Living What We Believe
Christians, how we live really matters. The world has seen enough people who proclaim that they believe in Jesus yet do not live out what they say they believe. Living what we believe is about so much more than rules. It is faith in action and informs how we think and act.
Bible Reading of the Day: Titus
The book of Titus is known as a pastoral letter, like the books of 1 and 2 Timothy. Paul has a singular purpose—to encourage Titus in the ministry by giving instruction as to the qualifications of leaders in the church and Christian living.
“Titus was a Gentile Christian (Galatians 2:20) who was led to faith in Christ by Paul (Titus 1:4).
Paul left Titus on the Isle of Crete to go and appoint elders in every town. Let’s look at some of the qualifications Paul shared in Titus 1:6-9
Living What We Believe—People of character
“6 An elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife, with faithful children who are not accused of wildness or rebellion. 7 As an overseer of God’s household, he must be blameless, not arrogant, not hot-tempered, not an excessive drinker, not a bully, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, righteous, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding to the faithful message as taught, so that he will be able both to encourage with sound teaching and to refute those who contradict it.”
This list to me is not just for elders, but for believers. We are called to live differently—righteously. But an elder leads others and it is necessary that they have godly character so they 1) set a good example and 2) do not cause others to stumble by their behavior.
Paul’s reality at that time was not so dissimilar from ours. There were rebellious people back then, too. A different context, but the same flesh.
Living What We Believe—Godliness not worldliness
“10 For there are many rebellious people, full of empty talk and deception . . . 13 This testimony is true. For this reason, rebuke them sharply, so that they may be sound in the faith 14 and may not pay attention to Jewish myths and the commands of people who reject the truth. 15 To the pure, everything is pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; in fact, both their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They claim to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work.”
Church discipline is almost a thing of the past today. Christians are admonished that they are judgmental if they hold to Scripture. Worldliness pervades the church. Now the church is a hospital – a place where we want to invite everyone in, but not to change the church—but for the word of God to change them and us all.
Corruption is the natural way of things and we need to remember this instruction from Paul to Titus. We have to hold our ground—and stand firm in God’s truth.
Living What We Believe—Not Legalism, but Grace with Truth
Paul gives instructions not as legalism, but as a guide. There is a standard in Christ. The church needs to live its faith out.
“11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14 He gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people for his own possession, eager to do good works. 15 Proclaim these things; encourage and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”
The ways of God will not make sense to this world, especially if we don’t practice what we preach. The world is looking for excuses to remain in their sin. They call the church and Christians hypocrites. We have to live what we say we believe.
Living What We Believe—So Others Can Know Him
Paul reminds Timothy of what this life in Christ is supposed to look like.
“Remind them to submit to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 to slander no one, to avoid fighting, and to be kind, always showing gentleness to all people. 3 For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another.”
We don’t behave like this because we have been saved!
“4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, 5 he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”
Scripture of the Day: Titus 1:1-2
“From Paul, a slave of God and apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of God’s chosen ones and the knowledge of the truth that is in keeping with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before time began.”
What a statement and identity Paul shares with us. If we, too, could not move away from our purpose and identity in Christ, this would help us to be faithful to live out our faith. The world needs to see Christians like that right now.
Do you need help trying to live your faith out in this crazy world? I hope you will join me this coming Saturday at a women’s conference as I share about “Having Biblical Faith in a Modern World” at Good Hope Baptist Church from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. There will be breakfast and lunch, worship and four talks about how we live our faith in a post-modern society.
You can buy tickets at https://www.goodhopelive.com/events/womens2020
- Live what you say you believe
- Don’t follow rules—follow Jesus and His word!
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #259: Titus
Scripture of the Day: Titus 1:1-2
Join me live at 8am ET: www.facebook.com/deniseduboispass
Bible Reading Plan: https://denisepass.com/bible-reading-plan/