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Summary: In this passage Paul is very descriptive of what believers should not be or what they should not do. The redeemed church must be something different than the lost world. How different should we be? Paul tells us in Titus 3:1-3.

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WHAT BELIEVERS AREN’T

Titus 3:1-3

1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work,

2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.

3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.

One of the recurring themes of Paul’s epistles is to remind his readers of what they used to be before becoming Christians. He wanted them to know that continuing to live in a “lost” lifestyle is not compatible with salvation.

When we get saved a change takes place; we are born again. According to Paul, not only are our souls born again but also our lifestyles.

Notice what Paul said believers aren’t:

1. BELIEVERS ARE NOT FOOLISH PEOPLE (Titus 3:3):

3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.

This word “foolish” means to be “unintelligent in a spiritual sense.” According to the New Testament we can be the smartest people in the world but if we don’t know Jesus and we are not capable of grasping spiritual truth we are still fools as far as God is concerned.

To not be interested in spiritual truth is, according to Paul, foolish.

2. BELIEVERS ARE NOT DISOBEDIENT (Titus 3:3):

3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.

This word “disobedient” means to be incapable of following the rules. Paul is not likely talking here about civil disobedience. More likely, he is talking about following God’s rules. Society has a rule book but God does also.

Lost people are not interested in following God’s rules but believers are.

3. BELIEVERS ARE NOT DECEIVED (Titus 3:3):

3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.

This word “deceived” means “to cause others to stray from their path.” As believers God has a definite path outlined for our lives. He encourages us daily to stay on that path and gives us light for the journey. On the other hand, the evil one wants us to stray and will do everything in his power to get us out of God’s will.

Lost people are not interested in God’s directions; saved people are.

4. BELIEVERS ARE NOT SLAVES (Titus 3:3):

3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.

The word “serving” means “to be enslaved by.” By definition slaves are those who have no will of their own; they have no power and no means of resisting. This is not true of believers. If we will to live for Jesus He will give us the power, the means to do so.

Believers serve a risen savior and worship Him only as Jesus taught us in the wilderness.

5. BELIEVERS ARE NOT TROUBLEMAKERS (Titus 3:3):

3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.

Those that live in “malice” are “those who stir up trouble.” Those who live in “envy” are “those who are jealous of others.” It seems that there are those who live in a constant state of drama; they just love to keep things stirred up. Could this be because they are jealous of others and want to draw attention to themselves?

According to Paul believers are those who smooth the waters of life they do not stir them up.

6. BELIEVERS ARE NOT HATEFUL (Titus 3:3):

3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.

The word “hateful” describes the “inward condition” of the individual who is not living for God. The phrase “hating one another” describes the “outward activity” of the hateful person. It is the nature of the hateful person to treat others in hateful ways.

Hate is one of the most obvious attributes of the evil one. Love is one of the most obvious attributes of Christ and those who are known as Christians.

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