We looked at this chapter in bible study last night and what is contained within is pure gold for Christians.
1Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs l according to the hope of eternal life. 8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. 9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. 12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. 14 And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful. 15 All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith.Grace be with you all.
In these 15 verses Paul encourages Titus in the things that he is to tell the people of Crete (aka Cretans from chapter 1, them) with a fantastic, practical list. Paul then goes on to explain why in verse 3; highlighting the fact that both Titus and Paul were also wretched in their ways, as is everyone before they are saved. The good news is that he goes on to remind how, why and to what they, and we, were saved.
Paul then further lists things to avoid, things that are foolish and are not worth huge arguments over, and the way to deal with those that, on purpose, stir up trouble and not heed warnings.
Finally Paul does some housekeeping, but it’s more than that, it is all in the spirit of that which he has been writing about throughout the entire letter to Titus, these final few verses (12 – 15) are a practical opportunity for Titus to apply what he has learnt from the letter, and to spur on and encourage the Cretans to apply what Titus is to tell them.
Reading this as a Christian I see a great list of things that I am to strive for, a reminder of what I was, and still am, how and why I was saved, as well as what I was saved for. Now the harder thing to do is to actually apply these things….