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Family Solidarity

Titus 1:4
To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour. (NIVUK)

Paul was writing to Titus, giving him instructions which would establish the church in Crete.  He viewed the younger man as a close relative, part of his family.  To be more accurate, he recognised that both he and Titus shared one Father, God himself.  They were spiritual siblings.  Like Timothy (1 Timothy 1:2), Titus had been born again by God through Paul's ministry and had also become like an adopted son to be nurtured in the faith.  Now he was able to nurture others too.

Paul and Titus both came to know God through the same route: by submitting to Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord (Philippians 3:8).  Although Paul was an apostle and preacher, he was in no way spiritually superior to Titus.  He was so happy that Titus shared exactly the same faith as him, was equally saved through Jesus Christ and equally loved by God the Father.  Yes, Paul had things to teach Titus, but his greater knowledge did not make him more loved by God.

Both men were experiencing grace and peace being poured out on them from Father God and the Lord Jesus Christ.  God’s grace brought them saving faith (Titus 2:11).  The gift of peace is primarily peace with God as a result of our sins being forgiven (Romans 5:1), but also the quietness of a godly heart (Philippians 4:4-7).  Without God’s grace we could not be saved, and without His peace we could have no assurance.
It is the same today: all those who have trusted in Jesus Christ are equal in God’s family.  We share the same faith and are held in love by the same Father.  One of the great principles of the church is that we 'are all one in Christ Jesus' (Galatians 3:28).  Take away that principle and the church becomes a club with the oldest, like the Pharisees, assuming a more 'spiritual position'.  When that happens, the vitality of new believers gets suppressed, thinking that they are not equal or worthy of God’s love.  Of course, it is important to respect those who are more mature, and to follow their instruction and example (Hebrews 13:17); but never to think that they matter to God more than the newest believer.

Loving Father. Thank You for making me a part of Your family when I believed in Christ. I am sorry when I either think of myself as more special or less special to You than other believers. Please help me to understand that my place in Your family is equal to everybody else who trusts in Jesus; that I am equally loved and forgiven, and should be equally confident of Your love for me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams