Where’s The Before And After?

Titus 3:3 – For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

Titus 3:4 – But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

Titus 3:5 – Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Titus 3:6 – Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

Titus 3:7 – That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:8 – This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

Hello readers, back with a new blog today. Where’s the before and after? What do I mean by that? Well today, there are many people who profess Jesus Christ, but they have no before and after to their life. Salvation has a before and an after. In the text quoted above we see a “were” and then an “after”. Because something changed. And unless a change happens in your life were you get saved, converted, born again, changed, regenerated, renewed by the Holy Spirit… you’re actually not saved. So you may identify as a Christian, but you may not be saved. There’s plenty like that today. Today we will be going through the book of Titus a fair bit, so it’d be great to read it yourself, and that’d be better than any blog I could do… to read your Bible and let the Holy Spirit minister the truth of God’s word to your heart and soul today.

Before we got saved, we were as verse 3 says above. That’s all of us. We lived in sin, we were of the world, we didn’t know God or his Christ. We didn’t seek God, we care for God, we hated the Bible, we scoffed and scorned at God’s word and truth. We were in darkness. And that’s the way most people live even their Christian lives, in darkness. Oh and you can be religious and be in darkness. The people Jesus encountered were religious, they had the name, they had the profession, they had the synagogue attendance, but they weren’t saved. Inside there was death. And despite their front of religion, they were just at that verse says, they were foolish, they were disobedient, they were deceived, they were envious and hateful. They accused and demonized Jesus while they themselves were the ones who had all the spiritual issues. It tends to be that way, we blame and excuse, but we really are the problem.

Today, many people have a false salvation, and they are deceived about themselves and about their relationship to Jesus Christ. They don’t know their Bible, they haven’t been taught truth or sought truth. People don’t even know what the gospel and salvation truly is all about. That’s the amazing part, so many people are just utterly deceived about themselves and about God.

In these days, as we were warned so many times of in the New Testament, false doctrines and false teaching and false philosophies and false ideas and false imaginations have crept in with the men that brought them in, just as we were warned of in books like Jude.

Jude 1:4 – For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Christians don’t even realize what’s happened. See, we can argue about Bible versions, and the argument over “yea hath God said” rages today. But the proof is in the pudding. The new Bibles with the new teachings and new doctrines have crept in. They weren’t blatant, people didn’t detect the lies, the error, the deception, they don’t realize they’ve been hoodwinked, fooled, deceived. The thing is, Satan is smarter than us in our own intellect and wisdom. You try and reach a compromise with Satan and you’ll lose every single time. So much error has crept into churches, it’s been subtle, it’s been deceptive, but they’re in so well to the point that Christians don’t even understand grace, love, mercy, truth, salvation, God, the Bible.

See, we can argue all day about Bible versions, it really is funny though how they can all be so different, and yet people just surrender their ability to think in these kinds of issues. Things that are different are not the same. If our faith is based on God’s word, as that’s the only tangible proof we have of God, and people are constantly revising and changing and deleting it, surely you’d have some alarm. When God’s deity, when the virgin birth, when all the doctrines are being eaten away at and altered, surely there’s some cause for alarm. Irrespective however, the legacy and fruit is unmistakable. Remember back to the Old Testament and Aaron’s sons offered strange fire to God. Aaron’s sons tried worshiping and serving God their own way, in disobeying God’s word. Your life is not acceptable to God but on the basis of the sacrifice and life of the Lord Jesus Christ. Unless you obey his word, all you’ve got is strange fire, and God killed them for it on the spot. Many Christians have a strange fire burning in their life, a fire not started by the Holy Spirit of God, just as that fire was not taken off the brazen altar where they were supposed to take it from.

So, what we want to establish today is that a big part of why there is no before and after is because people have the wrong concept of what Christianity and salvation is to begin with. They don’t have their doctrine straight. They haven’t learnt the truth. I was reading Titus recently, and the word doctrine kept popping up.

Titus 1:1 – Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;

Titus 2:1 – But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

Doctrine can be an intimidating word, but it really isn’t. Doctrine really is a word that just refers to the teachings of the Bible. So there is the doctrine of salvation, the doctrine of hell, the doctrine of judgement, the doctrine of the Holy Ghost and so on. We are meant to get our doctrine, that is, our understanding of topics and issues from what the Bible says. Without pure doctrine, you’re not going to get a true convert. So many people become Christians not because they’re sinners that need salvation, but because they’re just trying to be better or joining a group, trying to belong and fit in. Whatever it is, unless you came to God on the basis of acknowledgment of God’s truth, acknowledgement and repentance of sin, and personal faith in Jesus Christ for forgiveness, redemption, reconciliation, justification, sanctification and glorification… you’re really just a fake. Of course we don’t understand everything at salvation, the Holy Spirit teaches us, but a true convert must come from a pure seed, the seed of God’s word. Remember, Satan sows tares, maybe you’re a little tare growing up who looks just like a wheat, but you came from a different grain.

The very first verse of Titus says “and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness”. If you are saved you should have no trouble believing and assenting to the truth and authority and perfection of the word of God. Why do so many Christians have a problem with God’s word? So many things they say and do and believe are in violation of it. God’s word is their biggest adversary. It’s an obstacle and inconvenience to them. If you were godly, if you were saved, you’d acknowledge the truth of God’s word in your speaking and your living. If you’re truly saved, it’s because you believed God’s word, and that became authority in your life. Sound doctrine is what saves people, the teaching and preaching of the truth of God’s word. All of God’s word, which works perfectly together to provide us with the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Christians sometimes only choose certain books to base their faith from, and as a result they are “out of balance”. You’ll get a balanced truth, life and faith from believing Genesis 1 to Revelation 22. Remember… Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last.

Do you know what salvation is? Christianity isn’t a game though many people play the game, it’s not a fad, it’s not a group identity to belong to like anything else. Salvation has to do with being saved… but saved from what? Sin! You see, man has a sin problem, and that started all the way back with the first man that God created. And that sin problem was perpetuated from that point on in the human race. We all come from Adam. We are all “in Adam”. Nobody taught you to sin. It was in you. Any honest person would have no problem in acknowledging the fact they are a sinner. Our conscience, God’s word… it exposes all the garbage. And really as you go along in life, you’ll realize that more and more. Even as a Christian we still sin. Sin is in our nature, it’s in our minds and hearts, it’s in our blood. It’s a disease of which we are all partakers, that’s the picture of leprosy in the Old Testament, a terrible disease… sin is a terrible disease.

Salvation is God saving you from your sin. In many senses salvation is ongoing, because there are many parts to salvation, but all of which God will perform and thus it can be considered a finished work. Sin has a penalty, and that penalty is death. Sin will produce death in all spheres of your life, practically and spiritually and eternally. Salvation is God delivering you from sin, from it’s penalty, power, practice and presence. However as Christians, we still have the battle with sin, because we still live in this earthen vessel. But when you’re saved, something changes, you now have God living in you, who gives you the power to live a life free from sin. Think of that picture of the Jews in Egypt in Exodus. They were slaves and had a slave master called Pharaoh. God sent Moses to deliver them, and that’s a picture of salvation. You can be freed from sin as your slave master. Just like the Jews couldn’t deliver themselves, so w can’t deliver ourselves either, that’s why God sent Jesus Christ, just like he sent Moses way back then, to set us free, to lead us out, and lead us in to a new land.

So the verses quoted at the start come from the third and final chapter of Titus, but I would suggest reading the book for yourself and letting God set you straight with his word. We need his word to frame what we believe, and stop letting the world and false teachers and fake Christians with their deception and tricks and magic fool us and cheat us out of truth, light and salvation. People seem to have a salvation these days which isn’t a salvation from anything. If salvation means saved… they don’t seem to be saved from anything really. They live in sin, they abide in lies, they dwell in darkness. They profess Jesus Christ, but their life lacks any saving from sin and the power of Satan. To them salvation really is a escape out of jail from hell, and absolving of responsibility and accountability in their life, and something that makes them feel good while they go about living their selfish lives. Read this verse…

Hebrews 6:9 – But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

“Things that accompany salvation”. A true salvation produces a saved and a changed life. Pretty simple huh? But there is no salvation until you see who and what you are… a desperate, wicked sinner deserving of hell. There is nothing you can do, you’re not good, you’re not ok, measured against the holiness of God we all come up hopelessly short. Stop measuring yourself against others, and measure yourself against God’s word, his standard. It is after this fact that you are now in a position for something to appear to you. Something that never appears to most people on this planet, because they don’t have any love of truth and thus they are prevented from seeing this.

The kindness and love of God will appear to you when you hear the gospel, when you receive the truth. The amazing truth is, many Christians claim grace and love, but their live show they don’t know God’s love and kindness. They don’t know God. After a life of sin, God’s love appeared to us, he was kind to us, he forgave us, he saved us, he set our feet on a solid rock, making us able to stand and walk and talk in the light. God’s kindness and love is manifested to us through one, Jesus Christ. There is no way to God but through Jesus Christ… he is the way. In him is the revelation of God to man, in him is life and light and truth and salvation.

God saves you not just to “get out of hell”. He’s come to save your spirit, soul and body, all of you, a complete and total salvation. He doesn’t want you living in lust and envy and greed and pride and deceit anymore. He doesn’t want you living in lies, he wants you to have the light of life in all areas of your life. He wants to lighten your thinking and quicken your spirit. You will only find life in Christ. The Bible really does speak for itself, I can’t do justice to Titus in my own words but to point you to the word of God. This isn’t man’s word, this is God’s word… infallible, incorruptible, eternal. I’ve been thinking about these verses a lot of late…

Ephesians 2:1 – And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Ephesians 2:2 – Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

There’s that “were” again. Because he’s writing to people who were something, but after they heard the gospel, Paul preaching to them, they believed, and after they believed they were saved, and sealed and changed. They were quickened by God. See, quickening is being made alive. Before you get saved, you’re dead, you’re abiding in death… but when you got saved, you became alive by the Holy Spirit. Where is the quickening? Where is the proof you’ve been made spiritually alive? Where is the proof God now dwells in your heart by faith? Why is there no evidence of Biblical thinking… remember how Titus the book started… “and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness.” Do you strike out at the very first verse? You’re not even capable of acknowledging the truth of God’s word? Your godliness is a sham.

The second verse goes on to say God who cannot lie. Christians today call God a liar. They may not say it like that, but they live like it, their attitude to God’s word calls him a liar. But God is not a liar. And the fact he’s not a liar is critical to our salvation, seeing as our salvation, our hope, our future… all hangs on the inerrancy, accuracy, preservation and truth of the promises and assurances of his word. God gave us his word so we could know. We wouldn’t have to rely on someone else, we can hear from him directly, clearly and expressly. Because in the next verse we then read about the ” common faith”. It doesn’t take degrees, and a long and endless journey to truth, it’s found easily, simply and plainly in the person and work of Jesus Christ. God’s word brings light to your life. Psalms says “the entrance of thy word giveth light”. People don’t have light because their salvation was never based on the truths of God’s word. With God’s word we can know the truth, and the truth will set us free, exactly as Jesus promised. God’s word equips us with everything we know to make our lives count and make our lives future proof. Noah made his life future proof didn’t he, he prepared an ark, and was saved from the flood… because he believed God’s word.

God promised eternal life through Christ before the world began. What a verse. Think of that for an incredible truth. Christians today have so much trouble believing and accepting the Genesis 1 account. That’s the sad part, Christians who live in doubt of the God they say they believe in. Talk about Satan having free course in their lives. Before Genesis 1, God already knew what he was going to do. Jesus Christ was slain from the foundation of the world the Bible says. If God’s not right in Genesis 1, if that can’t be taken seriously and literally true… how can you take his salvation which predates Genesis 1 as serious and literally true either? People say they believe Genesis 1… but not how God said he did it. Because yeah, God could’ve created it however he wanted to… but he SAID how he created the heaven and the earth. Think about that. Because in all other areas of the Bible also Christians profess God, but don’t really believe in how he says to think and believe there either. People don’t have a trouble acknowledging “God”, but they just don’t think God can be taken at his word as he says. They live a life denying the truths set forth in the rest of the Bible, because they called him a liar in Genesis 1.

If God couldn’t keep his word straight in Genesis 1, how are his promises of eternal life straight? Can that be trusted? How do you know your salvation isn’t an allegory? How do you know his promise of salvation hasn’t faded away over time, just like his word? But we have the promise of a word and salvation and treasure that will never fade away in 1 Peter. If his promises are no good, our salvation is but a pipe dream. All we have is the sureness and integrity and veracity of God’s word. Turns out that is enough though. All Abraham had were promises, but God’s promises were enough for Abraham… but how are we, who say we are Abraham’s children, not able to accept God’s promises as enough evidence in our own lives? Because just like the Jews claiming Abraham as their father, he’s not most Christians father either. The same deception strikes again.

What about these verses…

Titus 2:11 – For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Titus 2:12 – Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Titus 2:13 – Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Titus 2:14 – Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Titus 2:15 – These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

People today claim God’s grace. But if you had received God’s grace, you’d have been taught something as the Bible says. What does God’s grace teach us? What do we learn from God having received his glorious grace to us? Well God’s grace firstly has appeared to all men. Noone has an excuse in hell. If you’re there, it’s because you rejected the grace of God. God knows what he’s doing, he knew how to reach Abraham in Ur of the Chaldees… he can reach anyone… after all he’s the Creator… nobody cares more for his creation and knows more about what’s going on than the Creator does. Read Job, God was speaking to Job asking him do you know this and that Job? God knows what’s going on everywhere in all places and what needs to be done. See, the problem is you don’t know who God is. Wake up.

But then God’s grace teaches us something. God’s grace doesn’t teach us that sin is ok, because it teaches us the opposite. It’s ironic because many Christians use God’s grace as an occasion to the flesh, that is, they think it’s like this free pass to live however you want to live. But God’s grace actually teaches us that we should deny ungodliness, that we should deny worldly lusts, and that we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Wow… does the grace of God teach you that? Maybe it doesn’t because his grace doesn’t abide in you, because you’ve rejected the grace of God. There’s no evidence of grace having ever produced that outcome in your life. When you finally receive God’s grace, it’ll teach you, it’ll change you, it’ll give you power to do all those things the Bible says. When you’ve got God’s grace, you have the love of God to want to obey and honour and glorify him with your speech and deeds. All the disputes and debates and contentions would disappear if we all truly sought to honour and glorify Jesus Christ, that’s the truth.

God’s grace teaches us to look to Jesus Christ today in our lives, to live lives that look toward the future, to his appearing, to living a life conscious of his sacrifice and work on the cross for us. So really, despite staking claims to God’s grace, many Christians don’t know God’s grace… they’re more like Esau who failed of the grace of God. Have a look at Esau and see why. God’s grace didn’t fail him, he rejected God’s grace, he despised the things of God and he was a man of the world. So many Christians are an Esau, they lack repentance, that’s what he lacked. They want the blessing, like he did! They want the benefits oh yes, but they despise the word of God. So many people don’t have the life of Christ in them, that’s just the fact. It’s evidenced by how they live and think and speak. They don’t have Jesus Christ’s attitude to God’s word. Jesus Christ obeyed his Father not just some of the time, all the time, he always did those things that pleased him. His entire life was based not on his will, but on his Father’s will. Is that kind of a mind in you? Maybe not, because God’s never changed you. Titus gives us another clue as to why that may be so…

Titus 1:3 – But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

See, God manifested his word through preaching. That’s what this world and also many Christians hate. Preaching. Don’t preach at me. Stop quoting Bible. Stop Bible bashing. People grew tired of the Bible a long time ago. All you do is say what the Bible says! Yeah, because they hate God’s word. Preaching is unique by the way, because it’s not a dialogue or debate or argument… it’s thus saith the Lord… with the authority and seal of God’s word. God’s word packs a punch… I was speaking to a person recently that was saying God is imaginary. Well if he’s imaginary, and the Bible says he is the invisible God, but that’s different to imaginary… he has a word that’s not as imaginary as they would like. Preaching aggravates them no end, it cuts to the heart, the opening and deliverance of the word of truth shines a bright light in the dark soul… and the dark soul withdraws from the light of truth, preferring the darkness.

So today, where is the after part to your salvation? If there is no after, maybe it’s because your life is really still just the before part. Jesus said to a religious man in John 3… ye must be born again. That’s quite a statement. A new birth… that’s a new person, an entirely new creature with a new nature. Without the new birth, you’re not saved. See, until a new person is born in you, there will never be an after. The best you can muster is an overhaul job on the “before” person. People do sure try and make that before person a bit better, they really make him look godly and religious and say the right things… but there is no life of Christ in them. There’s no quickening. Jesus Christ doesn’t dwell in them.

Back in the Old Testament God dwelt in a tabernacle in the midst of the people, but that was a picture of the truth that it was representing, which is that God wants to dwell with us and in us. But he’s not going to dwell in you until you believe on his Son, until his Son has dealt with that sin problem that separated you from holy God for so long. That’s why God had to dwell in a separate place in the tabernacle, and you couldn’t get access to him without going through the one gate, past the one altar, past the one laver… through the priest of whom Jesus is our great High Priest mediating between God and man… it’s a picture of how sin separated us from God, how sin must be dealt with, and once it’s dealt with and you come to God through his Son, then you can have fellowship and relationship with God and then you can serve him. But most Christians aren’t interested in serving God, because they’ve got their own agenda and priorities in life. They love their sin. They’re carnally minded, they aren’t spiritually minded because they live in death. You might think your sin is ok and not that bad and no big deal… but you’re dead wrong. Sin is bad enough to send you to eternal hell. God won’t compromise on who he is, you’ll go to hell because God is holy.

People say… how can a good God send people to hell? Let’s rephrase the question. How could God be good and not send people to hell? Take Adolf Hitler for example. What if God said, oh that’s alright, welcome to heaven because I’m a good God. No, you’d expect a righteous Judge to recompense someone for their evil deeds. If you expect human justice to match the crime, how much more the God of glory, who is the Judge of all the earth? He’s so good, he has to deal with everything that is evil and wrong and wicked. And because he’s good, he metes out perfect recompense and wages for your life’s work. It’s because God is good that there is a hell, you wouldn’t be impressed if a judge let a murderer off… and God won’t let an unrepentant sinner off. Hell is forever because you can never pay that sin debt. Jesus paid what was an unpayable debt… where is a life of thankfulness and realization of his great sacrifice for us? Just as Jesus said… he that is forgiven little, loveth little. People haven’t been forgiven much, because they think they’re pretty good, and their life really shows they don’t love God. They may say they do, but it’s more like a Judas kiss isn’t it.

So really today, it’s a plea to get to a Biblical understanding of who God is, and what salvation is. Get the sound, pure doctrine in your life so you can have a true and pure salvation and service to God. Many people don’t even realize they’ve got their doctrine all wrong. They have a complete misconception, because they’re deceived… about everything. They’re deceived about themselves and their sin, and deceived about who God is. Jesus said that while men slept, the enemy came in and sowed tares. Men today are sleeping, they’re sleeping on truth, they’re sleeping on the watch, they’re sleeping on prayer, they’re sleeping on their faith. The enemy has come in. Lies and deception and false and empty and vain words and doctrines of devils are swamping churches, denominations and individuals lives. And people base their eternity on a bunch of lies. Craziness! Get your doctrine from the Bible, get truth, anchor your soul to something sure, something that won’t let you down, something that’s not real. There came a day Nebuchadnezzar had enough of the lies of all the soothsayers, astrologers and religious experts of Babylon, he got sick and tired of lies, deceit, guile… he wanted the truth. When will you want the truth?

False doctrines produce false converts and false brethren. There has been a complete manipulation and distortion of truths of the Bible that’s crept in today. Crept in because when something creeps in, it’s not obvious, it’s not detected, it’s trying to avoid detection. The creeps crept in. Read the Bible and deal with the creeps and what’s crept in. True salvation produces a changed life, because it’s a new life in Christ. May God’s love and kindness appear to you today, for real. Salvation is saved from sin. Has God saved you from sin in your life? Is he delivering you from its power and influence on your heart and soul day by day? Are you free from the slavemaster? Is there evidence of God’s grace abiding in your life, and working in you to give you the power and ability and will to obey God and walk in the light? Is there a before and after in your life?

I’ve actually been thinking about Exodus 2 recently, and the slime and the pitch that Moses’ mother used to daub his ark with. She made an ark to save him as a child. Only when we get honest about the slime and the pitch, the before and after, will our lives affect others. Until we get honest all we are really is religious hypocrites, if we are deceived about ourselves, how can we help others out their deception? We all have slime, we all have flesh, there’s slime in all of our lives. But there must be pitch, it was pitch that Noah used to waterproof the ark, that sealed his salvation. The slime and the pitch is a picture of before and after, and when people see the slime, but then pitch, they’ll take the epistle of our life seriously, and just maybe God will use our slime and pitch to impact someone else for Christ. Even in the Old Testament we see the slime of David’s sin, but the pitch of his repentance and God’s forgiveness and salvation. There must be an after in our lives, a salvation with no salvation is not a salvation. Get your doctrine right, get what you know and believe from God’s word. It’s necessary to finish with a direct quote from God’s word, and here it is, and may God minister the truth of his word and change your life with that truth today.

Deuteronomy 32:1 – Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.

Deuteronomy 32:2- My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:

Deuteronomy 32:3 – Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.

Deuteronomy 32:4 – He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

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Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)

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