Paul wants Titus to emphasize certain attitudes that grow out of our story of redemption. “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people”(Titus 3:1-2). This humble, respectful, and careful disposition is rooted in our past. “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”(Titus 3:3). We used to be a different kind of person. Not only have we been changed, but we also have compassion on those who are presently where we used to be.
So what is our story? We were slaves to sin but something changed. “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit”(Titus 3:4-5). Our story is not the story of how we saved ourselves—not the story of how we deserved better than we got—not the story of how we pulled ourselves by our own bootstraps. It is the story of God revealing his kindness and saving us despite ourselves, giving us new life through his Spirit. Now we are “justified by his grace” and have hope of eternal life.
It is important to remember our story because we tend to mix up the details, revising the story so that we look better. We can easily begin to take credit for what God did. We sometimes forget where we’ve been and so lack compassion for those who need to be rescued the way we were. Do you remember?
------------- One Thing to Think About: What has God’s salvation looked like in my life?
One Thing to Pray For: A tender heart toward those still in sin
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