RESPECTING AUTHORITIES (Titus 13)
READ: Titus 3:1-7
It’s been said that living the Christian life is like riding a bicycle. You are either moving forward of falling off. There is no standing still. Living for Jesus applies to all aspects of life, as Paul is reminding Titus and telling him to remind his people. That includes our relationship with the government and others in positions of leadership over us (Titus 3:1). Titus was commanded to remind the people “to be subject to rulers and authorities” (to obey with respect the government, employers, parents, husbands, pastors and all leaders), “to be obedient” (unless their command is against God’s Word), and “to be ready to do whatever is good” (have a sincere, loving eagerness to serve others). Pastors are to teach this to the people, but first to exemplify it by their lives.
Paul continues reminding us in Titus 3:2 to teach our people “to slander no one” (not curse, treat with contempt or speak evil against even enemies of the church and Jesus, but to speak truth in Christian love), “to be peaceable” (friendly with all, not quarrelsome), “considerate” (gentle, moderate, fair, patient, “and to show true humility toward all men” (not fake but real heartfelt love for others, as Jesus does). In Titus 1, Paul used these same traits as qualifications for church leaders. Now he has applied them to everyone. Leaders are to train the people in these ways. But first, they must have these in their own lives (Titus 1:5-9).
Having spoken about humility in verse 2, Paul reminds them that all of us were unbelievers and lived as they do (Titus 3:3), so we have nothing to brag or boast about. It is only God’s grace in our lives that makes us any different than unbelievers. Salvation isn’t anything we can brag about or take credit for. It’s only by His mercy that He reached out to us with forgiveness (Titus 3:4-6). It is only as His Spirit worked in us that we saw our guilt and need of forgiveness. Only because the Spirit revealed Jesus as the God-man, our Savior, did we turn to Him for salvation. We cannot take any of the credit. It is only His amazing grace that stood between us and eternity in hell. Instead, we will spend eternity in heaven with Him (Titus 3:7). We must show the same compassion to others that God showed to us.
Before we believed, there were thousands of steps between us and God. He took all the steps towards us except the final one. He gives us a free will and won’t force anyone to believe. It’s up to us to take that final step. But we wouldn’t even do that if it weren’t for His Holy Spirit working in us to show us our need and His provision. All praise and glory to Him! How could we ever do anything but reach out in humility, with love and compassion, to those who are now just like we were? Perhaps God, in His mercy, will work through us to open their eyes to the good news of Jesus! (November 6, 2023 Doylestown, PA)
Ephesians 1:3-14 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. … In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.
Take a few moments to quietly pray and think of what life would be like if God had not chosen to work in you to bring you to faith. Thank Him for it.
Apologize for any complaints against God or for taking any credit for what He has done in your life.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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