Titus 3 (ESV)
Be Ready for Every Good Work
Martin Luther on the book of Titus: “This is a short Epistle, but such a quintessence of Christian doctrine, and composed in such a manner that it contains all that is needful for Christian knowledge and life.”
Let us not for a moment think we are better than anyone else! Only because God has graciously worked in our lives are we any different today! Remembering this work of God builds four things in us.
- First, gratitude for how God changed us.
- Second, humility as we see that it was His work that changed us.
- Third, kindness to others in the same place.
- Finally, faith that God can change those who are still in that place.
from This Day with the Master,
by Dennis F. Kinlaw
BEFORE AND AFTER
God not only wants to forgive us; he wants to regenerate us, make us new creatures. Forgiveness is the first step. It removes the things that alienate us from each other. God forgives our offenses against him and forgets them. Then when we turn to God, we are not afraid or loaded with guilt. But he wants to do more. He wants to transform us to fit us for a future very different from our past.
Forgiveness and regeneration are like two sides of the same coin. They cannot be separated. Salvation is more than a change of record. It is a change of us. It deals with our sin, the bent within our nature that causes us to commit our sins. It affects who we are as well as what we do. Paul makes this clear as he writes to his understudy Titus. Notice his language: “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of pleasures” (Titus 3:3). Christians have a past of which they cannot boast, but it does not determine their future. Paul is clear: “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us” (Titus 3:4-5). The change is a washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. We now have a new life as well as a new relationship to God. And that new life is God’s life within us.
My present, therefore, is different from my past. It is as different as the sources from which the before and after come. The before had its source in a”me” empty of him. The after has its source in the very life of God that now lives within me. Small wonder that there is a difference.
“Do not confuse justification and sanctification. Sanctification is the process whereby God makes the believer more and more like Christ. Sanctification may change from day to day. Justification never changes. When the sinner trusts Christ, God declares him righteous, and that declaration will never be repealed.”–Warren W. Wiersbe
It is no small thing to try to understand this idea: that God loves us, and saves us, by the suffering of Christ on the cross, so that our sins can be forgiven and we can live kindly, gracious lives, according to the compassion and mercy that God has already shown us. “Thank you” seems somehow not a strong enough response. HERE is “Worthy Is the Lamb” from Darlene Zschech and Hillsong.
“It is much easier to discuss theological questions than to be kind and considerate and helpful at home, or efficient and diligent and honest at work.”
OF MINOR IMPORTANCE
from Morning and Evening
by Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Avoid foolish controversies.
Our days are few and are far better spent in doing good than in disputing over matters that are, at best, of minor importance. The old scholars did a world of mischief by their incessant discussion of subjects of no practical importance; and our churches suffer too often from petty wars over obscure points and unimportant questions.
After everything has been said that can be said, neither party is any the wiser, and therefore the discussion promotes neither knowledge nor love, and it is foolish to sow in so barren a field.
Questions about issues on which Scripture is silent, on mysteries that belong to God alone, on prophecies of doubtful interpretation, and on mere modes of observing human ceremonials are all foolish, and wise men avoid them.
There are, however, some questions that are the reverse of foolish, which we must not avoid but fairly and honestly meet, such as these: Do I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? Am I renewed in the spirit of my mind? Am I walking not after the flesh but after the Spirit? Am I growing in grace? Does my behavior adorn the doctrine of God my Savior? Am I looking for the coming of the Lord and watching as a servant should who expects his master? What more can I do for Jesus?
Final Instructions and Greetings
Grace be with you all.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.