In describing the qualifications of a pastor (Tit. 1:6-8), the Apostle Paul saved the most important one for last, saying that a pastor should always be
“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9).
Pastors should always hold fast the faithful word, the Word of God! The apostle calls it “the faithful word” because God is faithful to every promise in His Book.
But here’s the thing about that: He didn’t make all those promises to you! You can pray “give us this day our daily bread” all you want (Mt. 6:11), but God will not be faithful to His promise to rain manna down on you as He did for Israel in the wilderness, and as He will do for them again in the Tribulation (Micah 7:14,15 cf. Rev. 12:14). God also promised them that “all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Mt. 21:22), but He will not faithfully deliver on that promise in the dispensation of grace either.
And there are still other promises in the Bible that God is not honoring today. If the people of Israel were obedient to God’s Word, He promised to save them out of all their tribulations (Deut. 4:30), and He faithfully delivered on that promise (I Sam. 10:19). But God has not made that promise to you! Today, in the dispensation of grace, God allows us to go through tribulation, and then is faithful to the promise He gives us through the Apostle Paul that “tribulation worketh patience” (Rom. 5:3). Paul is the apostle of the present dispensation, so you know God will be faithful to the promises He makes us through him.
And Paul gives us other promises to which God will be faithful. When he says, “if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Rom. 8:13), he means that in executing the sinful works of your flesh you can live, really live—live it up, spiritually speaking! If you want to live life on the highest plane imaginable, mortify the sinful deeds of your body and see if God isn’t faithful to that promise.
Finally, God will be faithful to His promise to us through Paul that “when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory” (Col. 3:4). That’s a promise that will come to fruition at the Rapture, the “salvation” (Rom. 13:11) that God promises through Paul to give us before the “wrath” of the Tribulation is poured out (I Thes. 1:10; 5:9). When that day comes, God will also be faithful to the promise He gave us through Paul to “reward” us for our labor for Him (I Cor. 3:14). In that day, you will see that He will be just as faithful to His promise to us through Paul that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18).
It is this faithful word—the faithful word given to us through Paul—that pastors must hold fast if they want to obey Paul’s command to “exhort and to convince the gainsayers” (Tit. 1:9), gainsayers like the ones who insist that God is still honoring the promises He made to the people of Israel.
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.