A Much Needed Reminder

I love this biblical reminder from Paul because it’s not just a good message to hear every now and then. It is quite literally a reminder, the first word is “Remind the people.”

It’s almost like God knows that we are a forgetful people who will be distracted by our own emotion, rationality, and urges.

Titus 3:1-8 (NIV), emphasis mine:

Saved in Order to Do Good

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.

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. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,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, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 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.

  • (v. 1-2) Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.”

I love commas, ongoing sentences, adding emphasis through lists and alternative interpretations, because the punch is usually in the last point. That’s what this introduction does, look at the two verses backwards.

  1. Remind the people to be ready to do whatever is good: to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient.
    • God’s reminder is not to just do good but to prepare to do whatever is good. Not some things that are good, but whatever is good! When we anticipate making the right choice, we are more likely to do it even when it is undesirable, such as obeying what does not come naturally.
  2. Remind the people always to be gentle toward everyone: to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate.
    • Straightforward. And difficult, especially when people do evil things, causing discord, and are not gentle towards us. Yet, we are still to be peaceable so far as acting after considering the condition of the other person.

Because,

  • (v. 3) “At one time we too were foolish…”

This is where that consideration in the last verse comes in handy. We can easily forget the sins of our past, there’s nothing wrong with being a new person, in fact, it’s good–however, we might be able to draw on empathy when we are reminded of who we used to be.

We are not perfect just because we have a perfect God. Other people need to see how Wisdom changed us.

What ways were you blind in your own disobedience, malice and foolishness? Would it not be helpful to speak Life into ears that need to hear the Voice you heard? Or to resemble Life onto eyes that need to see the Light you saw?

  • (v. 4-5a) But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy…”

God’s lovingkindness was our rescuer and not the good works of the new person we are. We must be reminded of the fact that denying ourselves and taking up the cross is not actually what saves us! It is a certainly a command from Christ, but it was the grace God gave us though we were once disobedient and hateful that saves us.

  • (v. 5b-6) “He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,

This verse deserves it’s own study but that’s for another day.

Our salvation came by the cleansing sacrifice Jesus made to remove us from our sin (1 Corinthians 15:3). We are again saved through the pouring of the Spirit, who is here to help us follow His commands (John 14:15-17).

  • (v. 7-8) “so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 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.”

His grace replaces our deceitful enslavement with eternal Hope. This justification is actually unjust if we’re going by humanity’s justice (based on karma), yet, it is a trustworthy saying.

We say we are saved by grace and not good works because the responsibility for our salvation is in the merciful hands of God (v. 4-5). But there’s more than knowing it, there is applying it. If you trust in God’s grace then you should be careful to do what is good. Because this is profitable for EVERYONE. That good work of peacemaking or submission may be what gives faith to unbelievers that God’s justification is trustworthy.

Through the salvation of Love, our old foolishness is reborn as a new creation. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we are renewed to do His excellent work. We are miraculously justified in our sentencing to eternal Hope. Our trust in that Hope is marked by our devotion to doing what is good, excellent and profitable for all.

REMINDER: we are saved in order to do good works.

With love,
Mama X


This is my third post for Wednesday Wisdoms, a new weekly category that will focus on the Holy Word. These weekly wisdom posts will always include Bible verse, devotional thoughts and encouragement to get into your own quiet time with God.

Last week’s, here.

4 thoughts on “A Much Needed Reminder

Leave a Reply to Mama Equis Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s