IV. Christian Behavior and Good Works toward Others (Titus 3:1-11)
IV. Christian Behavior and Good Works toward Others (3:1-11)
3:1-3 The apostle urges the Christians in Crete to submit to rulers and authorities. This is a hard bit of instruction, but government officials, employers, and any other persons of authority should be the recipients of our every good work (3:1). In the end, Christians are serving God in all they do, and he is always watching our motives and actions. When we cheat the time clock at work, we are really cheating God himself—and giving the world a poor reflection of our Master.
As we live, Paul wants us to remember where we came from. We are to show gentleness to all people because God showed the same to us when we were foolish, disobedient, deceived (3:2-3). Believers are often tempted to look down their noses at unbelievers—forgetting that they too were once lost.
3:4-7 God displayed his kindness and love for us by giving us a merciful washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit (3:4-5). We were soiled and stained, and God cleaned us up. None of this was due to our works of righteousness but simply his mercy (3:5). And mercy doesn’t stop there. We are now heirs, sons and daughters of the King, with the hope of eternal life (3:7). So live like a royal heir and make his kingdom vision your own.
3:8 Kingdom men and women are to devote themselves to good works. Good works are divinely prescribed actions that benefit others and glorify God (see Matt 5:16). Thus, they are good and profitable for everyone. They bless those in the church, and they bless those outside it by giving them an accurate picture of the love and grace of God and his offer of the free gift of salvation (see Eph 2:8-9).
3:9-11 Meanwhile, kingdom men and women are to avoid foolish debates and quarrels (3:9). Few things drive away seekers like church infighting. So Satan loves to encourage selfish strife and division among church members. What should churches do with a divisive person who quarrels about unprofitable and worthless matters? Warn him twice and then reject him (3:10-11).
In essence, Paul is saying, “Keep to the instructions I have given you and devote yourselves to good works toward all people. If it’s not from the sacred Scriptures, then don’t worry yourselves with it.”