Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no-one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle towards everyone.
Titus 3:1-2 (NIV)
Read: Titus 3:1-15
Consider: Just as Timothy had been left in Ephesus to lead the church and to sort out some problems, so Titus was left on the island of Crete to do the same in the church there.
In the opening verse of today’s reading, Paul tells Titus to remind the people in the church that their behaviour is to be beyond reproach. This reminder has a number of aspects to it.
Firstly, in verses 1-2 Paul sets out the characteristics of good behaviour that should be evident in their new lives in Christ.
Secondly, in verse 3 he sets out those aspects of bad behaviour that would have been evident in their lives before they committed themselves to Christ.
Thirdly, in verse 4 the believers in Crete were to be reminded that it was only through God’s kindness and love that they had become Christians. They had done nothing to earn their salvation; it did not depend upon their works, but on God’s grace.
Fourthly, while their salvation could not be earned by doing good works (v4), their lives in Christ should be exemplified by ‘… doing what is good’ (v8).
Fifthly, the believers are warned not to waste energy on foolish controversies, genealogies, arguments and quarrels about the law (v9). This is extended to those who are being divisive in the church (v10) and Titus is told to warn anyone like this. Only if the person ignores the warning are they to have nothing more to do with them.
What should we get from Titus 3? The main thing would be that the church is made up of frail human beings who have been saved from a sinful life by the grace of God. While we are all at different stages of ‘reconstruction’, our lives should be good witnesses for Christ and our behaviour should speak clearly of whose we are. This chapter also reminds us that although good works played no part in our salvation, doing good should be the natural outworking of our faith. Lastly, we should heed the warning to avoid anything that causes division and divisiveness in the church.
Pray: Father, may the outworking of our faith result in behaviour that speaks of the changes you have brought about in our lives when we committed ourselves to Christ. Amen