Readings Titus 1-3
Have you ever studied the behavior of a moth like this?
Neither have I. Human behavior is more our expertise.
We are good at producing all sorts of behavior!
Dear behavior experts,
Were you ever called a “good little do-bee”? Seems like some people today pride themselves on never being in “danger” of being called that. I know of many professing Christians that are pushing the limits continually, well actually appear to be crossing the limits if you look at Scripture. (Not a bad idea to do, look at Scripture, that is.) It may be that many feel they must do what others are doing to develop friendships to be able to share their faith. However, when you consider that only about 2 percent of Christians are reported to regularly share their faith, you wonder how true, living like others is really a means to share their faith. And is becoming all things to all people to be interpreted as behaving like others?
As we read Paul writing to Titus, we see a different emphasis. (We are reminded elsewhere that we are not to be of the world, but rather in the world.) Paul repeatedly mentions the behavior that is to be evidenced by Titus ( a Christian). This behavior is to be the backdrop of sharing the Gospel. Check out the contrast with the behavior of many professing Christians today. First of all look at what the actions of some unbelievers say as opposed to their words.
Titus 1:15-16 (NIV)
15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.
16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
I am reminded by the old statement, “Actions speak louder than words.”
Now at some positive statements:
Titus 2:4-5 (NIV)
4 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children,
5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
“so that no one will malign the word of God.”
Titus 2:6-8 (NIV)
6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled.
7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness
8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
“so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”
Titus 2:9-10 (NIV)
9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them,
10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.
“so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.”
Titus 2:11-14 (NIV)
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
13 while we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
“It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”
Titus 3:8 (NIV)
8 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.
“so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good.”
Titus 3:14 (NIV)
14 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.
“in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.”
NASB and KJV use the word “unfruitful” in place of “unproductive”. Bearing fruit often speaks of seeing others come to Christ.
So, consider your activity. What should be your behavior consist of?
One major thing to remember. Good deeds never are a basis for our obtaining salvation. They are simply an evidence of it, and a means to share the Gospel, the love of Christ with others.
Titus 3:5-7 (NASB95)
5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Free to serve Him,