God’s Very Own People- Titus 2:14
In the verse we are studying, Paul refers to believers as a people who are “God’s very own”, using the Greek expression laos periousios here in reference to those whom God has redeemed. This Greek expression is used not as it would normally be used in the Greek language, but as an equivalent for a Hebrew expression, and this will require some explanation in order for us to understand what Paul intends to communicate here. The Greek laos periousios is used throughout the Greek translation of the Old Testament for the Hebrew expression am segullah. This Hebrew phrase in general referred to someone’s possessions, but is used in the Old Testament to refer to a special portion of one’s possessions, to the portion of one’s possessions not used for ordinary purposes but set apart for a special purpose. It also made reference to the portion of one’s possessions which required special effort or cost to obtain. The intrinsic worth of these “possessions” and the cost at which they were obtained combined to make them one’s “special treasure” or crown jewels. In the Old Testament, it was used to refer to Israel as God’s “special treasure”, set apart for God’s special purpose. As we find here in Titus, Paul uses this expression directly in connection with the concept of redemption, which refers to the price paid to “buy back” a slave from one master to another, connecting the concept of redemption with the believer as God’s special treasure. The believer is God’s “special treasure”, obtained at great cost and set apart for special usage. What we will choose to focus on here is Paul’s allusion here to the “cost” element, for we can determine the “value” of something to someone by the “cost” of it, by what they are willing to pay to obtain it. Redemption, as we recall, involves the payment of a price, our redemption required God to pay a price to obtain it, and we can determine our “value” to God by identifying the price He paid to obtain us as His “special treasure”. And what price did God pay to “obtain” us? He “sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for sin” (1 John 4:10). God paid a price in order to make believers His special treasure, and our worth to Him can be determined by examining the value of the price He paid to “obtain” us for His special purpose. God paid the price of sending His only Son to die for our sins, that is what He feels we are worth, and so anytime a believer struggles with issues of feeling “worthless”, we need only be reminded of this passage in Titus, and of what our true worth is to God, who was willing to pay such a great price to make us his “special treasure”.