1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness,
2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,
3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;
4 To Titus, a true son in our common faith: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.
bondservant (v.1) = slave — Everywhere else Paul uses this term, he calls himself the bondservant of Jesus Christ. Only here does he call himself the bondservant of God.
according to (v.1) — more than just conformity, it includes direct purpose, complete correspondence with
acknowledgment (v.1) = should be “full knowledge” — precise, experiential knowledge
which accords (v.1) — same word translated “according to” earlier in v.1
godliness (v.1) = with an attitude toward God that is pleasing to Him
The word “godliness” here (Greek, usebia, and once Theosebia), does not occur in Paul’s writings until we come to the Pastoral Epistles, and there it occurs eleven times. Little wonder, for in these epistles he girds Timothy and Titus to stand true to God in the face of a rising tide of apostasy and godlessness. — Stam, pages 233-234
in hope (v.2) = upon hope — the basis upon which something rests
“In” is epi, “upon,” and can be translated , “upon the basis of” a hope of life eternal. Paul characterizes his apostleship as a kind that corresponds to the Christian faith embraced by God’s elect, and a full knowledge of that truth, and then says that both these characterizations have to do with life eternal which God who cannot lie (literally, “the un-lie-able Bod,” apseudes, “without lie”) promised before eternal times (“before the times of the ages), that is, before time began to be reckoned by aeons. “Due times” is idios kairos, idios referring to that which is one’s own peculiar, private, unique possession, kairos speaking of those strategic times in the calendar of God during which events come to a culmination and ripen to usher in a new age or dispensation. — Wuest, page 182.
hope (v.2) = eager anticipation of assured blessings
who cannot lie (v.2) = lit. “free from falsehood”
Surely God did not make this promise to men, for man was not yet created “before the world (or the ages) began.” And there is no evidence that He made a promise to angels about eternal life for man. Rather, then, He made this promise to Himself, in the councils of the Trinity, far back in eternity past — a promise of eternal life for poor sinners! This promise could not have been made by a greater, for God made it. Nor could it have been made to a greater, for He made it to Himself!
The apostle Paul has much to say about this promise … In the passage before us he clearly states that God, who cannot lie, promised “eternal life … before the world began” (Titus 1:2), and other passages from Paul’s pen make it clear and emphatic that this promise was “in Christ Jesus,” i.e., that it was vested in Christ Jesus, who was to be the member of the Trinity to go to Calvary and die for our sins. (Ephesians 3:11; 2 Timothy 1:1; 2 Timothy 1:9)
The Church as a whole, along with her leaders, has failed to notice that this truth was revealed to Paul specifically by the glorified Lord in heaven. His writings could hardly be clearer as to this, yet some theologians even deny that it is so.
God did not reveal this purpose in Old Testament times, nor during our Lord’s earthly ministry, nor even immediately after His death and resurrection. The Word clearly indicates that He had a very special person in mind through whom this sacred secret was to be made known. Paul, the chief of sinners, saved by grace. It is surely not from pride, but by divine inspiration that the apostle himself is so emphatic as to this. How could he speak in planer language than that of the passage we are considering: “… God, that cannot lie, promised [eternal life] before the world began; But hath in due times manifest His word through preaching which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Savior” (Titus 1:2-3). — Stam, pages 237-237
manifested (v.3) = make visible that which has been hidden
true son (v.4) = legitimate born — Paul led Titus to salvation
common (v.4) = that which belongs to several
Paul calls Timothy “my own son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2), whereas he here calls Titus “my own son after the common faith.” Why?
The answer is doubtless that Titus was a Gentile and he himself a Jew, yet they were one in a common faith. This is most significant when we consider that Jews and Gentiles had no such common bond in Old Testament times and during our Lord’s earthly ministry. — Stam, page 239
grace (v.4) = unmerited favor despite sin and its effects
mercy (v.4) — not in the best manuscripts
peace (v.4) = to bind together that which has been separated.
Wuest’s translation — Paul, God’s slave, and an ambassador of Jesus Christ in accordance with the Faith of God’s elect ones and a precise experiential knowledge of truth which is in accordance with piety towards God, upon the basis of a hope of life eternal which God who cannot lie promised before eternal times, but made known in His own strategic seasons, His Word in a proclamation with which I was entrusted in correspondence with the commandment of our Savior, God; to Titus, a genuine child in correspondence with the commonly-held Faith. Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus, our Savior. — Wuest, pages 182-182