Today’s reading has us in the final of Paul’s three pastoral letters, the letter to Titus. Titus was a Gentile believer (see Galatians 2:3) who had become a Christ follower through Paul’s ministry (see Titus 1:4). Paul had left Titus in Crete to help the church and also to appoint elders. Chapter two of this short letter gives some specific instructions to different groups of people within the church. Paul addresses the young, the old, men and women as well as slaves in his instructions for how they were to conduct themselves. These were the people who made up the church and were part of the community of Crete.
Paul’s focus in this chapter is that no matter your age, no matter your gender, no matter your position in life, everyone should conduct themselves in such a way that the message of the gospel is not undermined. How different our world would be if every single person who identifies as a Christ follower lived in such a way that their actions matched what they profess to believe. People can be the worst advertisement for Christianity.
In nearly every Starting Point group that I’ve led, at least one person was turned off from the church and having a relationship with Jesus because of what they saw in the life of someone who claimed to be a believer. The world is watching how we live and the stakes are incredibly high. God doesn’t expect perfection out of us, but He does expect us to be working out our faith daily as we wrestle with the sin that is in our lives. The sin is not in the wrestling, it’s in the complacency that allows us to just shrug it off and say, “That’s just how I am.”
Don’t waste the grace that has been given to us:
11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds. Titus 2:11-14
Executive Director of Education and Outreach