Christian behavior is essential to Christian life

By 
Jim Squires
Sunday, September 18, 2022
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The Christian life requires a proper understanding of doctrine and obedient action. It requires: A pattern of Christian living.

The thrust of Titus 3:10 is clear; we must have a belief that behaves. It is not enough to appreciate right doctrine: it must be adorned (NKJV) or made attractive (NIV) by the lives of believers (v. 10). The word “adorn” is one used in arranging jewels to set off their full beauty (Guthrie, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries).

So, Titus is instructed to urge all the different groups within the church to proper behavior. Paul contrasts two ways of living in verses 12-14: the former lifestyle of the believers on Crete and the godly manner of living to which he is calling them.

His description of these two lifestyles offers us a good check list for our actions and attitudes today.

Why this emphasis on behavior? Because that is the very reason for our redemption (v. 14). Is this reason as prominent in our thinking as it evidently is in God’s? Jesus Christ, the great God and Savior (v. 13), gave himself to rescue us from all iniquity and to create for himself a people eager to do good.

God has given us all we need to renounce evil and to be the embodiments of his goodness and kindness (3:4): “the cleansing power of a new birth and the renewal of the Holy Spirit” (3:5, Phillips). Justified, and heirs of eternity, we can concentrate — Paul says it again — on a life of goodness (3:8).

With this emphasis, Paul ends one of the last letters he wrote, asking Titus to join him at Nicopolis on the Adriatic Coast of northern Greece. It is quite possible that he was arrested in this city and sent to Rome for his final trial and execution.

Paul begins with the conduct of older women: Teach younger women to love their husbands, love their children, be sensible - having the mind under control, be pure, be domestic or one who keeps a home. The home is to be the focal point of her life. She can work outside the home, provided the home remains the focal point of her life, be kind, maintain a quiet spirit, a desire to serve, a desire to care for the needs of others, be submissive to her husband. The younger women are to learn these qualities so that the Word of God will not be dishonored.

Paul then addresses the conduct of younger men (vs. 6-8). They are to be self-controlled.

Titus is instructed to be an example or model of good deeds. Pure or sincere in doctrine — showing belief and conviction. Dignified, showing reverence for God’s Word — a holy dignity. One who uses sound speech based on the Word of God. One who cannot be condemned by an opponent of the gospel based on Titus’ manner of life.

Then Paul turns to Christian conduct of slaves (vs. 9-10). They are to be submissive to their masters, obedient to their masters, well pleasing to the master, agreeable — not argumentative, honest — not one who steals or misuses the master’s goods, loyal and faithful to the master, do such in order that Christianity will be adorned and attractive to the master.

Then Paul turns to the theological basis for the Christian life in Titus 2:11-13. The point is that The Grace of God constrains Christians to live godly. Note that living righteously will not earn for us salvation. Living righteously is a Christian’s response to the grace which God has already shown through Jesus.

God’s grace expressed itself in the coming of Jesus into the world. “Has appeared” –— the verb tense indicates a past action with continuing effects.

Conclusion: God’s riches came at Christ’s expense. Thus, bringing of salvation to all men who will trust and obey. Christ’s appearing was point action, but grace was, and continues to be, an ongoing work of God.

Jim Squires preaches at the Church of Christ in Glendive. Jim can be reached at csquires@midrivers.com

 

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