By Pastor Ruth Denboer
1Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. 2They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.
3Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. 4But—
When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.
8This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good. These teachings are good and beneficial for everyone.
9Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time. 10If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. 11For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.
I love that this section of Titus is called “Do What Is Good”. As mentioned in our Vitality 2016 meetings, vitality requires us to focus on what God is calling us to do and what He has asked us to refrain from doing.
We should always be ready to do what is good, to be gentle and humble. We should know the truth as mentioned in verses 4-7 because these teachings are good and beneficial for everyone.
However, we are also instructed to refrain from certain things as well. We are not to slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. We are to avoid foolish discussions so that divisions do not happen between the believers.
If we are determined to live this way, we will live with vitality in our personal lives, which will bring vitality to the church body, and through the church body, we will bring vitality to the world.
Beware of that weapon of destruction … the wedge of discord.
Let’s choose a life of vitality!