“In hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world [or, “ages”] began” (Tit. 1:2).
“The Cretians are always liars” (Ver. 12). “God… cannot lie” (Ver. 2). What a contrast! And how reassuring to know that our salvation depends upon the Word of God, who cannot lie!
Our opening passage, above, however, states that God made this promise “before the world [or, “ages”] began. How can this be? There is no indication that He made this promise to the angels, and there was no one else to whom He could have made it — except Himself, and this is exactly the truth of the matter. Have we not all made earnest promises to ourselves?
Before God ever made one promise to any man, He promised Himself that He would provide salvation and all the riches of His grace for sinners through Calvary’s finished work, and the promises later made to men were but progressive revelations of a firm purpose He had already made in His own heart of love. Paul, the apostle of “the mystery,” refers to this blessed fact again and again in his epistles:
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery… the hidden… WHICH GOD HATH ORDAINED BEFORE THE WORLD UNTO OUR GLORY” (I Cor. 2:7).
“According as HE HATH CHOSEN US IN HIM [CHRIST] BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD…” (Eph. 1:4).
“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, BEING PREDESTINATED ACCORDING TO THE PURPOSE OF HIM WHO WORKETH ALL THINGS AFTER THE COUNSEL OF HIS OWN WILL” (Eph. 1:11).
“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to HIS OWN PURPOSE AND [HIS OWN] GRACE, WHICH WAS GIVEN US IN CHRIST JESUS BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN” (II Tim. 1:9).
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.