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Titus 3:4-8

“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 renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 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.”

The book of Titus was written by the apostle Paul for his brother in Christ and fellow worker in the church, Titus. This church was based in Crete, a place in which ungodliness was common and prolific. Paul knew that evangelism was of prime importance. But he knew that for evangelism to be possible and effective, it wouldn’t be enough for believers to tell the people about the gospel, believers had to put the gospel in full display through the way they lived. Paul writes this letter as a way of encouraging and counseling Titus to labor for the Lord in faithfulness by reminding him of the gospel and how the gospel must continually shape the way a believer lives.

In the third chapter of this book, Paul admonishes us about how we are to live in this world. He does this by starting with the gospel. In Titus 3:3, Paul reminds us that we 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. To put it briefly, Paul reminds us of how sinful we are and how much we utterly need Christ. And if it weren’t for the goodness and loving kindness that God demonstrated to us in Christ, we would continue in sin, remain utterly helpless, and still be deserving of eternal judgment. But being justified by His grace, we have become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. We have been saved from both the power and penalty of sin, such that we may now live a life devoted to obedience and worship to God.

Paul then binds holy living to the gospel - showing that a life devoted to good works can only begin when that life first receives the goodness of God through the work of Christ our Savior. It is the gospel that enables that transformation from a life characterized by sin to a life characterized by holiness. And so when a person is saved, his salvation is made evident not just through what he says, but also through how he lives, and more specifically, the change in how he lives. It is this evident transformation in our lives that puts the saving power of the gospel in full display.

Dear believer, has there been a disconnect between what you are professing and how you are living? Go back to the gospel. Holy living finds its beginning in the truths of the gospel. You cannot expect to live out the truths of God’s Word if the truths of God’s Word are absent in your life.

As we start another week, may we continually pray that God would cause us to be faithful not just in sharing the gospel, but living out the gospel. For it is as we share and live out the gospel that we do become the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

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