“Paul…an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to…the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness” (Tit. 1:1).
There’s a reason why Paul says he was made an apostle according to “the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness.” It is because if you’re after godliness in your life, that is, if godliness is your life’s goal, you need to follow the truth that is after godliness.
Now, the truth that is after godliness used to be the Law of Moses. Under the Law, if you kept the sabbath, and kept Israel’s seven feasts, and didn’t eat unclean foods, and did all the other things the Law demanded of you, you were godly. But the Law is not the truth that makes men godly in the dispensation of grace, and Paul was made an apostle to get men to acknowledge that dispensational change.
The word acknowledge means to admit that something is true—usually something that you don’t want to admit is true! For instance, no one likes to acknowledge it when they’ve sinned against God (cf. Hos. 5:15), and many people don’t like to admit that the Law is no longer the truth that makes men godly either. Here at Berean Bible Society, we often hear from people who tell us that we are not godly because we don’t insist that men keep the sabbath (cf. Col. 2:16), and because we don’t call food that God has cleansed unclean (Acts 10:15). Those things used to constitute godliness under the Law, but they don’t under grace!
Godliness today doesn’t consist of resting on the sabbath, it consists of resting in the work that the Lord Jesus Christ did for us on the cross! The sabbath was just a type, a symbol, of such rest. Godliness today also no longer consists of viewing certain foods as unclean. The only reason it was godly under the Law to view certain foods as unclean was because under the Law certain people were unclean—the Gentiles (Lev. 20:24,25 cf. Acts 10:15,28). So godliness today consists of recognizing that we have the liberty to eat foods that were once unclean because we recognize that Gentiles are no longer unclean in God’s sight.
In addition, while observing Israel’s feasts made a man godly under the Law, godliness today understands that Christ is the fulfillment of the Law’s seven feasts. “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (I Cor. 5:7), so there is no need for us to keep the feast of passover. And because Christ our passover is sacrificed for us, “we have now received the atonement” (Rom. 5:11), so we don’t have to observe the Day of Atonement either.
In short, “the truth which is after godliness” has undergone a dispensational change from what it was under the Law to what it is today under grace. And Paul was made an apostle to get men to acknowledge that dispensational change. If you will acknowledge it, I guarantee it will revolutionize your Christian life, and make you eternally glad you did!
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.