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2014.Aug.
30 Sat
 
A Trustworthy Saying
[ Titus 3:1 - 3:8 ]
 
1. Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,
2. to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.
3. 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.
4. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,
5. 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,
6. whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7. so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
8. 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.
 

Reflection
The Purpose of Grace (3:1–7)
It is easy to focus on the imperatives given by Paul in the first two verses. But if we focus only on the imperatives, we would be misreading and misunderstanding Pauls point. Although Paul gives a number of commands in the first two verses, he gives the reason as to why we should obey these commands in the next few verses: because we have been saved—not by our works, but by grace alone. If we read even more carefully, we notice that this grace has another purpose: to make us heirs. In other words, God has saved us—not because we were righteous and holy, but in order to make us righteous and holy. Salvation is a gift despite our sinfulness, not a reward for our self-righteousness.

The Response Caused by Grace (3:8)
Paul exhorts Titus to continue to stress (or speak confidently/insist on) the things in the Gospel because the Gospel should be the reason why people do good works (v. 8). He argues that people should not be doing good works in order to receive something like a reward, but in response to what they have already received: grace through the life and work of Jesus Christ. The verse concludes by saying that these things —the Gospel, not the good works—are excellent and profitable. Good works in and of themselves are not excellent and profitable; only when they are a response  to grace are they excellent and profitable.

Application
- Is your confidence and comfort based upon your works or in the work of Christ? Remember that God did not save you because you were righteous and holy, but in order to make you righteous and holy.

- Are you trying to please God in order to receive something? Remember that you have received everything you need in Christ and the Gospel. Instead of trying to receive, respond to this grace!

A Letter to
God
Father God, thank you that my salvation is not because I am holy and righteous, but because in Christ and by the ministry of the Holy Spirit, You want me to be holy and righteous. May I look not to my works, but to the work of Christ. In His name. Amen.
 
 
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