In our study of Titus chapter three, we will look at the fact that being a light in this dark world requires learning and work on our part. In chapter two, we saw that the church should be sound in the Word of God. This begins with the leadership as we saw in the first chapter and now we will see how the Word of God causes us to be active in our faith.
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Remind people to submit to the government and its officials, to obey them, to be ready to do any honorable kind of work, to slander no one, to avoid quarrelling, to be friendly, and to behave gently towards everyone.
Paul tells the leaders that they must remind the people of the things of God and to put them into practice. They are put into practice by humbling ourselves which means putting the needs of everyone else above our own.
For at one time, we too were foolish and disobedient, deceived and enslaved by a variety of passions and pleasures. We spent our lives in evil and envy; people hated us, and we hated each other.
How do we humble ourselves? We remember that we once were the same as the other people that are living in the flesh. When this simple fact is forgotten, then, the devil can use pride to cause division.
But when the kindness and love for mankind of God our Deliverer was revealed, he delivered us. It was not on the ground of any righteous deeds we had done, but on the ground of his own mercy.
Yeshua showed up to save us because of the fact that he is love. We all deserved punishment but instead were given love.
He did it by means of the mikveh of rebirth and the renewal brought about by the Ruach HaKodesh, whom he poured out on us generously through Yeshua the Messiah, our Deliverer. He did it so that by his grace we might come to be considered righteous by God and become heirs, with the certain hope of eternal life.
This is a simple description of our salvation as Paul describes the fact that we are made a new creation through the Spirit. We were made right with God because of the gift of his son and brought into his family. As members of the family, we are heirs with Yeshua Messiah of all the things of God including eternal life. These are the simple facts that we are to remember and by doing so we will remain humble and productive.
You can trust what I have just said, and I want you to speak with confidence about these things, so that those who have put their trust in God may apply themselves to doing good deeds. These are both good in themselves and valuable to the community.
How do we become sanctified (holy)? We see that the Spirit of God uses the word of God to make us ready for service by God. It seems that, in the local "churches" of America, the leaders are constantly begging the congregation to volunteer for something or to get involved with something. It has even been said that 20% of the people in the local body do all of the work. Why is that? The simple answer is that, in most cases, the people are not being taught that "being the light" involves sanctification of the believer.
But avoid stupid controversies, genealogies, quarrels and fights about the Torah; because they are worthless and futile.
To be productive in our walk with the Lord, we need to stay away from all of the little points of the law that bring about all of the denominational divisions. It seems that the body of believers is more divided than ever because of the smallest of points of doctrine. This is, in fact, the devil at work and his goal is to hinder the effectiveness of the church.
Warn a divisive person once, then a second time; and after that, have nothing more to do with him. You may be sure that such a person has been perverted and is sinning: he stands self-condemned.
These are strong words but Paul uses them because of the fact that he knows how dangerous legalism is to the faith. When he says "divisive person" he is talking about someone who wants to argue about a certain point of the law. What he is saying is that, if we remember that we are under grace and not the law, then the finer points of religious law are not important to us. If they are that important to someone else, then that person is putting their trust in obedience to the law and not the grace of God. If that is where they are putting their trust, then they are already condemned by their own heart and there is no need for us to argue with them. Our job is not to save people but to tell them the truth and so we can tell them where they are wrong in their thinking and our job is done.
When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you. Do your best to come to me in Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Do your best to help Zenas the Torah expert and Apollos with their arrangements for travelling, so that they will lack nothing. And have our people learn to apply themselves to doing good deeds that meet genuine needs, so that they will not be unproductive.
Paul gives some final personal instructions to Titus and we see that his desire is for believers to work together for the kingdom. He tells them that they must focus on the things of God and work for the kingdom and that is for us today as well.
All who are with me send you greetings. Give our greetings to our friends in the faith. Grace be with you all.
Paul reminds us that we are the family of God and we should greet each other in a proper way. We do not ignore another part of the body of Messiah but, as we saw in the previous passage, we all work together. We all are saved by grace and so are the same in his eyes.