By: Daniel Goepfrich
Godly Living Towards Unbelievers
Titus 3 concludes this short letter with two more exhortations to godly living. Building on the practical situations from chapter two, which were focused on our actions toward fellow believers, the first few verses of chapter three show that this extends to unbelievers and even governing officials as well (Titus 3:1-2). It seems that part of Paul’s normal teaching was that Christians are not to be trouble-makers in this world. Instead, by praying for our governing officials and living out our increasing godliness, we will often enjoy peaceful, tranquil lives (1 Thessalonians 4:9-12; 1 Timothy 2:1-4).
The reason for this lifestyle was always the result and reflection of God’s salvation and grace that we have received (Titus 3:3-7). “FOR WE TOO WERE ONCE” like the godless world around us, but “THE KINDNESS OF GOD OUR SAVIOR” came through Jesus and changed us thoroughly. Because we have the message that the same salvation is offered to all people, we who are saved are to model what God’s grace can do in a person’s life, even to the confident hope we have both now and into eternity.
Right Learning Produces Right Living
Titus 3:8 again ties godly living to sound Christian doctrine (Titus 3:8-11). If we truly believe God’s Word and submit to it as the final authority in our lives, it should be obvious by our obedience. Arguing over non-essentials, even among believers but especially with unbelievers, does more harm than good and encouraging a believer in his or her ungodly living by overlooking it is wrong. Bad behavior should be pointed out, in love, for the purpose of repentance and restoration to the local fellowship (see Galatians 6:1-2). Even in his final greeting, Paul gave a perfect example of how the Christians under Titus’ care can help their fellow believers (Titus 3:12-15).
This short letter is a wonderful reminder that right living can only come from, and should be the natural result of, right learning. Doctrine drives practice, so it is essential for Christians to know Christian truth so we can practice Christian life.
Each Thursday DPH runs a Chapter-by-Chapter blog by Daniel Goepfrich, progressing readers chapter-by-chapter through the New Testament. This series is taken from New Testament Chapter-by-Chapter, published by Trust House Publishers, a division of DPH. Daniel serves as Pastor of Oak Tree Community Church in South Bend, Indiana, and blogs at www.TheologyIsForEveryone.com
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