By Jim Roberts
The Apostle Paul wrote to Titus whom God had called as a pastor over the Church which is the Body of Christ. In Chapter 2 Paul said:
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.” (Titus 2:11-15)
Paul was reminding Titus that the hope of Abraham had passed away. No longer were believers to look for the heavenly city of God to come down to the earth (Hebrews 11:16), but believers were to rejoice in the hope of their calling, namely, the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ. Paul taught the believers at Colosse that:
“When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:4)
Paul explained to Titus that all believers today share this same hope for the grace of God has now appeared to all men. However, Paul knew that this message had to be taught with zeal for it was a new message. The program for the Church had been kept as a secret in the heart and mind of God since before the creation itself. Therefore, Paul told Titus to “speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority.” Paul told the Ephesians about this great hope and was very concerned that they understand the importance of the message. He prayed:
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” (Ephesians 1:17-18)
In Ephesians 1:14, Paul referred to the catching up of the Church, the Body of Christ, as the redemption of Christ’s purchased possession.
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)
According to Ephesians 1:7, we already have spiritual redemption through His blood, but we are waiting for the redemption of our bodies which will occur at the appearing of the Lord and the rapture of the Church.
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21)
The Church which is the Body of Christ is the purchased possession which is now waiting for its final redemption. In the mean time, we live on this earth learning how to live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, all to the praise of the glory of His grace.