The Church As It’s Supposed To Be: Titus 3:1-15
This is a continuation of our series "The Church As It Was Supposed To Be"
Sound Doctrine and Good Works Titus 3:1-15
1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, 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. 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 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, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. 9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. 14 And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful. 15 All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.
In this last chapter of Titus, right in the middle (V. 5), is the heart of the saving gospel. We are not saved by “works of righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” God saves us, regenerates our dead hearts and renews our broken lives, giving us great hope and a joy in Christ. He does this so that we can “Devote” ourselves to good works. The good works here (V. 14) are the good works of helping those in need, reminding us of the parable of the Good Samaritan. We saw there that the work isn’t what saves anyone, but it defined who we help as anyone in need, not just our own tribe. Too often, the church is known for its in-fighting and quarrels, and Paul is telling the Church (Us) to stop that, and turn to what the Church is called to do; preach the gospel, and be devoted to helping those in need.
Questions For Study
- What does it mean to be saved by God’s Mercy? What is mercy?
- What is “regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit?”
- What does one who is regenerated look like?
- What can you and Anchor do to improve in this area?