Titus 3

This devotional is written by Trissie Coleshaw.

Titus 3

Saved in order to do good
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle towards everyone.

3 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. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, 5 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, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 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.

9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11 You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.

Final remarks
12 As soon as I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, because I have decided to winter there. 13 Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way and see that they have everything they need. 14 Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.

15 Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith.

Grace be with you all.


Perhaps one of the most remarkable and consistent elements of Paul’s Epistles is that in spite of the persecution he and the disciples experienced wherever they went to spread the Gospel, his instruction to Christians is still to live harmoniously within the prevailing cultural settings in which they find themselves cast as outsiders. In the letter to Titus, educating the eponymous Bishop of Crete on how to guide the community, this model of Christian civilisation is made crystal clear:

“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.” (Titus 3:1-2)

What an incredible message of forbearance. How remarkable for a community whose Messiah has been murdered and whose leading voices are vilified, tortured and abused, to attempt such a radical stance of tolerance. How humbling is it to know that God still wants to speak peace to humanity through Paul and the Church, even after everything humankind has done? And how stunning, how heart-mending of all is it to consider that as the body of Christ, our pursuit of a peaceful life of caring for one another and of devoting ourselves ‘to what is good’ (Titus 3:14) in turn embodies God’s forbearing and steadfast love for us?

The letter to Titus reminds us that our conditions do not have to be perfect in order for God’s provision to thrive in our lives. Through Paul’s work and through the pioneering saints such as Titus and all those who have come after him, God has consistently taken root in hostile territory with the intention to rebirth and renew. Take a moment, therefore, to acknowledge all the times where your life—or maybe just the thoughts in your head—have felt like hostile territory. Perhaps this is even true for you right now. Acknowledge them, and offer them to God for healing. Remind yourself that just as the Lord built His church from an empty grave, so does He always come to rescue the souls of you and I from frightening places. Ask the Lord to wrap you up in the security of His peace, and thank Him also for the goodness He has already shown you. Ours is not a God who desires us to be consumed by the chaos, but a God who shows us we can overcome our challenges by holding onto Him for strength.

Thanks be to God.

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