Be Ready for Every Good Work:
(Read Titus 3:1-8).
Paul reminds the believers the importance of submission, kindness and humility in the Christian life. They are often overlooked qualities in a Christless society. If the gospel has not transformed us in these areas, we cannot live such life (James 1:26-27). We must be submissive to rulers and maintain a friendly relationship with others. Christians should not slander anyone and avoid quarreling. Here Paul shows the contrast between true believers and false teachers. Cretans were known for insubordination and quarreling. So they were in need of such admonition. We live in a world marked by lawlessness and disregard for authority. The believers should obey the governments. The governments are ordained of God (Romans 13:1-7. They are in power to restrain evil and to encourage good behavior in society. However, when authority demands that which is morally wrong, believers should obey God rather than men (Acts 4:19). Paul reminds Titus that, once we too were foolish and disobedient, misled and slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy. We hated each other (3:3). We were unfit for any good work. Foolish simply means “without spiritual understanding”. This is true of the natural man (1 Corinthians 2:14). But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us (Titus 3:4). This speaks of the redeeming work of Christ by which salvation is made possible. We are not saved by the merit of our good works but by the mercy of God. It is through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit we are saved (John 3:5-8). Salvation is solely due to God’s mercy and grace. Regeneration and renewal come from the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5-6). We are justified and declared righteous by God’s grace. Someone has said “God planned our salvation, Christ bought it and the Holy Spirit wrought it”. God’s salvation is not a narrow escape from hell. Being saved we become heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:16-17). It is indeed the great salvation that enables us to live with godly devotion (Hebrews 2:3). Titus was encouraged to affirm the sound doctrines confidently. True faith in Christ will manifest itself in life. This knowledge should motivate believers to live with godly devotion and without being enslaved by the world’s standards.
(Read Titus 3:9-15)
Paul admonishes Titus to avoid foolish discussions about genealogies because they are unprofitable and a waste of time (Titus 3:9). It will cause dissensions and quarrels in the church. Someone has said "The Christians are called to do all the good they can, by all the means they can, in all the places they can, at all the time they can, to all the people they can and as long as they can''. The Word of God must be the final authority for their belief and behavior. Church discipline is another aspect of doing good. Those who cause division must be warned and admonished. After first and second warnings they should be avoided. They are self- condemned (Titus 3:11). Such discipline is necessary to guard the church against corrupt teaching and to maintain unity. It must be done for the love of Christ, for the love of church and for the love of the Word of God. Paul ends the letter by urging the believers to devote themselves to good works. He was planning to send either Artemas or Tychicus to replace Titus in Crete. Paul longed for the fellowship of this faithful fellow-worker. Fellowship is the strategy in the gospel outreach because together we do more. Paul decided to spend the winter at Nicopolis with Titus. Titus was encouraged to help Zenas and Apollos with their trip. Zenas is the only lawyer mentioned in the New Testament. Apollos was an eloquent preacher of the Word. Cretan believers are urged to help these missionaries. Supporting missionaries is worthy of God. The believers in Crete were encouraged to abound in good works. This is the main theme of the epistle. Godly generosity is the best advertisement for the gospel (Titus 2:7, 10, 14; 3:1, 8). Paul greets all those who love him in the faith. The final benediction is identical with other Pastoral Epistles “God's grace be with you all”.