Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,

To Titus, my true son in our common faith:

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

It seems to me that character is a unifying theme in this first chapter of Titus.

Paul knows nothing of a Christianity that does not show itself in life change. If we know the truth it (He!) sets us free from sin. It’s a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. But the more we know the truth the more we are progressively freed from sin. The ”knowledge of the truth”…”leads to godliness.” (As we will see tomorrow, elders are meant to be an example of this).

Just over a week ago we said farewell to John Lancaster in a wonderful thanksgiving service held at ‘Bridge Community Church’, Leeds. John was one of the greatest preachers I ever heard; but his life was an even greater sermon. More than anything else I will remember John the godly man, and who can estimate the power of a truly godly life?

Funnily enough, after writing the above paragraph, I saw an advert for a book by Steve Norman entitled ‘The preacher as sermon: How who you are shapes what they hear.’