Summary: Christians need to interact with the world to reach the world with the gospel. They need to be good citizens of a generally hostile system without compromising their faith.
TITUS 3: 1-7
RENEWED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
Christians have been changed and are different than we once were, yet we still need to be reminded of who we are and what has been done to us and how it was done. Christians are to be in the world but not of the world. Christians need to interact with the world to reach the world with the gospel (CIM). They need to be good citizens of a generally hostile system without compromising their faith. These behaviors and good deeds reflect the grace and mercy which Christians have received from God and point others to God.
I. LIVING IN THE WORLD, 3:1-2.
II. THE BASES FOR GODLY LIVING, 3:3-7.
Paul first gives directions for Christian conduct to government authorities and then to all people (v.2), they must be good citizens and good neighbors. Verse 1 presses Christians to fulfill their duties to the government. “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed,”
Christian citizenship carries over into their public as well as private and church life. Heavenly citizenship does not absolve the believer from his responsibilities as a citizen on earth. Titus is to remind believers of what Paul had previously taught about being subject to governmental authorities. Christians were to do what was obligatory like paying taxes and uplift govermental leaders in prayer. They were to be subject to the state, that is, to adher and obey its rules. They were also to do good or to participate in making govt, good govt (1 Tim. 2:2). Christians are responsible for participating positively & eagerly in the social structure. It has never been more necessary than today.
Our nation was founded on biblical Judeo-Christian principles wedded to the idea of self-government. Those principles work only when a significant segment of the population is voluntarily obeying the law because they are aware of being subject to a higher authority. When this percentage of the population that is voluntarily obeying the law drops below a certain level, then a self-governing democracy doesn't work. When this percentage who are not out for the common good but want government to provide for their good over the good of others our system of government will turn in on itself.
John Adams, our second president and one who labored most diligently to secure our Constitution wrote the following in 1798:
"We have no government armed in power capable of contending in human passions unbridled from morality and religion. Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."
A genuinely Christian America would mean that the vast majority of its citizens has come to a personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior-not through government sponsorship or subsidy, but by the evangelistic action of individual Christians, churches, and mission groups. [Richard Land in Real Homeland Security]
After reminding the Christian about civil obedience verse two reminds Christians of some public conduct responsibilities. “to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.”
In areas of speech, Christians are not to be known as those who malign [blasphēmein, insult, deflame, slander] others. Insulting and abusive language is out of place for anyone, certainly for believers. But more than an absence of vice is expected. They are to be peaceable, (considerate, NIV) gentle or meek (humble) toward all people. These qualities have nothing to do passivity. Peacableness is a conscious mode of responding that keeps violence out of difficult situations. Meekness (humility) is a balanced perception of oneself that makes it possible to regard others as important or significant. Considerateness is an attitude that quiets personal concerns to make room for the concerns of others. Christians are to be considerate to all people.
People who CONSTANTLY CRITICIZE others and take delight in speaking ill of them reveal a poor self-image and a weakness in their character. By contrast, those who delight in praising others, pointing out their strengths and passing along good reports about them, reflect a loving heart and a proper view of themselves. Instead of condeming others, they take delight in commending others. They would rather build up than tear down. These individuals not only refrain from negative and hurtful talk themselves, but by their attitude they also discourage unkind remarks from others.
Two boys on the school playground were DISCUSSING A CLASSMATE. One of them remarked, "He's no good at sports." The other quickly responded, "Yes, but he always plays fair." The critical one added, "He isn't very smart in school either." His friend answered, " That may be true, but he studies hard." The boy with the mean tongue was becoming exasperated with the attitude of the other, "Well," he sneered, "did you ever notice how ragged his clothes are?" The other boy kindly replied, "Yes, but did you ever notice, they're always clean!" Every negative observation was countered by a positive one.