10. Reflective Lives: Titus
As citizens of God’s kingdom, what does our behavior tell the world about our King?
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
God uses his people to draw the world to him. Have you observed this in your own story of faith? Were you compelled to follow Jesus because of another Christian in your life?
How we live as followers of Christ is deeply significant because we have the opportunity to reflect our savior to a world who does not know him! This is what the Apostle Paul’s letter to Titus is all about.
Titus was a co-worker of Paul’s, commissioned to the city of Crete to lead a network of house churches towards spiritual maturity. The Cretans were struggling to live lives that reflected God. Some were engaging in drunkenness and sexual promiscuity just like the non-Christians around them. Others were adhering to religious legalistic practices and forgetting God’s grace. Paul says of the Cretans, “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him (Titus 1:16).” Paul wants the Cretan Christians’ lives to be characterized by their faithfulness to God, rich with good works and rooted in grace.
Paul admonishes the church to show who Jesus is through how they live. God will not look compelling to the world when God’s people do not look compelling.
In his letter, Paul breaks down the work that needs to be done:
The corrupt leaders must be confronted, and new, spiritually mature leaders who can edify the church body should be appointed.
Older men and women should possess integrity and self-control to set an example for younger people.
Younger men and women should focus on loving their families well.
All should live as respectable citizens, submitting to rulers and authorities and living at peace with others to be above reproach in their community.
The actions of God’s people are important because the world is watching! When Christians both obey God’s commands and live lives that uphold the dignity of their neighbors and city, the beauty of the Gospel is put on display for everyone!
As citizens of God’s kingdom, we must think through what our behavior tells the world about our king:
Does the way we treat the people in our lives reflect the love and forgiveness God has shown us?
What do our daily decisions, such as how we dress or organize our schedules, say to others about our values as followers of Christ?
Are our attitudes in our families, schools, and workplaces reflective of the hope we have in Christ?
Paul reminds the Cretan Christians that the Gospel is the only source of empowerment to live transformed lives. He says, “[Jesus] gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds (Titus 2:14).” Paul is reminding Christians that Jesus gave his life to save them from their sin and to equip them to walk in the path of good works. He reminds Christians of who they are in Christ: new people, washed clean from their sin; heirs that will inherit a glorious eternal life! These realities motivate us to live for Christ and point others to him!
RESPOND: Take a moment to ask God to help you live in light of the Gospel, that your life might reflect who God is to the world.