Paul reminds us over and over again that the riches of salvation come from God, not humans (v. 4). By nature man is so self-centered and self-reliant that he finds it difficult to believe that his own efforts and achievements, no matter how praiseworthy, can never save his soul. The basis for our salvation is stated both negatively and positively in these verses. Negatively, we were saved "not by works of righteousness which we have done” but positively “according to His mercy” (v.5). The “we” is emphatic when it says “we” did no works which merited God’s salvation. On the other hand, the “His” makes it emphatic that it is all because of “His” mercy that we can be saved. Two results of our salvation are given, and both of these denote our relationship to Christ (v. 7):
Justified - As someone has stated, “Just as if we had never sinned.”
Made heirs - This is not just a future hope but a present reality.
Then Paul points out the relation between doctrine and conduct. He urges Titus to make sure he teaches so, “they who have believed in God may be careful to maintain good works.” And Paul warns Titus to avoid people who like to argue about unimportant things (v. 9). Why? because they are useless and morally fruitless, hence unworthy of time and serious consideration.
Paul ends his letter with some personal plans and instructions. Though it is not known where Paul was when he wrote this epistle, it is evident that he was planning to spend the winter at Necropolis on the Adriatic coast of Greece (vv. 12-13). He further instructs Titus to meet him there as soon as Artemis or Tychicus arrive. Evidently one of them was to replace Titus on the island of Crete. And he tells Titus to challenge the people to devote themselves to good works.
When was the last time I thanked the Lord for my salvation and told Him that I loved Him? It is so easy to tell others all about Him but neglect to show my appreciation and love to Him. What do I spend your time doing? Is it fruitless or fruitful in light of eternity and what is being accomplished for the cause of Christ? What are some ways I can show to my community that I am a Christian and that I really care about the people around me? As I grow older I need to keep reevaluating how I can be the most productive for the Lord.
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View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »
Titus 1:1-9Qualifications Of a Christian Leader
Titus 1:10-16Don’t Pretend to Be Something You Are Not
Titus 2:1-10Instructions for Every Age and Sex
Titus 2:11-3Made a New Creation in Christ Jesus
Titus 3:4-15How to Show that You are a Christian