Photo by Donald Giannatti
By Mike Chaffin
Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives. 15 Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Titus 3:14-15.
Paul isn’t meddling, he is mentoring in these last words. He tells Titus to teach his church to devote themselves to doing what is good so urgent needs can be met and so they will not live unproductive lives.
Paul’s warning is for all Christians. However, what may have prompted him to write this to Titus, whom he had left in charge of the church on the island of Crete, is the residents of Crete had a propensity, and thus a reputation, for being vulgar liars, of beastly behavior, and lazy gluttons. This is where we get the term cretin from. Faith in Jesus should erase this behavior when we accept Him as Savior and turn from our wickedness.
Christians should be anything but cretin. For a Christian to live like a cretin is to live a worldly life that denies the Christ-like transformation that occurs when someone accepts Christ as Lord and Savior. If a person lives like a heathen, but professes to be a Christian, he or she is living a hypocritical life at the least or is not saved at the worst. In either case their life is unproductive in building God’s kingdom. Not only unproductive, but destructive to the church and to themselves.
We are called to devote ourselves to doing good. Doing good so we can meet urgent needs and lead productive lives. So, in the context of Titus, Paul is expressly focusing on several deadly sins that we should abstain from. These are lying, being a vile sleazeball, lazy, (slothful) and gluttony. Throughout the Bible we are told these are sins that condemn us to hell. Jesus reiterates this in Revelation 21:7-8
Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
The good news is Jesus paid the price on Calvary by dying for our sins. He gives us a new life, a new heart, a passion for others so we can do good. As he said in Matthew 5:16
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Truly good news for all who believe. Last words Paul is making sure we understand.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Lord, help me to live a victorious life over sin, to shine your light and lead a productive life. In Jesus’s name, amen.