For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ–Titus 2:11-13
For me, Titus Chapter 2:13 is one of the clearest verses in Scripture stating that Jesus Christ is not just our savior, but that He is God. I realize that some folks, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, tend to disagree with this.
So what does the latest version (2013) of the Jehovah’s Witness New World Translation Bible say about Titus 2:13? It says, “while we wait for the happy hope and glorious manifestation of the great God and of our Savior, Jesus Christ.” Jehovah’s Witnesses contend that the great God and savior are two very separate people. They believe that only the term “savior” refers to Jesus Christ. They do not believe that Jesus is the great God. They believe that Jesus is a creation of God, but that Jesus is not part of the Triune God.
So, according to the J.W.’s New World translation, Jesus Christ is the savior, but Jesus is not the great God. Interesting and mysterious…
The New World Translation of Isaiah 43:11 also states, “I—I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no savior”. That’s what my bible says too!
If Jehovah is the Only savior according to Isaiah, and their translation also states in Titus that Jesus Christ is the Savior, then who is their savior? Jehovah or Jesus? Which one died in their place? This gets fun and interesting!
Prior to this, the death of bulls, lambs, and goats was getting the job done. Don’t think for a minute that these were completely worthless sacrifices! Hebrews 9 tells us plainly that their blood truly sanctified us outwardly: “13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean“. THAT’S TRUTH RIGHT THERE!
Those sacrifices cleaned us up; but the problem is that we couldn’t stay clean outwardly because we were messed up inwardly. Neither an unblemished lamb or a created blameless man could ever change us inwardly. The JW’s believe that Jesus was a created blameless man, but a created blameless man could never truly save us.
Let me prove it to you. The bible states without qualifiers or exceptions that God Himself said some outrageously crazy stuff about Job: “There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright”–Job 1:8. God said this about Job TWICE. One time, God said it in front of Satan! Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright–Job 2:3. Are you listening? If Job was like the rest of us, then Satan would have said something like, “Hogwash! He lied one time in the 6th grade”! If Job had EVER DONE ANYTHING WRONG IN HIS LIFE, Satan would have immediately confronted God about it on the spot! Satan even accuses us of things we didn’t actually do. When God said that Job was blameless, not even Satan could lay one single sinful charge against Job. The Devil could not find even one blameful accusation to bring against Job. The fact is this…Job had never done anything blameful in his life…I’M NOT THE ONE SAYING THIS! This is according to the twice-repeated word of God and the Devil’s silence on the matter. When God said TWICE that Job was unusual, BLAMELESS AND UPRIGHT, HE MEANT EXACTLY THAT!
Based upon God’s repeated truthful statement and Satan’s utter silence, you could easily make the case that Job outwardly qualified as an unblemished, human sacrificial lamb.
So why didn’t God allow Job to be sacrificed as our substitute to atone for our sins? After all, he was truly blameless and upright. Because Job was only blameless outwardly. Inwardly, he was a fear-stricken man. Job was part of creation. This is important for J.W.’s to understand: Everything outside of God Himself was subject to bondage, decay, and fear. “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time”. Job was part of creation; anyone or anything created by God could never save us from inner decay. If Jesus was created, then He could never save us from inner decay.
Here’s something we don’t always think about. Truth is, we needed more than just a sinless savior; we absolutely had to have a savior who was also God. Why? We needed more than a blameless, created being to save us; we needed a transformer to re-birth us into righteousness on the inside.
Jesus is not just another blameless man. Jesus is a transformer, shown by his first miracle. Jesus was also able to transfigure and cause two long-departed beings to reappear on earth. Only God can do that. Jesus Christ isn’t just savior; He is God our savior; He is the Lord (Jehovah) our savior.
But how can Jehovah be the savior, and Jesus also be the savior? When you look at a boiled egg, you are seeing the eggshell, and you call that “egg”. When you crack it open, you see the egg white, and you call that “egg”. When you strip the egg white, you see the yellow egg yolk, and you call that “egg”. Each separate piece (3) is egg; yet, it is only One egg. Jesus said, “I and the Father are one”.
It is through realizing and grasping that we have Jesus as both our great God and savior that we can go beyond just having our sins forgiven, and that we can also have the empowering grace that enables us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age!
We need to preach Jesus as a powerfully transforming savior, and not just merely as a sin eraser. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? Jesus Christ is our great God and savior!