“For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 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, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 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. You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them. You have the authority to correct them when necessary, so don’t let anyone disregard what you say.”
— Titus 2:11-15
Titus, a friend and co-laborer of Paul, was left in charge of organizing the new converts to Christ on the Island of Crete. At the time this letter from Paul to Titus was written, Crete was known for its incredible diversity in both people groups and moral standards, which made it especially challenging when trying to organize the new church! In fact, some might even compare Crete to a present-day Los Angeles! Think about the comparison though. Los Angeles too has many different people groups, languages, religions, political thoughts, moral beliefs, and the list goes on and on. Now, read this portion of scripture again through those lenses. This actually makes it easier to understand the conflict in Crete and why Paul wrote this letter to Titus, who needed to instruct this diverse group of people in how to live a Christ-centered life, regardless of their background or surroundings.
Paul gives the basics of the Gospel here. The first is that God showed us His grace by sending Christ, who offers salvation to all people. We’ve never done anything to deserve salvation. God in His goodness, and in His desire to be united with us, offers it to every person who will accept it. Secondly, because of His grace, we must live lives that prove we belong to Him! This is two-fold. Christ gave His life, so we could have eternal life with Him in Heaven, but He also made it possible for us to live like He did on Earth. And through the testimony of lives transformed, we can change the world we live in and look forward to the day of His promised return with confidence! And the third thing completes the cycle. We must make disciples and teach others to do the same. Think about this as you go about your day today, “How can I show others that Christ has transformed my life?”
Father, thank you for Your grace. Thank you for the life You have given us. Help us to use every day to point others to You. Give us the strength to lay down our own selfish desires, so we can pursue You and everything You would have for us. Not our will, but Yours alone. We surrender to You and ask that You give us more opportunities to show others how You have transformed us. Let our lives be a source of hope for those around us. All of this for Your glory.
Pastor Kristin Gentry