To Titus, a true son in our common faith…. (Titus 1:4a)
Paul, in greeting his young protégé, Titus, uses the expression, “our common faith.” He does not mean by that, of course, that faith in Christ is a common thing, in the sense of being ordinary and cheap, like finding sand on the floor at a beach house. No, our salvation is uncommonly wonderful! Several elements that the Apostle mentions in this first chapter of Titus compel us to be in awe of amazing grace. What Paul means is that this faith is something that all believers have in common. It does not matter the country of our birth, the color of our skin, the number of our years, the size of our bank account, the amount of our education, the gender of our sex, or any other category that people put us in—we all have the same salvation—our common faith.
Our common faith is one that is shared by the elect. Paul writes of, “the faith of God’s elect” (v.1). We are saved—not because we earned it or deserved it—but because a sovereign God chose us in sheer grace! All of God’s redeemed were chosen by God before the foundation of the world, “promised before time began,” (v.2). While we may not fully understand this, we exult in it! Spurgeon said it this way, “I am sure He chose me before I was born, or else He never would have chosen me afterwards.”
Our common faith is one that is based on the truth. Paul speaks of, “the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness” (v.1). God uses His truth to call us to salvation—no exceptions. Now, we may only understand a few fundamental matters of the Gospel when we come to faith—that we are sinners, that Christ is the Savior who died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead to bring eternal life, and that by faith in Him we can be saved—yet, the Gospel must be heard and we must acknowledge it. No one is saved apart from the truth. This makes us clean—godly and not ungodly in our position—and enables us to live a different lifestyle, progressively growing in godliness.
Our common faith is grounded in the immutable (v.2). Paul speaks of hope, but not in this way: “Are you saved? Well, I hope so!” That is not what Scripture means by hope. Biblical hope is a confident assurance that what God has promised, God will fulfill. It rests on the solid foundation of God’s immutable character. He “cannot lie….” It is eternal life for it was a promise made by God that is timeless—given before the world began and guarded when this word is no more! If you could be saved and lose it—that wouldn’t be eternal!
Our common faith is manifested in the Gospel (v.3). Who was the “preacher” who shared the Gospel with you? It may have been your parents, it might have been a Sunday School teacher or Vacation Bible School worker, or perhaps a pastor. All I know is that God uses human instrumentality to bring His witness to any and all who have faith.
Our common faith is evident in our regeneration (v.4). Paul calls Titus a “true son,” not a pretender—the real deal. He was born from above. “Grace, mercy, and peace” came flowing down from the Father through the Son.
We all have these in common—every child of God! How uncommonly fantastic is our common faith!