One thing that Paul wanted Timothy to remind the Christians is to live by the gospel. What does that mean?
It means that we daily remember the goodness and loving kindness of God toward us. That when we were lost sheep who were far from him, he saved us.
He saved us not because we were good sheep doing good things.
He saved us because of his mercy. He washed us and made us into new people through his Holy Spirit.
And it is because of that grace, we stand justified before him.
What is the result of remembering all this? It fills our hearts with thanksgiving and causes us to want to please him. Paul says,
I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. (8)
Take some time to read all of Titus today (it’s very short), and see how many times that theme of God’s people doing good works is repeated.
But remember: We are not trying to impress God with our good works. We are not trying to prove ourselves to him by these works. We have already been accepted and loved by him.
And when we remember that, we can’t help but want to please our Father.
Do you feel you have to prove yourself worthy to God? To your pastor? To your parents? To others?
That’s not living by the gospel. To live by the gospel is to rest and rejoice in the love and grace of our Father.
If you have constantly feel you have to prove yourself worthy, you’ll eventually get tired and worn out. If you rest in the Father’s grace and love, pleasing your Father will be your joy.
How about you? Are you living by the gospel?