The first-century inhabitants of the island of Crete were notorious for untruthfulness and immorality <Titus 1:12-13>. Paul’s objective in his letter to Titus is “for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness” <Titus 1:1-2 (NIV)>; he states that knowledge of the Truth will lead to godliness. What is the knowledge of “the truth”? First of all, what is truth? This was the question that Pilate asked of Jesus, when Jesus stated “for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.” <Jn.18:37-38(NIV)>; what is the “Truth” that Jesus was referring to? It is recorded that “The Word” (Christ Jesus) came as a “light” to testify concerning the “truth”; Christ took on the form of mankind <see Phil.2:5-8> and as a person came into this world to reveal God His Father who is grace and truth <see Jn. 1:1-14>.
It is widespread in our culture in the present day for our politicians, leaders and journalists to make statements that are questionable, and oftentimes prove to be misleading or completely false; one national leader speaks of “false news”; and many people express with dismay “who, or what can we believe”. The Scriptures teach that such statements are the result of the “darkness” of sin, and Satan the great deceiver causes all mankind to believe his lies that he has been communicating to us from the beginning of time <see Gen.1:13; Isa.44:18; 2 Cor.11:13-15; 2 Thess.2:11-12>, and since mankind has refused to listen to God He allows us to believe the lies of Satan. Christ Jesus came into this world to reveal the “truth” to mankind, to free us from the “darkness” of sin, and those who desire the “truth” must turn to Christ in faith, believing in Him and accepting His offer of salvation from sin and the hope of eternal life, and this will lead us to godliness, for godliness is the character of all believers in Christ.
Paul also speaks of “a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life” <Titus 1:1-2 (NIV)> and that this eternal life was promised by God “who does not lie” <Heb.6:17-18> from the beginning of time, and at His appointed time “he brought his word to light” <Titus 1:3; cf. Gen.3:15; Gal.4:4; Jn.1:1, 14> and later entrusted the preaching of the gospel to Paul. Paul is referring to the fact that Christ came into this world and revealed the truth of God’s word which is far removed from the lies of Satan, and that the gospel message is the truth of God. When anyone accepts the gospel message that person, through faith in Christ, now rests in God’s righteousness in the hope of eternal life <see Rom.3:22-26; 5:1-2; Col.1:27>.
Paul addresses Titus as “my true son in our common faith” <Titus 1:4 (NIV)>, an indication that Titus was converted to Christianity through the preaching of Paul, similar to Timothy <1 Tim.1:2> and Onesimus <Phm. 10>, and all individuals because of faith in Christ share in this “common faith”, or the mutual faith of all true believers in Christ.
The question to all of us is: Do you want the truth of the Scriptures or are you satisfied to accept the lies of Satan? The Cretans were quite satisfied to do so since “Even one of their own prophets has said, “Cretans are always liars, ….”” <Titus 1:12 (NIV)>, because the habit of continuous lying is the character of Satan, and Titus was instructed by Paul that such characteristics were not to be allowed in the community of believers that constituted the Church in Crete. What is your choice, the lies of Satan or the truth of the gospel? There is not one individual that does not wish to spend eternity in heaven, but there is only one way to be sure of eternal life with God; Christ said: “You must be born again” – born of the Spirit of God <Jn.3:3, 5>; and to all who have been born again of God’s Spirit is the promise of eternal life <Rev. 21:1, 6-8>.
What is your decision?