“To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.” (Titus 1:4)
On the surface, this verse might be considered insignificant and could easily be missed, for it is part of a lengthy greeting to Titus by Paul at the beginning of this very practical book. However, many nuggets are contained therein, and it is well worth our study.
Titus was one of Paul’s most trusted companions. He was a faithful worker who had accompanied Paul on a number of his journeys. Late in Paul’s life, after years of discipleship, Paul asked Titus to carry on the work he had started in Crete, an island well known for its deplorable moral state. Paul may have been instrumental in Titus’ initial conversion, for he calls him “mine own son,” literally “my true child,” a very endearing term. The bond of “common faith” gave them a mutual goal, and, of course, it is the same faith that we share today.
Paul greets Titus with “grace, mercy, and peace.” Grace is a manifestation of God’s love toward undeserving rebels, resulting in forgiveness and blessing. “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). Mercy is the attitude of God toward those who are in distress. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Peace comes as a result of the restoration of harmony between God and the forgiven one. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
This threefold blessing comes from both “God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.” What a comfort to recognize both Father and Son as involved in the bestowment of all aspects of our salvation. JDM