Pray Psalm 115.1.
Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth.
Read Titus 3.1, 2.
1. What does Paul mean by being “ready” for every good work?
2. How do you see words and deeds working together in these verses?
In chapters 1 and 2 Paul reminded Titus to maintain sound doctrinal instruction in the churches on Crete, and to encourage mutual instruction and edification among the members of the Body of Christ. Now he turns his focus on the end product of such teaching: The followers of Christ are to embody the fruit of sound doctrine in lives of good works.
Paul paints with a broad brush in these first two verses. Believers must make ready for good works in their minds and hearts. They must employ their tongues as well as their relational skills in showing the goodness of God to others. And they must work to ensure proper social and ecclesiastical order by submitting to legitimate authorities, whether in home, church, or state. In these verses Paul gestures toward the inward and outward horizons of a believer’s calling to do good works – from within the recesses of his heart and mind to the far reaches of all his relationships, roles, and responsibilities.
We remind ourselves that Paul’s purpose in writing this brief letter was to ensure that the churches on Crete would be orderly (1.5). The Greek word relates to “reform” or “reformation”. There were churches on Crete because Paul and Titus had planted them. But they lacked proper order because they needed elders to teach and oversee the flock, and to lead, equip, and encourage each member to take his or her place in the work of mutual edification and accountability.
But the churches would not finally be in order until the members began to live out their witness for Christ, leading with good works from the heart to every sector and person in their lives. Paul’s repeated insistence, from the end of chapter 2 into chapter 3, on the importance of good works emphatically makes the point that proper order in a church is only achieved when the church’s lived witness is evident throughout the community to which it is called.
1. The Christian faith extends even to our public and vocational responsibilities. How is that apparent in these verses?
2. Does being “subject” to authorities mean we never challenge, question, disagree, or even refuse to follow them? Explain.
3. Why is showing humility to all people so important? What can keep us from realizing this objective?
If what the emperor or leader orders is good, follow the will of him who orders. But if it is evil and is contrary to God, answer to it from the words of the Acts of the Apostles, “it is more important to obey God than men.” Jerome (347-420), Commentary on Titus
Lord, I pray for our governing authorities today, that they might serve the purposes of Your goodness and truth. And I pray that I may…
Pray Psalm 115.1-3.
Why should people doubt the existence of God, when we, His people, are daily living out His glory in good works of love? Pray that God will give you specific opportunities to glorify His Name in good works today.
Sing Psalm 115.1-3.
Psalm 115.1-3 (Plainfield: Nothing But the Blood of Jesus)
Not to us, O God, not us, but unto Your Name give glory!
For Your love and faithfulness, ever to Your Name be glory!
Why should the nations cry, "Where is their God on high?"
You rule us, Lord, on high: Ever to Your Name be glory!
T. M. Moore
What are church leaders supposed to do in leading the Lord’s flock? Our workbook, Shepherding God’s Flock, will show you how to bring effective pastoral ministry and disciple-making into the everyday life of your church. Order your copy by clicking here.
If you value Scriptorium as a free resource for your walk with the Lord, please consider supporting our work with your gifts and offerings. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).