Titus 3:1-2 (NIV) 1 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 to show true humility toward all men.
On verses 1-2: One of the big themes of the book of Titus is that Christians are to lead by example as much as by their words. In verses 1 and 2 Paul identifies several characteristics by which Christians can lead by example. How well do you demonstrate these characteristics? For example, are you law-abiding (v1)? Are you quick and ready to do what is good (v1)? Do you slander (speak maliciously about) no one (v2)? Do you get along with others (“peaceable” – v2)? Are you thoughtful and considerate in the way you treat others (v2)? Do you show true humility to everyone you meet (v2)? Which of these characteristics do you especially need to live out more?
Titus 3:3-7 (NIV) 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.
On verses 3-7: One of the best and most beautiful summaries of the Christian faith that you can find in the Bible is right here in these five verses.I encourage you to memorize these verses. Through these five verses we are reminded of the foundational truths called the Gospel:
All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s standards (v3);
Despite our sin, God showed kindness to us, saving us not because of anything righteous we did, but because of his mercy (v4);
God the Father accomplished His saving work in our lives by sending Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins and through the Holy Spirit who works in us to respond to Jesus (v5-6) (By the way, notice how all 3 persons of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – were involved in making our salvation possible);
By God’s undeserved grace, we have been “justified” (v7) – that is, declared righteous and “not guilty” in God’s sight. As a result, we have the hope of eternal life (v7).
Also, once again, for the third chapter in a row, Paul calls God “our Saviour” (v4) and Christ “our Saviour” (v6). It’s the biggest theme in Titus: God is a saving God and the Saviour He has provided to us is His Son Jesus.
Titus 3:8 (NIV) 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.
On verse 8: The “trustworthy saying” Paul is referring to is his summary of the Gospel in verses 3-7. Do you want to be more careful and committed to doing good? If so, as verse 8 says, keep coming back to these foundational Gospel truths that we find in verses 3-7. The more we stress and emphasize these truths in verses 3-7, the more we and those who hear us “will be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good” (v8). So think about and speak about the Gospel often, both to yourself and to others.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the amazing, precious, irreplaceable and incomparable news that though we are sinners who fall short of You, in Your loving kindness You sent Jesus Christ to save us – and this not because we had done anything righteous, but all because of Your mercy. Holy Spirit, thank You for leading me to faith in Jesus Christ every day. May the knowledge of what God so graciously did for me be my motivation to be careful and committed to doing what is good. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!