We covered the first part of Titus 3 in the last blog, but because it connects with what we’re talking about today, I might as well put it all together.
Again in verse 1, he talks about how we are to obey those in authority, and then he says in verse 2 that we are to,
slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.
It’s easy sometimes for Christians to become uncharitable or judgmental towards unbelievers because of their sinful actions. But Paul says we are not to slander them, but are rather to be peaceable and considerate, showing them true humility. The last, I think is especially important. As Christians, we are to be humble and gentle with them in their failings. Why?
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. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 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, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. (3-7)
In short, we were no different from unbelievers before we became Christians. We too did stupid things, we sinned, and were in fact slaves to sin. God didn’t save us because we were better than the rest of the people around us. Rather, he saved us because of his mercy. And he showed kindness and love to us when we didn’t deserve it by sending his Son to die for us.
Now God has made us new creations through his Holy Spirit who he has poured into our hearts. And now because of all he has done for us, we are made righteous in his sight and we have the hope of eternal life as his adopted children.
So there’s no room for pride as Christians. And we are not to look down on those who are “unholy.” Rather we are to reach out to them with the same love that God showed us.
At the same time, as I mentioned in the last blog, there’s no room for license when it comes to sin if we are Christians.
We are no longer the same. We’ve been washed by the blood of Jesus. We’ve been made new creatures in him. How then can we go back to a life of sin and the things that were destroying us?
And so Paul says,
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. (8)
Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives. (14)
So while there’s no room for pride in our own righteousness, there is no room for license either.
Even in Paul’s day, he faced both problems. He faced those who proud of how “righteous” they were by keeping the law and those who were proud of their Jewish pedigree. And he faced those who argued that they could live however they wanted to. (9)
But concerning both, Paul said,
Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. (10-11)
How about you? Do you live in pride, thinking you’re so much better than others? Remember you were not saved because of who you are or what you did. You were saved because of who God is and what he did.
Are you living a life of license? You were saved that you might be free from that. That you might become completely new and find true life and joy, not the counterfeit this world offers.
How are you living?