Paulâ€™s main admonition in his short letter to Titus was that he should both teach and speak the things that accompany soundness and steadfastness â€“ and so that admonition follows to us as believers. We also are to speak and to do the same things, the type of things that, if followed, might end up getting us known for being â€œrock solid.â€ To do otherwise would net nothing with God, and certainly wouldnâ€™t work towards improving anything here. And if we go on thinking that, as Christians, we can continue to do the same selfish and contrary things we have always done and that we will somehow manage to be useful and acceptable before God, then we are seriously deluded.
God has revealed his existence in the creation. By looking at the complexity and power found in this universe, we are to seek after God. But the general revelation of God through creation does not inform us as to what we are to do to be pleasing to God.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
God declares that we could not conjure up a God like he is. In fact, God says that we cannot know his ways because Gods ways are different than our ways. This should be our expectation of God. If someone thinks and acts like us, we would have a difficult time accepting him as God. This is why Jesus proved to us he is God by acting like no other person by never violating Gods law, by performing supernatural acts of healing, by performing miracles, and by thinking and speaking like no one had every spoken. God thinks and acts differently. Therefore, the answer of knowing Gods will cannot be found in ourselves.
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11).
So what did God do so that we can know his will? God used the words from his mouth to tell us what we need to know.
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His SonÃ¢â‚¬Â¦” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
In times past, God spoke directly to the people and sent prophets to communicate his will. Now, however, God speaks to us through his Son. While on the earth, Jesus taught us and showed us the ways of God through his teachings and through his actions.
But this would not be the end of Gods revelation to people once Jesus died. Jesus told his apostles, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but what he hears he will speak; and he will tell you things to come” (John 16:12-13). There was more that God needed to reveal, but the apostles were not ready to receive those words at that time. Therefore, Jesus, after his death and resurrection, ascended to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to guide the apostles into all truth. We see the visible coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2.
But what was to happen once the apostles died? Would the special revelation of the Lord be lost? Paul said, “how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations, as it is now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Ephesians 3:3-5). Paul told the Ephesians that when they read what he and the apostles had written down, they would also understand the mystery of Christ. Therefore, our Bibles hold the words of God, which he used to reveal his will for us. The creation reveals there is a God and the Bible reveals what we are to do to be pleasing to God.
Where Gods will cannot be found
Today we are repeatedly instructed that being a good person is all that God asks of us. Some are teaching that you have to give something back to be pleasing and find true meaning in life. Others say that you and I need to follow our hearts and we will be acceptable to God. Even some pick out a couple commands to the neglect of others and declare these to be the necessary commands. We live in a day that was similar to times past: “everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” This was the Lords condemnation upon those people in the days of the judges.
These choices to follow our hearts, to be morally good, to give something back, and other such fluffy sayings are all decisions to reject Gods revelation. God has never commanded anywhere in this book to follow our hearts, to give something back, or be morally good to be pleasing to God. Yet people continue to argue with divine revelation.
Listen to the very words of Jesus:
“Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:21-23).
Jesus said that people who claim to be followers of God will not enter. Jesus also said that those who do good deeds and works in the name of the Lord will not enter. Jesus said that those who do not obey his law (practice lawlessness) will not enter. Only those who do the will of God will enter the kingdom of heaven. Shall we argue with plain scripture? Shall we continue to make up our own rules about who will be acceptable to God and who will not? Perhaps we should listen to the one who will make the judgment in the end. Either we can do what God has prescribed or we can have the expectation of being cast away from God.
God has revealed himself to every person through the creation. No one has an excuse as to why they are not currently seeking to find the Lord. The Lord can easily be found and we can know his will through His Son and through His word. Gods word declares that the conditions to receive his grace is to believe in God, change our mind and life purpose to serving God instead of self, confess Jesus as the Son of God, and be immerse in water for the forgiveness of sins. If you are ready to obey Gods revelation, now is the time to act.