The Apostle Paul’s short epistle to his missionary companion, Titus, has much to teach us yet today. Titus had been left behind on the island of Crete to put in order things left unfinished and to appoint elders for all the churches there after the island had been evangelized by Paul. False teachers were already upsetting whole families and the low estate of Cretan character was another problem. As in 1 Timothy, Paul gives Titus timeless directions about the kind of church leaders needed there (or anywhere). Also, he schools Titus on the Christian lifestyle he needs to cultivate in the churches to adorn the gospel of Christ and to give enemies no handy excuse to disparage the church or our message. This concern is one that we would do well to take heed today where so much sin continues to scandalize churches.
As he faces his imminent exit (according to Jesus’s earlier word to him) Peter writes this second epistle to us as a grand reminder of well known truths that, if heeded, will keep us growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, will render us neither useless or unfruitful in His service and furnish us a lavish entrance into His eternal kingdom. God has done the heavy lifting, giving us everything pertaining to life and godliness. Now our part is bring due diligence to the growth process.
To incentivize us, Peter reminds us that our faith is firmly rooted in history and divine revelation through the prophets and apostles, like him. Still, he warns, as in the past, so in the present and future, false teachers, whose ways he profiles, will always appear to seduce those who are unstable and unalert. From these we need to keep our distance. And as we walk with Christ in the present, it is imperative that we keep focused on our future hope despite the mockers who will dispute it. Keeping our eyes fixed on the approach of the day of the Lord begs us to live in moral readiness for the end of history and the reign of God into eternity.
In reading biblical historical narratives many readers may be ignorant of the fact that always the protagonist (or main Actor) in them is God, not the human characters so prominently featured in their pages. Always remember that the Scriptures represent not just the one authoritative written revelation from God, but the Bible also represents the […]
In church history, our day is not unique in terms of the ever-present peril of false teachers and false teachings. However in this digital age with 1001 sources of information or disinformation, believers are more easily than ever exposed to heresy parading under the banner of “Christian ministry.” Combine that accessibility with massive biblical illiteracy […]
The Book of Revelation is a favorite Bible study for all those who look forward to our Lord’s return and the events surrounding it on all sides. Because of its literary genre (apocalyptic – rich in symbolism, some of it internally interpreted, much not) the book contains some mystery and tons of fascination for students […]