The Book of Titus: How to Live Righteously
Through Paul’s letter to Titus, he ultimately teaches that salvation through God’s grace enables us to live righteously and godly. The whole premise of Paul’s letter was to encourage Titus to “set things in order” in Crete. The Cretans were living unrighteously and sinful, including the Elders who were also teaching false doctrines. So, Paul so it fit to urge Titus to use his ordained authority to exhort the Cretans on good Christian conduct.
Thus, Paul gave Titus instructions to exhort the Cretans based on three subject areas. First, to show Elders how to conduct themselves to be good stewards of God; secondly, to instruct family members on how to conduct themselves with each other; and thirdly, to maintain good works to be profitable.
In this post, I will talk a little about each of the three chapters and the contents to encourage you to live righteously and godly, navigating this immoral, unrighteous world. Our salvation through God’s grace makes it possible for us to live righteously and godly because we have been regenerated and renewed by the Holy Spirit.
Ordain Elders to be Good Stewards of God
“For a Bishop must be blameless, as the stewards of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre. But, a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate. Holding fast the faithful Word as he hath been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convince the gainsayers.”Titus 1:7-9
The Cretans were not living righteous lives, and neither were the Elders because they were teaching false doctrines and “Jewish fables,” corrupting the believers with the law. Moreover, they were not conducting themselves in a Christ-like manner to be examples for God’s people. So, Paul tells Titus in his letter to “set things in order that are wanting.”
The Cretan Elders’ conduct mirrors that of our spiritual Christian leaders today. We often hear news of Christian leaders living immoral, unrighteous lives and teaching doctrines not in line with God’s Word. Unfortunately, too many believers do not hold their leaders accountable, and instead, condone their behaviours by staying in their churches. But, if believers today would read the Word and ask God for wisdom and understanding, they will be able to hold leaders accountable by God’s Word. But, the problem persists, too many Christians today look to their leaders, and not to God for wisdom and knowledge of the truth.
“In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity. Sound speech that cannot be condemned, that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.Titus 2:7-8
Moreover, Paul tells Titus to use himself as an example of doing good, and in teaching, to show honesty and sincerity, and to speak purely with integrity beyond condemnation. So, that they have nothing negative to say about him, or else they would be ashamed. It’s the same today with Christians, we must be careful about how we approach unbelievers with the Word of God. We must be sure to back up everything we say with scripture and be truthful.
How Families Should Conduct Themselves with Each Other
“That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh to holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children. To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to thier husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.”2:2-5-6
Paul urges Titus to instruct the believers on how family relations should be conducted. That the older men should have self-control and be good-tempered, faithful, loving and patient. The older women must have self-control, be holy and righteous, and teach good things to the young women. As such, they should be pure, keep their homes, and be loving and obedient to their husbands. Finally, that young men should have self-control.
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that denying ungodliness and wordly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”Titus 2:11-12
Furthermore, Paul admonishes Titus to exhort the believers that the grace of God teaches them to live righteously and godly and to denounce sin and worldly lusts. This teaching is also for us today, as we live in a highly immoral, wicked, sinful world, like never before; we also must be diligent to keep our focus on the Lord and live righteously unto Him.
Maintaining Good Works are Profitable
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. That by being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.”Titus 3:5-8
Consequently, Paul tells Titus to exhort the believers that they get salvation through God’s grace and mercy. By spiritual rebirth and renewal of the Holy Ghost. Believers are justified by God’s grace only, and not by their good works; therefore, they have hope of eternal life. And that they must maintain good works so that they will be profitable. Further, Paul tells Titus to reject the heretics’ questions about the law as they are unfruitful and vain, and serves no purpose. But to focus on important things and good works to advance the kingdom of God.
This is an important lesson for Christians today, to be reminded that we have salvation through God’s grace and His mercy; therefore, we have the hope of eternal life. Likewise, our only focus today should be to do good works to advance the kingdom of God and disengage from unfruitful conversations with unbelievers. Christ should be the focal point of our lives; everything else is just a mere distraction causing enmity between Him and us. And we know the devil uses heretics to cause strife in our lives to veer us off course.
To conclude, Paul’s letter to Titus applies to the Christian community today. A lot of Christians are living unrighteous, worldly lives, rejecting and disobeying God and His Word. Christian leaders are living unrighteous, sinful lives and teaching false doctrines while actively “serving” God, unashamedly. Congregants must study God’s Word themselves and hold their leaders accountable for their wrongdoings, instead of condoning them by not rejecting them. Paul’s writing to Titus tells him to reject heresies, therefore, some Christian leaders are heretics who need to be rejected for false teaching and doctrines. Paul’s letter also encourages us to live righteous, godly lives, and that maintaining good works is profitable. Therefore, we must apply Paul’s teachings to our lives so we can live righteously by the Word of God, while He tarries.