Session 5: Titus 3.8-15
Not only does the message of grace in Titus help us relate well to those outside the faith, it helps us relate well to one another within the family of God. This passage is a striking reminder of God’s desire for unity in his church.
- Play: Session 5 Video
Not only does the message of grace in Titus 3 help us relate well to those outside the faith, it helps us relate well to one another within the family of God. When we keep God’s grace in mind, we can maintain unity and support one another the way God desires us to.
Paul warns Titus about quarrels and tells him to avoid divisive people. While there is a need to clarify our beliefs in the church and correct wrong thinking, a quarrelsome attitude is destructive. And the language here about avoiding divisive people is among the strongest in the New Testament about disassociating with people. This is a striking reminder of God’s desire for unity in his church.
Paul models the kind of familial love he is asking of Titus and the believers in Crete in his final words to Titus. He is eager to be with Titus in Nicopolis. Though brief, he mentions his concern for some of he and Titus’ mutual friends such as Zenas and Apollos. Ironically, Apollos is someone that the church in Corinth saw as a rival of Paul. But the warmth of these brief verses characterizes the unity of the church friendship that should be the norm.
Paul ends his letter with one last encouragement that the people should be productive, perhaps making one more contrast with the culture of Crete. And he ends the letter as he begins and ends all his letters, with a reaffirmation of the grace of God for them.
Questions for Discussion/Reflection:
- How would you characterize your experience with Christian friendships?
- How could you help foster more of the familial love for other believers that Paul exhibits for Titus and the others he mentions?
- Paul encourages hard work for the believers in Crete, perhaps in contrast to their infamous laziness. What would be a virtue or habit that you could embody to contrast your own cultural situation?
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