Lord, help me understand the gospel in a fresh way. Help me continue to develop a deeper understanding of what You did for me when You sent Your Son to die for my sins. Build in me habits and patterns of good works that are both excellent and profitable. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Read Titus 3
Titus 3:1–8 Paul began Titus 3 by asking Titus to remind the church that members of the body of Christ are to be ready for every good work. We should speak evil of no one, avoid quarreling, and show courtesy to all people. Once again, it’s all about the gospel. We weren’t always capable of this. We were foolish and disobedient. Yet God, rich in mercy, sent His Son Jesus to renew us through the power of the Holy Spirit so we might be saved. Through the grace of God, we can live differently than we once lived. Paul was careful to communicate that true salvation will produce changed lives and changed behavior. Doing what’s right and good is excellent and profitable for everyone. It’s what the church needs.
Titus 3:9–11 Paul didn’t stop there. Right before closing this letter, he took time to make it clear that after salvation we can choose behaviors that are either excellent and profitable or unprofitable and worthless. Foolish controversies and arguments are worthless. Dissensions and quarrels about the Law are worthless. We’re told to have nothing to do with a person who has been warned yet continues to stir up division because this behavior is warped and sinful. There’s just too much at stake.
4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,5he 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,6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.
- We’ve now read Paul’s entire letter to Titus. We see Paul, a church planter, pouring out his heart and giving counsel to a young fellow minister. Paul’s message is consistent and clear. God has granted us salvation through His Son and this salvation must bring change to the life and character of believers. Our character will directly reflect upon the Word of God and whether or not sound doctrine will be passed down through the church.
- Salvation changes us. Because of God’s grace in our lives and through holding fast to sound doctrine, the body of Christ should learn to do good deeds. Through both theological truth and the changed character of God’s people, God’s name is shown to be great and the Word of God is shown to be beautiful.
- Paul tells Titus that Christians can learn to devote themselves to good works. These habits and lifestyles can be developed and encouraged through the church. This is extremely encouraging news. What can you do this week, as a member of the body of Christ, to disciple or mentor another believer to learn to do good deeds? What is a specific good deed or character trait that you could encourage someone to learn or develop?