Mickey D. Brackin
Senior Pastor, Mars Hill Baptist Church, Lawrenceburg
Found throughout the pages of the New Testament is the glorious truth and simple fact that nobody meets Jesus and stays the same. A crazed demoniac, living in the shadows of the tombs, an outcast Samaritan woman of questionable character and even a zealous religious Pharisee on the Damascus road, all became living testimonies of this truth. All of these had a personal faith encounter with Jesus Christ and as a result their lives were forever changed.
As Paul writes in Titus, chapter three, He begins with a reminder (v. 1) that a believer’s faith in Christ results in a behavior and conduct that honors God in all facets of life.
The believer’s behavior expresses to the world the fact of a true relationship with Jesus. In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus expounded upon the importance of the believer’s witness to the world. The believer’s true witness is best reflected not inside the walls of a church building but in the arenas of everyday life (Titus 3:1-2).
Warren Wiersbe stated, “our heavenly citizenship (Philippians 3:20) does not absolve us from responsibilities as citizens on earth.”
Paul reminds Titus and all believers that to appreciate the wonderful graces of God we should remember our lives before Christ. Charles Ray states, “Paul often encouraged believers to remember their lives before believing in Christ to help them fully appreciate the greatness of God’s transforming grace is Christ. In addition, remembering the darkness, confusion, and ugliness of being lost can help believers relate compassionately to unbelievers with whom they have contact.”
Paul goes on to remind Titus and believers to remember their present salvation (vv. 4-7). Paul writes to Titus showing the “kindness,” “love,” “mercy” and “grace” of God at work in our salvation while absolutely refuting a works earned salvation. Ephesians 2:1-10 helps us to understand this great truth.
Paul states in Titus 3:8 the importance of believers living for Christ in a consistent and constant manner. The greatest evidence to the world of our faith in Jesus Christ is to live godly lives. Our words become of little value apart from a life surrendered to Christ visible for all to see.
Paul closes this writing by once again stressing the importance of maintaining and teaching sound doctrine while not becoming distracted by people who want to be divisive and argumentative.
In the words of John MacArthur, “God’s plan of salvation calls for strong churches that proclaim and live the reality of the transforming gospel so that it is attractive to the lost. Such testimony is based on sanctified relationships.
The greatest testimony is a life lived in surrender to Jesus Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit. This kind of life becomes a living testimony for all the world to see!”