God’s Saving Word: Encouragement
Titus 3:1-15: Titus is told to remind the people in his care to obey the governing authorities and that Christ came to save God’s people. Believers are encouraged to do good deeds and avoid arguing with those who cause divisions within the community.
3 Remind your people to submit to rulers and authorities, to obey them, and to be ready to do good in every way. 2 Tell them not to speak evil of anyone, but to be peaceful and friendly, and always to show a gentle attitude toward everyone. 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, and wrong. We were slaves to passions and pleasures of all kinds. We spent our lives in malice and envy; others hated us and we hated them. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior was revealed, 5 he saved us. It was not because of any good deeds that we ourselves had done, but because of his own mercy that he saved us, through the Holy Spirit, who gives us new birth and new life by washing us. 6 God poured out the Holy Spirit abundantly on us through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that by his grace we might be put right with God and come into possession of the eternal life we hope for. 8 This is a true saying.
I want you to give special emphasis to these matters, so that those who believe in God may be concerned with giving their time to doing good deeds, which are good and useful for everyone. 9 But avoid stupid arguments, long lists of ancestors, quarrels, and fights about the Law. They are useless and worthless. 10 Give at least two warnings to those who cause divisions, and then have nothing more to do with them. 11 You know that such people are corrupt, and their sins prove that they are wrong.
12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me in Nicopolis, because I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Do your best to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos to get started on their travels, and see to it that they have everything they need. 14 Our people must learn to spend their time doing good, in order to provide for real needs; they should not live useless lives.
15 All who are with me send you greetings. Give our greetings to our friends in the faith.
God’s grace be with you all.
Today’s Key Verse: Titus 3:4, 5a
When the kindness and love of God our Savior was revealed, he saved us.
Titus was instructed to remind the people to obey government rules and authorities (verse 1). What are your thoughts about this advice? Verses 4-7 reflect an ancient hymn that may have been part of a baptismal liturgy. What is the hope that is expressed in these verses? How have you experienced God’s kindness and love? How have you experienced new birth and new life?
Kind and loving God, in your mercy you have saved me and given me new birth and new life. By the power of the Holy Spirit, you have washed and cleansed me. By your grace I am put right with you through Jesus Christ my Savior and have been given the hope of eternal life. Amen.
Matthew 5:1-20. Jesus describes a vision of God’s realm.