Posts Tagged ‘Titus’

Titus 3

Study of God’s Word (walk through the Bible) – Titus 3

Titus 3 has Paul coaching him on how to remind Christ Followers he was shepherding to treat each other, and in particular authorities.  The word for remind actually means “keep on reminding” meaning this isn’t a once and done sermon, but something all of us struggle with so we need continual reminders to stay the course.  Paul shares this list of things Titus should remind them about: “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people”.

He begins with a topic that many of us chaff at – submission to authority.  Somehow that carries a negative connotation today.  The reality is that submission provides a lot of benefits, the main one being that the authority you submit to becomes responsible for many things.  Whether it is in a marriage, with parents, a government, or whatever authority you consider, remember that being in authority carries a lot of pressure that we should be shielded from as one under submission.  Paul quickly add though, that we should not only be obedient, but “ready for every good work”.  The concept of submission does not make us passive, particularly as Christ Followers.  We can’t just sit back and let those in authority do all the work.  God wants us actively in the game.

His other directives involve how we get along with other people.  All of us are in the people business in some way or other.  We don’t live on an island alone, and we need to interact and play nicely with others.  Paul admits he came from a place that was not aligned with God and His plan.  Then he met Jesus.  “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life”.

Salvation is not about you or me, or what we do.  It’s about the Savior and His righteousness.  God pours out His mercy freely on us through Christ.  All we can do is receive it. Here’s the reality of salvation and the road to eternal life.  It goes through Jesus, and that is the only road.  Paul ends by reminding Titus to challenge the people to “let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful”.  He reinforces that we are not saved by our good works, we can’t earn our way to heaven, but we need to be involved in doing good works and bearing fruit for the Kingdom of God!

Titus 1

In Titus 1, Paul has some strong words for his partner in the ministry, Titus, whom he had left behind in Crete to continue the work after Paul was called away.  They were sharing “the hope of eternal life which God, who never lies, promised”.  We have the opportunity to share that same message today because it is just as valid now as when Paul was preaching it almost 2000 years ago.  Eternal life is God’s gift to mankind, offered as a gift of grace through Christ Jesus our Savior.  But even with such a glorious message, people were messing things up in the church.

After a successful evangelistic campaign on the island of Crete, there were a lot of young Christians to take care of. Paul left Titus behind to build stable churches with mature, qualified pastors for the people. Paul’s answer was to put a leadership structure in place and he charges Titus to make that happen.  “Appoint elders in every town as I directed you—if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination”.  Paul tells Titus to place these elders in every city on Crete – local leadership is vital to a strong and healthy faith community.

It’s important to note that Paul doesn’t give qualifications related to education or giftedness.  He doesn’t tell Titus to go find the most gifted guys to lead.  He focuses on character and a real relationship with Jesus which supersedes anything we have learned or gifts we might have. The list goes on to say “as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it”.  This is not a rigid list which demands perfection in all areas. It provides both goals to reach for and the general criteria to be used in selection.

Why is it so important to have the right leadership in place?  Because the church was facing “insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers…. upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach”.  There were some bad eggs who had the ear of people and Paul wants that shut down and the door closed tightly behind them.  “Rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth….They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work”.  Titus had to train the elders he chose to simply “shut up” these problem people.  And he had to be willing to come alongside his leaders to stand with them in shutting down those who did not teach God’s truth.

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