A Common Bond in Jesus Christ
by Paul Tautges | July 2, 2012 10:42 am
The common bond experienced by genuine believers in Jesus Christ cannot be fully explained at the human level. It is supernatural, knit in the hearts of believers by the indwelling Spirit of God in accordance with biblical truth. No matter where a true Christian travels in this world, except perhaps some remote places where the gospel has not yet been preached, he or she finds other believers who share a common faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. This common faith results in a common bond, a common affection, which flows from adherence to a common message. When the Apostle Paul wrote to his son in the faith Titus he introduced his letter with a simple three-element summary of the message that God had called him to proclaim (Titus 1:1-3).
- Faith – Paul was called to the gospel ministry “for the faith of those chosen of God.” In other words, Paul was called by God to be one of those who would deliver the good news of Christ, by which God would save sinners. Believers in Christ are those who have been chosen by God before the foundation of the world. Scripture is clear on that (Eph 1:4; 1 Pet 1:1). Having been chosen, God the Holy Spirit grants them new life through the gospel that they may personally repent and trust the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior (Mark 1:15; Rom 10:17).
- Knowledge – Paul was also called by God to teach “the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness.” The kind of knowledge Paul was called by God to teach is that which is personally believed and applied. Paul taught the gospel of grace—the grace that not only saves, but also sanctifies (which we see over and over in the letter to Titus). We are saved by grace through faith, unto good works—the good works that God foreordained for us (Eph 2:10). God’s grace does not lead to license, but to godliness (Titus 2:11-12). If a teaching on grace does not lead to godliness then it is a distortion of biblical grace.
- Hope – Paul was also called to proclaim the hope of eternal life. Eternal life is not only never-ending life, but it is a living, growing relationship with God. “This is eternal life,” Jesus prayed, “that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). Eternal life begins with being born-again. Sadly, I believe we live in a day and age in which many who profess to be saved are not, for they have never been born again. They have an outward form of godliness, spiritual behavior, but lack the power within to actually live and love as God commands (2 Tim 3:5). Eternal life does not begin when we die. As believers, we live now in the hope of eternal life. This eternal life is a promise—a promise from God who cannot lie.
This biblical message unites us with all those who love the Lord Jesus Christ and look to His appearing.
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