Made a New Creation in Christ Jesus

In a small cemetery of a parish churchyard in Olney, England, stands a granite tombstone with this inscription: “John Newton, clerk [pastor], once an infidel and Libertine, a servant of slavers in Africa, was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, preserved, … More

Redeemed

The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all mankind” (v. 11). After salvation it is His desire to continue teaching us, much as a parent does a child (v. 12). In his child training process instruction plays a prom­inent part but every parent knows that the process at times also requires rebuke and chastisement.  The final aim is not creed but character. If Paul thought it possible for the believers on the island of Crete to live “soberly, righteously and godly (v. 12), then surely we can as well.

      When we go through trying circumstances it is only natural for our thoughts to turn to the “blessed hope” when our Lord will come for His own. All of the things we are doing in this life should be done in trying to please the one we are waiting for.

      Paul shares how God redeemed (purchased) (v. 14) us from this evil age (Gal. 1:4) and we are not to conform to it (Rom. 12:1‘2). Since we have tasted of this new life, we should not desire the things of the old life with its shallowness and godlessness. We should be “zealous of good works.”

      Paul concludes this chapter by emphasizing again that Titus must actively put into practice the moral precepts set forth in the preceding verses (v. 15). This means that he must continue to:

“Speak” ‘ The whole truth of the Word of God and not compromise in any area.

“Exhort” ‘ The truth to local circumstances and not slay them with a lot of dry facts.

“Reprove” ‘ Those who neglect their duty and bring conviction upon them for it.

 

As citizens of this world we have obligations to government  (v.10), as well as to the citizens of the state (v. 2). The Christian’s duty is to obey rulers and authorities (v.1) by paying taxes, participating in a census etc. The only limitation upon this obedience is when it involves disobedience to God.

Application

Am I ready and willing to admit that I cannot live the Christian life in my own strength but must call upon the Lord who saved me to keep me from failing Him? What am I doing this week that will have any value when the Lord comes back? Do I need to change any life’s priorities? 

Titus 2:11-3 (English Standard Version)


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