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 always to be gentle toward everyone.
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.
As soon as I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, because I have decided to winter there. Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way and see that they have everything they need. Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.
Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith.
Grace be with you all.
It’s not known for sure when Paul wrote Titus, whether it was after his arrest in Jerusalem or after he was released the first time from prison, but it’s interesting that in this final portion of this short letter, he reminds Titus to obey authorities, be peaceable and slander no one. He had seen, indeed had been the authority at one time, and knew the brutal and arrogant acts of the Romans and Jewish religious leaders.
Its hard for a free people who have until the recent past, known a government by the people, of the people, for the people to read something like this and take it to heart, especially when government and much authority of the world is so corrupt. And yet, like many things in the timeless Word, so many people don’t consider the admonition from men like Paul and Peter, regarding obedience, suffered and were martyred under a repressive and evil empire. The Emperors believed themselves to be gods. They had ultimate authority because they were the ultimate authority . Sound familiar? And they did whatever they wanted while subjecting their regional peasants to repressive rules. I know, redundant, but sound familiar? There was no respect for, even conscious thought of the majority of Jews and non Romans from the authorities, and yet, Christians were taught to obey and respect authority.
I don’t mean for this to be a political commentary but this portion of Paul’s letter is eerily similar to our society now. I know Christians are supposed to love one another, encourage and fellowship, but we’re also told reprove each other, sharpening and helping each other by holding each other accountable, so we will be proven excellent when Jesus comes back.
Paul reminds Titus of what they, we, were before being saved by the grace and sacrifice of Jesus; We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen so much of this behavior even among Christians when it comes to politics. In trying to remind fellow Christians that instead of focusing on the temporary worldly problems of politics, be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good, we find that they prefer political arguments instead of spending time sharing, praying, and fellowship with fellow believers. It must have been so much the same back in the days of the early church, especially before the destruction of Jerusalem.
We know patriotism existed in the Jewish society- from the religious leaders, to protect the leadership and the temple, the traditions was paramount. The fact that many rejected Jesus as Messiah is because the Jews were looking for someone to overthrow the Empire and bring Israel back to it’s former glory. When Jesus talked about His kingdom being not of this world… well, that was unpatriotic and no kind of leader they were looking for. I gotta ask again, sound familiar?
There is nothing wrong with patriotism. God had given His chosen people an amazing land, worthy of pride. But over centuries of disobedience, ignoring God who gave, and gave and gave so much by what the children of Israel wanted- Himself, judges, prophets, kings… they took it all for granted and followed other paths. Thereby losing a little bit here, and a little bit there until they lost it all together. Even now, the land that is Israel is not even half of what it once was.
People put patriotism in country though, before God and that’s where the problems rise. God has given such blessings on our land and people too, for over 200 years. Yet over time, people grew proud and forgot God, taking Him and freedom for granted, and ended up losing a little here, a little there, until… yeah. We kicked God out, just like the children of Israel did.
As in the times of Paul and this instructional letter to Titus, Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.
Time is growing short. I have no idea what God has in mind for America, but right now, it’s looking like it’s going to be pretty bleak. I have to wonder as I see the edicts coming from the White House this past week of Biden/Harris’s first week, that God has indeed taken His hand of protection away from our country. By looking at how He dealt with Israel, I see so many parallels to how things are going in our time. Looking prophetically, it’s easy to see so many things that will be able to happen without a strong and Godly America in the picture.
Whatever time table God is operating His plans on is up to Him, but we can have an idea of things from Scripture. Whether America is under judgement, or God revives our nation once more is up to Him, all we can do is trust Him no matter what. But no matter what, we need to put away the behaviors we once had, and strive to be more like Jesus. We must decrease in our worldly behaviors, so that He can increase in our lives as true Christ followers. Jesus didn’t involve Himself in politics and arguments, and neither did His disciples, because they knew that those who are in power are there because God puts them there for His purposes, and in this world, it’s all temporary. Our home is not of this world, so why should we continue to behave as Jesus never saved us from it?
This was not the way I intended to end this short bible study, but I just couldn’t see anything more than what I saw in Paul’s words here. Considering the trials that he and the others would be facing, which they knew as followers of Jesus they would be, I can’t help but do as they did, and hope that Christians will realize that this world, including our country is going to get a whole lot more hostile towards us, and we need each other now more than ever before. I know it’s not pleasant to think about, but I pray folks will think about it, even if they disagree. Christians world wide know the unpleasantness of the principalities of this world have towards them, we need to learn it too so we can fix our hearts, minds and souls solely on Jesus.
Next week we’ll begin a new study on Ephesians. Have a blessed day all.