their deeds will bear out the truth (1:15-16)
- The Gospel put forth in a very straightforward way (2:11-14)
- A reminder to be subject to rulers and authorities (3:1)
- To slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone (3:2)
- We get a very honest description of who we were without Christ (3:3)
- We also get a great description of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives (3:4-7)
- He warns us not to argue about foolish controversies and arguments (3:9)
A person may wonder how Paul got to be so smart concerning God’s ways. Let’s see:
- He was of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews
- Trained by Gamaliel, a noted teacher of the day
- In regard to the law, a Pharisee, which carries a great deal of import and insight into the life of Paul. Pharisees devoted themselves to the study of the Scriptures and the added laws, both the written and the oral law plus the laws that they wrote to keep people away from breaking the other laws. All that to say, Paul knew the Scriptures.
Once Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, he was given a call to go to the Gentiles with the Gospel. He was also shown much of the story of the ages by Christ Himself. “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” Acts 9:16 He was also taken into heaven and shown much that he related to us in his letters and much more that he was not allowed to share! 2 Cor. 12:1-4
Paul knew the Scriptures and quoted them often. He used them to qualify Jesus as the Messiah and to quantify the Gospel to Jews and Gentiles alike. We would do well to learn the Scriptures as he knew them. Here’s a “starter kit” from King David’s 119th Psalm:
Psalm 119:33 Teach me, LORD, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. May we finish well by following closely all the way to the end of our lives.
34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. This was Jesus’ own heart. It’s what He asked us to do in John 14:15, 23, and 15:10.
35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. The more I get of God, the more I want. The more I want, the more He gives. It’s a never-ending cycle!
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Keep my eyes focused on You, O Lord. There are lots of sparkly things around me–they are lures with hooks.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. Save me from myself, O LORD. I cannot discern nor abstain from sinful desires on my own. I need YOU!
38 Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared. I know You will, Abba. You have promised to never leave me or forsake me, and that You make me more like Jesus everyday. May I fear You and may those around me learn to fear You because I fear You.
39 Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good. By keeping me righteous, You remove the dread I have in not finishing well. Help me stay strong, O LORD.
40 How I long for your precepts! In your righteousness preserve my life. I long to hear from You concerning Your word, laws, precepts, statutes, ways, decrees and commands. Speak plainly to me, Abba. Your servant is listening.