Question: How can thinking about the Greek island of Crete grow my faith this Summer?
Answer: By looking at the bible book of Titus.
The apostle Paul wrote this letter to his friend of the same name in the first century. Titus was charged with appointing church leaders (elders) across Crete who would model and teach the true Christian faith.
And it still has so much to say to us today. So across the Fridays in the next month, this blog will pick out some vital foundational truths to encourage and stimulate our faith… even if we can’t get to Crete this Summer.
Do read these “postcards” and “post” them onto friends too!
Today, we simply focus on God. And God has brought life to light.
Here’s how Titus opens:
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness – a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Saviour.
This is a LONG sentence! And, frankly, one which would fill an entire postcard! So what’s it saying?
1) God has a message for you
Paul is a servant of God and has been sent by Jesus for the good of God’s people. He wants to help our faith grow. In other words, if we listen to his message – which of course, is what God has said to him – we will hear true words from God in which we can trust.
2) The message is about eternal life
Christian faith rests “on the hope of eternal life”. Knowing Jesus is definitely for today, but Christianity won’t make sense unless you grasp that the relationship we’re invited into with God is going to last well beyond our lives on Earth. God was there before time began. If we come to know God, we’ll know him even when time itself disappears.
3) Life has been brought to light in Jesus
God has brought his promises about eternal life “to light”. He’s fulfilled them. He’s kept them. And he’s done so through Jesus Christ. Paul may be remembering his own conversion when he saw a light, bright, blinding vision and heard Jesus speaking to him. And because Jesus has died and risen, eternal life is no longer a mysterious concept. It’s been shown to us in Jesus’ own story.
The people on Crete needed to hear that God has spoken a message for them about life. Life in its fullness, eternal life. And that message has been given flesh and bones in the person of Jesus.
What kindness of God to bring life to light! We still need that message today. We still need this God today. And next week, we’ll see what he has to say about us…
With love in Christ