"Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for
the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge
of the truth which accords with godliness..."
--Titus 1:1 (ESV)
"Make me to know your ways, O LORD;teach me your paths."
Psalms 25:4 (ESV)
As Paul wrote his letter to Titus, whom he had sent to the Island of Crete, he gave a brief description of his heart and commitment. Paul classifies himself both as a servant and as an apostle of God and Jesus Christ. Here he establishes his credentials and his authority giving reasons for his expected compliance of Titus. Paul, also in this powerfully packed verse, gives the reason for his servant hood and apostolic ministry, it is for the "sake of the elect" and for "their knowledge."
Why is Paul so concerned about the knowledge of the elect? The knowledge that Paul is speaking of is that conviction of the truth of God's word about God or the things of God. In the New Testament, it refers to the conviction of a man’s relationship to God and divine things, it includes the idea of trust and holy fervour that is born of faith and with what flows out of that knowledge or conviction.
In other words, the elect, you and me, are not merely converted in order to be justified, but we are converted from ignorance of God to the knowledge of God and His ways. This knowledge leads to godliness. Our hearts and our minds are rendered to a frame of teachableness. God, through His Holy Spirit, works in our hearts and brings us to a spirit or frame of teachableness. From this teachableness comes a fervent spirit to learn more of God and to grow in godly living.
To have a heart for God means to have a desire to grow in the things of God. The sad truth that so many in the church today do not have evidence of this teachable frame or spirit. We have a growing number of "Lone Rangers" who think that a pursuit of godliness is either not necessary or simply a legalistic burden of bondage.
Oh, that today, the Holy Spirit would continue to soften the hearts of God's people in order to fill them with the knowledge of God, which we know leads to a fervent desire to live godly. It is my hope and prayer that God's precious Spirit continues to soften my heart and continues to develop a teachable frame within me, for the joy of all people, and for His glory!