Vs 1 Remind them to … be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.
Vs 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures …
Vs 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness …
Vs 8 …I want you to insist on these things … be careful to devote themselves to good works.
Vs 14 … let our people learn to devote themselves to good works …
Paul is giving final thoughts and instructions to Titus on how to lead the new Christians.
He reminds them of who they once were … “foolish, disobedient, led astray …”
He reminds them of why they are like that no longer … “God saved us, not because of works done by us …”
He reminds them of who they are to be … “be ready for every good work …”
Interestingly, Paul states it to Titus twice more in the final paragraphs:
“I insist on these things … Be careful to devote themselves to doo works.”
“Let our people learn to devote themselves to good works”.
Fascinating to me that the guy known most for his theology of grace is so repeatedly adamant about “good works”.
Of course, right in the middle of his repeated demands for good works, Paul makes clear our good works are not what makes us good with God … but grace.
It is the “goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior” that “saves us”.
And I can’t allow this “saved” status to lead to even a hint of self-righteousness.
Paul is incredibly self-aware and fully acknowledges how foolish and disobedient he was.
But living now entails an incredible amount of not just self-awareness, but circumstantial awareness.
And to live this way will require also a consistent intentionality.
I’m stunned at the all-encompassing language of Paul …
“be ready for EVERY good work” … “speak evil of NO ONE” … “show PERFECT courtesy to ALL people”
This requires actually seeing the works around me that are necessary to do!
This requires acknowledging the people around me to show courtesy to!
I can’t live out my Christianity in my own little bubble or aloofness to the world and people around me!
I must have my eyes and ears and mind alert to the circumstances and situations God places me in.
And this does not happen by accident!
Paul uses some distinct language of how I can get to this place of doing the “good works”.
Paul tells us to both:
“Be careful to devote themselves” and “learn to devote themselves” to good works.
I must “be careful” and I must “learn”.
This is distinctly intentional, not accidental.
And Paul says he “insists” on it. He does not take this lightly at all.
What can help me live so intentionally?
Remembering who I used to be … “foolish and led astray”.
And gratitude for who I am now … “saved”.
Thank you, God, for your goodness and loving kindness
Help me to now live out that character
Open me eyes to see those you put around me
Open my mind to know what good works you have for me
Show me how to be careful and teach me to learn to be devoted to good works
In Jesus name