“Paul…an apostle of Jesus Christ…in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Titus 1:1,2).
If you’re a Gentile, you should be eternally grateful that Paul, “the apostle of the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:13), was made an apostle “in hope of eternal life.” You see, before Paul came along, we Gentiles had “no hope” of eternal life (Eph. 2;11,12)! But Paul was made an apostle to give us that hope.
The word “hope” means to expect or anticipate something that may or may not happen, depending on something else. Paul hoped to send Timothy to the Philippians, but it depended on how things would go for him (Phil. 2:19-23). But he told a Gentile named Titus that the hope of our eternal life depends on the promise of God—the God who “cannot lie.” If you think hope like that is pretty secure, say amen!
Of course, if you do think that’s a pretty secure hope, it is probably because you’ve studied the Bible all your life, so you know you can trust the God of the Bible to keep His promises. But Titus was the leader of the churches in Crete (Tit. 1:5), an island off the coast of Greece. So instead of studying the God of the Bible all their lives, the Cretians studied the gods of the Greeks. And if you want to talk about a bunch of lowdown, no good, lying scoundrels, just spend some time studying the gods of Greek mythology!
This is why in writing to the leader of the churches in Crete the apostle Paul spoke of God as the God who cannot lie. Surely Titus needed no such assurance, but Paul knew he would share his epistle with his congregations. They needed to know that this God that was offering them the hope of eternal life was not a liar like the gods they knew all too well from their past.
If you’re not saved, and you are wondering how to obtain the eternal life that God promised us Gentiles, Paul told Timothy that he was made an apostle “according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus” (II Tim. 1:1). Eternal life is found in Christ! And when Paul also wrote that “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ” (Romans 6:23), we know that God wants to give you eternal life as a free gift. And the only way to receive this gift is by believing. Speaking of God’s promise of eternal life, Paul says “that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe” (Galatians 3:22).
Believe what? Believe the gospel! What gospel? The gospel that could save even the sinful Corinthians! Writing to them, Paul said,
“…I declare unto you the gospel…which also ye have received…by which also ye are saved…Christ died for our sins…and…was buried, and…rose again” (I Corinthians 15:1-4).
Now you know what to believe when Paul says,
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.