“This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.”
Sometimes, when we want to emphasize the importance of something, we might add a phrase like “to tell you the truth” or “honestly speaking” or “without a doubt” or “without question.” It was common for Jesus to use the term “verily, verily” or “truly, truly”, when driving home a particular truth. For Paul, the favorite lead-in was “this is a faithful saying.” He used it five times in his writings, and each time emphasized a different truth.
1 Timothy 1:15 “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”
Beyond any doubt, the reason for Jesus coming into the world was to save sinners. He did this by willingly laying down His life on the cross. The Jesus who called the dead back to life, walked upon the water, and commanded the demons to depart, is the same Jesus who allowed Himself to be tortured and crucified; all this to save sinners. For us to benefit from His work on the cross, we must, like Paul, realize we are the sinner He died for, and receive the pardon He provides.
1 Timothy 3:1 “This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.”
Something happens when we begin to grow in our relationship with Jesus. Within us, a desire grows to serve Him. People, who prior to coming to Christ, may have been extremely selfish, now find themselves wanting to help others, or serve in the local church. Paul explains, wanting to serve the Lord is a good thing, and wanting to serve in the capacity of a pastor is a call of God. If you are being called, answer.
1 Timothy 4:9 “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance.”
Before making this statement, Paul had declared, “godliness is profitable for all things in this life and the one to come.” Whenever making an investment, we want to know the profitability of it. Will I get back what I am putting in? Paul explains that with godliness you will get a return far greater than the investment you make. Godliness will affect every part of this life, and will leave a storehouse of treasures awaiting you in the next.
2 Timothy 2:11 “This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him.”
This is the first line of a chorus sung by the early churches. It declares, without question, there is life after this life. For those who trust Christ, we will live with Him for all eternity. Heaven is filled with glory, but the heaven of heavens, is the presence of Jesus. To be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord.
Titus 3:8 “This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.”
This is the final use of the phrase in Paul’s writings. Here, he is emphasizing the fact that all who trust in Christ for salvation should be filled with good works. Doing good things will not save you. However, if you are saved, you will long to do good works. You will desire to show your trust in Christ by living a brand new life. These good works should show themselves in your home, neighborhood, place of business, school, hobbies and circle of influence. How do you think your world would be affected, if today, you walked out the door seeking opportunities to do good works unto others, as a way to reveal Christ to them?
Let’s be sure to maintain good works, after all, the salvation of our loved ones may depend on it.
- Verse 5 expresses the way of salvation in a nutshell. What do you learn about how a person is saved?
- From verse 8, what do we learn about the behavior of a person who has believed in Christ?
- According to verse 9, what things should we seek to avoid?