There are some phrases in the Bible that we sometimes overlook yet they call our attention to something important. One of such phrases is the one we find in the New Testament and it goes, “This is a trustworthy saying…”
Now, begin from this week, we would like to take a closer look at these phrases which appear in the books of First and Second Timothy and Titus. These three books are also known as Pastoral Epistles.
These phrases exist no where in the New Testament apart from the Pastoral Epistles and is found in the following passages: 1 Timothy 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; 2 Timothy 2:11 and Titus 3:8. It is believed that Apostle Paul uses these phrases to call the attention of recipients and readers of these letters to a very important point.
Therefore, we would like to take our time on this blog to critically look at each trustworthy saying and listen to what God is communicating to us through these sayings. Of course, by this we do not mean that the other passages of Scripture are not worthy paying attention to; however, the phrases form a good material for an in-depth Bible study. Just as we can choose any other passage of Scripture to study deeply, on this blog we have opted to dig deeper around the trustworthy sayings for now.
Is the truth that which I imagine to be revealed to me by some private communication? Am I to fancy that I enjoy some special Revelation and am I to order my life by voices, dreams and impressions? Brothers and Sisters, fall not into this common delusion! God’s Word to us is in Holy Scripture. All the Truth that sanctifies men is in God’s Word! Do not listen to those who cry, “Lo here!” and, “Lo there!” I am plucked by the sleeve almost every day by crazy persons and pretenders who think that they have Revelations from God. One man tells me that God has sent a message to me by him—and I reply, “No, Sir, the Lord knows where I dwell and He is so near to me that He would not need to send to me by you.” Another man announces, in God’s name, a dogma which, on the face of it, is a lie against the Holy Spirit. He says the Spirit of God told him so-and-so, but we know that the Holy Spirit never contradicts Himself. If your imaginary Revelation is not according to this Word of God, it has no weight with us! And if it is according to this Word, it is no new thing!
Brothers and Sisters, this Bible is enough if the Lord does but use it and quicken it by His Spirit in our hearts. Truth is neither your opinion, nor mine—your message, nor mine! Jesus says, “Your Word is truth.” That which sanctifies men is not only truth, but it is the particular Truth of God which is revealed in God’s Word—“Your Word is truth.” What a blessing it is that all the Truth that is necessary to sanctify us is revealed in the Word of God, so that we have not to expend our energies upon discovering the Truth of God, but may, to our far greater profit, use Revealed Truth for its Divine ends and purposes! There will be no more Revelations—no more are needed! The Canon is fixed and complete—and he that adds to it shall have added to him the plagues that are written in this Book! What need of more when here is enough for every practical purpose? “Sanctify them through Your truth: Your Word is truth.
Lately, I have been studying the Epistle to Colossians and one character that has caught my attention in the study is the man named Epaphras.
Epaphras got converted when he went to hear Apostle Paul preaching in Ephesus. Thereafter, he went home in Colossae and planted a church. Later, the Colossian church was faced with the problem of false teachers and Epaphras immediately went to Rome to meet Paul and seek assistance on how to address the problem (1:7-8; Acts 19:10).
The interesting thing with this man, however, is that he still remains a little known figure despite “working hard for the church at Colossae” (4:13). Unless, you take you time to critically study the epistle, you will never know how important Epaphras was to the Colossian church.
This is how things can go in our service for the Lord sometimes. We might give out our best and keep things moving by the grace of God but still remain little known figures. This should never discourage us since it is all about Christ and not us. All the glory should go to him alone. As John Baptist once remarked, “Let him increase while we decrease” (John 3:30).
Therefore, never be bothered so much about getting a credit for your service unto the Lord because the truth is that you will not always get it. All the same continue to serve the Lord faithfully and seek to bring all the glory to Him like Epaphras the unsung hero did.