Monday, October 5, 2015

Titus 3:8

One of the most beneficial things that you can do for others is to believe the word of God. At face value, this truth does not seem perhaps to be as much in the best interests of others as it is in our own interests, but upon further inspection we will see that loving God and obeying His word is one of the most loving things that you can do for others. Knowing that obeying God leads to human flourishing, we should then strive with everything in us to learn the word of God and obey it.
This is the exact point that Paul is making to Titus in Titus 3:8. Paul tells Titus that there is a lifestyle that is “good and profitable unto men.” It was important that Titus not just live a lifestyle that would be beneficial to others, but also that he would “affirm” or teach these things to those around him there in the Cretian churches. This was a continuation of Paul’s instruction in Titus 2:1, “speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.” It was Titus’s job to instruct and teach the truths of God so that the people of God would live in ways that were good and profitable to those around them.
This was in contrast to those who “professed that they know God; but in works they deny him.” (Ti.1:16) These people were trying to convince those around them with their words that they were Christian, but their actions betrayed their true nature. Having failed to obey the word of God, they indicated in their lifestyle that they did not truly believe in God, rather they had simply “professed” that they had believed in God. Instead of becoming a blessing to those around them, they became “abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” The truth of God had failed to sink into their motivations and actions, rather, they simply acknowledged it and assumed that their “Christianity” was good enough.
Now, Paul exhorts Titus to “be careful to maintain good works.” This would be the evidence to those around him of the truth of the word of God. If Titus lived in obedience to the things that God said and commanded, then the world could see plainly that God’s word truly was best. Titus must, “speak evil of no man,” but be “gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.” His life must be marked by right interactions with those around him. His words and his actions would indicate whether or not he truly believed God.
It is hard to convince people around you of a message that you yourself do not believe. If Titus lived the life of the hypocrite, telling people to obey God and follow his word, while all the while disobeying it himself, then there would be no one who would ever come to Christ. In this, we see that our good works and our love for others is one of the greatest tools in evangelism. Instead of being provocative in negative rhetoric, we should be provocative in our love and good works. If we are true believers of the word of God, we must live in ways that are loving and evidence the truth of God to the world around us.

Reflect: Why is it important that Christians live in ways that are loving and gentle?