Hello everyone and welcome once again to Deeper Waters. I thank you all for praying for me in my recovery from the flu. Last night was a kind of horrid night in some ways, but after reading D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on spiritual depression, I think I found some spiritual truth for my own life and it ended up being an epiphany.
Tonight, we’re continuing our Trinitarian commentary by starting the book of Titus. We’re going to be looking at the first chapter and verses 3-4. I’ll be starting at verse 1 to get the context:
1Paul, 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— 2a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,
4To Titus, my true son in our common faith:
Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
What I find most interesting is the comparison between verses 3 and 4 in this passage. God has been referred to as savior in the Pastoral epistles before, notably 1 Timothy 1:1, but here, we have God listed as savior and then we have Christ listed as savior.
When we come to the pastorals, it seems that Paul is willing to use the terms savior practically interchangeably. What does this tell us? It tells us that Paul sees the divine identity involved fully in the role of the salvation of man and Paul does not hesitate to attribute to Jesus that which is attributable to YHWH.
In the OT, there were some who were saviors, but never in the sense that Jesus is in the NT. Other saviors would come and save Israel from her physical enemies, such as Ehud in the book of Judges. In the NT, it is Christ who saves us from the enemy of sin.
It was always YHWH however who was the one who saved peoples souls from Sheol. It was he who removed the sins of others. No priest would have ever claimed to have been the savior of Israel in saving them from sins. However, Jesus readily accepts that he is the savior of Israel and even in the Samaritan village, that he is the savior of the world.
Jesus can be called the savior because he does not carry the taint of sin first off. Second, he is one who is able to become like us in our nature. Third, he is the one who is in his divine nature the standard of holiness and can truly act as a judge. Angels do not act as judges.
It is important then that Paul does not hesitate to put Jesus in this divine role and the two so close together implies that Paul wants us to notice this connection. He wants us to see that Jesus and YHWH are necessarily linked in salvation.
We shall continue Titus tomorrow.