Read Titus 3
Saved in Order to Do Good
3 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 always to be gentle toward everyone.
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. 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. 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.
9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11 You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.
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. 14 Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.
15 Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith.
Grace be with you all.
The book of Titus is all about living a countercultural life. Crete, where Titus was leading a church, was evil and dark, and many people who claimed the name of Christ there were not living very Christ-like lives. In chapters 1 and 2, Paul explains that, although we are not supposed to hide ourselves away from the world, we are not to give in to its ways either. He calls us to live in the tension of being in the world, but not of it. He tells us that we are to do all of this in order to “make the teaching about God our Savior attractive” (Titus 2:10)
In Titus 3, Paul reveals to us how we can actually come to live lives that are a reflection of God’s kingdom in a world wrapped up in sin and darkness. Titus 3:5 says “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” Paul is clear- we are not saved because of any good works that we have done or will ever do. However, it is through Christ’s redemptive power in us that we are then able to perform good works. As Christians, we don’t live in the old ways of sin that we once lived in. We put those ways behind us through the power of Christ in us. The mark of a believer is living in the righteousness that Jesus provides. Our lives should reflect the goodness and righteousness of God our savior. This chapter tells us that we have been renewed by the Holy Spirit- let’s live like it!!
Paul goes on to say that because of our assurance of salvation through Christ’s mercy, we have “confident expectation of eternal life” (verse 7). We now get to live with an eternal perspective! We don’t have to get caught up in the pettiness, materialism, or comparison of this world, because we have our eyes fixed on Heaven. Filtering everything we say, do, and think through the lense of eternity changes the way we live. It affects the way we interact with people, the way we serve, give, and steward finances, the way we handle conflict, where we spend our time, and how we share the gospel.
This is how we can live lives marked by righteousness: We continue to keep our eyes fixed on eternity by the renewal of the Holy Spirit. Because we have been saved by the mercy of Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit in us allows us to live with an eternal focus. It allows us to take our eyes off of the fleeting treasures, desires, and whims of this earthly world so we can walk in the good works that the Father has prepared in advance for us (Ephesians 2:10).
- What is one way that you are allowing yourself to be renewed by the Holy Spirit daily?
- In what aspects of your daily life are you more focused on the earthly rather than the eternal? Write these down and share them with someone today.
- How does keeping an eternal perspective change how frequently you share the Gospel?
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