In this message we wrap up Paul’s letter to Titus, the appointed leader of the Cretan church. In these verses the apostle Paul describes how Christians, the recipients of God’s grace should behave.
First Paul reminds Titus about obedience and submission not only to God but to those appointed by God throughout the island of Crete.
“1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.” (Titus 3:1-2)
Also Paul calls on Christians to refrain from slander as we walk in humility, peace and consideration, just as Jesus did. Cretans had been challenged by these character traits and were in need of mentoring, just as many believers among the church today.
“3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.” (Titus 3:3)
Here Paul mentions the fact mature Christians were once spiritual babies, lacking wisdom or the power to resist temptation. But by the Holy Spirit we are cleansed and able to show kindness and Christ like love, through the gift of God’s merciful grace.
“4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4-7)
Paul describes us as “heirs”, Greek for “klēronomos” which also means “inheritors”, Christians are promised eternal life in heaven, not by our works or deeds but by God’s grace and through the blood of Jesus Christ.
The apostle then calls on believers to do what is good stating that to do so is profitable for everyone, again an imitation of Christ’ life.
“8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.” (Titus 3:8)
Mentioning the law Paul invites Titus and all Christians to avoid useless conversations and to steer clear of anything that would draw anyone away from the truth found in the gospel referring to such things as “dull or stupid” (from the Greek mōros) .
“9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.” (Titus 3:9)
Next comes scripture which teaches Christians how to deal with the wicked among us. When we are witnesses to sources of division (aihretikos), we must offer warning and resolve to the heretic among the church. Those who would repeat offenses and ignore a second warning were to be cut off from the church according to their perverted ways.
“10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. 11 You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” (Titus 3:10-11)
Paul now invites Titus to join him in Nicopolis, a city on the Adriatic coast of Greece where he was planning on spending the forthcoming winter. The apostle mentions Artemas, an unknown disciple as well as Tychicus, one of Paul’s companions and faithful servant, mentioned numerous times in Paul and Timothy’s letters.
“12 As soon as I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, because I have decided to winter there. 13 Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way and see that they have everything they need.” (Titus 3:12-13)
Native of Alexandria, Apollos, a disciple of John the Baptist was an eloquent teacher having preached the gospel to the Ephesians and Corinthians. At Paul’s request Titus was to facilitate Apollos’ journey.
“14 Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.” (Titus 3:14)
Paul concludes his letter to Titus by reminding him of the importance of good deeds, in tune with the theme of this epistle. By living according to the word of God and focusing on what is glorifying to God Cretans would be productive and able to meet with life’s necessities, for themselves and for the church’s missionaries.
“15 Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.” (Titus 3:15)
Closing with a typical salutation, Paul sends greetings from all those with him wishing God’s grace upon Titus and all the saints in Crete
More than guidelines to live by, Paul’s letter to Titus contains invaluable teaching for all believers to embody as part of our lives. The message found in this epistle is clear and concise, though controversial among the wicked who oppose the truth.
Any wicked person can debate or ignore the word of God but it takes a true saint to abide by the truth and stand up in faith. After reading Titus, which one are you? Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre