As part of our ongoing series “The Fine Art Of Belly-Aching” we’re encouraging the people of Good Shepherd to begin their days in the Word and not in the world. I am devoting this space to reading prompts so that we can resource the same people we encourage.
This week’s readings reinforce last Sunday’s bottom line: God is too good to be fair. As a result, we will look at a number of different sections from the letters of Paul, all of which revolve around the idea of what we call “salvation by grace.”
Today: Titus 3:1-8
Admit it. Some of you reading these prompts this week didn’t even KNOW the New Testament had a book of Titus until you read this today. That’s OK. It’s still a gem.
This letter, like I & II Timothy, is not from Paul to a church but from Paul to his “true son in our common faith” (1:4), Titus.
And what does this section cover? Much of the same territory we’ve seen already this week. Yet look at what Paul identifies as the most damaging result of human sin in 3:3: “being hated and hating one another.” While sin has vertical pain it causes between us and good, Paul zeroes in on the horizontal pain it causes between our neighbors and ourselves. Yet in the middle of all that sin-leadig-to-hate, what is the provision?
“the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us not because of the righteous things we had done but because of his mercy” (3:4-5)
When it comes to your eternity, whose obedience do you trust? Yours, which is at best mixed? Or Jesus’ was always perfect? Whose goodness will get you to glory? Yours, which is often hard to fine? Or Jesus’ which is the essence of his character. Remember: it’s not about your performance for God but your position in him that guarantees your salvation.