Encouragement to do good
We have been walking through one the most clear and concise explanations in the entire Bible of what the Christian life is all about. With that said, it is beneficial for us to step back and read Paul’s statement in its entirety. Read slowly, and let these words resonate:
Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Statements like these are worth committing to memory. I highly encourage you to do so. In times of trouble, or even in those moments waiting for the stoplight to turn green, being able to remind ourselves of God’s plan can breathe life back into us.
Paul also wanted Titus to remind the Cretan believers of these things:
Titus 2:15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
The root word for encourage means to call, invite, or summon…but the strength of the call depends on the one who is making the call. Friends invite, Kings summon. As a representative for the Apostle Paul, Titus would be in a position to greatly encourage and exhort the Cretan believers to live in a way that reflects their faith in Christ. They would need encouragement and correction to live differently from their past, a life that would be different from the cultural around them. Paul instructs Titus to use the authority he has to spur the people on to do what is good.
Paul ends this section of the letter detailing some practical ways that the Cretans could live the lives God has called them to:
Titus 3:1-2 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.
Once again, we see Paul’s emphasis to Titus – to have the Cretan believers focus on doing good. That is where they will be challenged by the surrounding culture, but that is exactly the area where are going to grow.
God has done good towards us, even when we did not deserve it. Now it is up to the Cretan believers to mimic God to their countrymen. It will be challenging to do so…but it is the hard things that make us grow up and mature.