But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared. — Titus 3:4
All of us stand in need of God’s kindness to navigate the challenges of life. About sixteen years ago, I was faced with a serious visa issue. My visa type had a two-year home residency rule attached to it, meaning that I had to move back home for two years before I could apply to be a permanent United States resident. The only way this rule could be changed was if someone from the Department of Education in my home country would write to the U.S. State Department, releasing me from the rule. Getting such a letter would be close to impossible. First of all, I had been out of my country for seven years and I did not know anyone in the Department of Education. Secondly, to get a document like that in my country, you would have to bribe someone.
Though I did not know anyone in the department, I knew God, and I started praying for His will to be done. I located the address of the Department of Education and wrote, asking for the release letter. For several months I heard nothing back, but I kept praying for God’s will to be done. Nine months after I wrote the letter, I received a letter from a Christian brother in the city where the Department of Education is located. He told me that his wife, who is also a Christian, had been transferred to the Department of Education just two months earlier. His wife’s boss was the one in charge of release letters. This sister came across my letter, so she told her boss of her connection with me and asked that he write the necessary letter. A few weeks later I received the release letter. I was, of course, eternally grateful to God and to this sister for the miracle.
Interestingly, fifteen years after this incident, the sister lost her husband and was faced with the financial challenge of raising four children by herself. One day, God laid it on her heart to call me and ask if there was anything I could suggest for her to do. By that time, God had put me into a position where I could easily help her come to this country to further her education and still support her children. Within a few months, she was able to move to the United States. She now teaches her native language at a university here, and is also earning a higher degree from the same institution.
God was good to my friend and me, just as He loves and deals kindly with each of His children. In this chapter of Titus, we are reminded that God has shown His kindness to us by mercifully saving us through the sacrifice of His only Son. More important than temporal blessings, God in His kindness calls our hearts, that we can become “heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7).
In this final chapter of his brief epistle to Titus, the Apostle Paul gave important instructions for Titus to pass on to the church. He began by telling Titus to make sure the saints were obedient to all the civil authorities. Paul wanted them to see a larger picture: these authorities had been ordained of God. His point was that human authority does not take precedence over God’s authority, but obeying God does not, usually, necessitate defying authority in the home, church, or civil society. This position is necessary to maintain order in the community. The second verse instructs Christians to be gentle, “shewing all meekness unto all men,” a command also designed to ensure stability and peace.
Verses 3 through 8 address the fact that we were all in need of the kindness and redemption of God, and without His help we could not have been saved. Furthermore, once we have been redeemed, we need to share God’s kindness with those around us.
Paul gave the same rationale for compassion to sinners that Moses gave for compassion to foreigners: Christians should not forget their own dependency on God’s mercy and forgiveness when dealing with others. Moreover, mercy is the source of salvation. These, then, are the three reasons for compassion: it is our duty, it is only fair, and it works.
In the remainder of the chapter, Paul gave examples of what is spiritually profitable and what is spiritually unprofitable. Finally, as in other epistles, he sent greetings to people by name, which reminds us that the Gospel is personal and pertains to real life. He closed with a reminder to be spiritually fruitful.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
IV. Conduct in state (public life) (3:1-8)
A. The “how” of living this life (3:1-2)
1. In relation to the state (3:1)
2. In relation to the community (3:2)
B. The “why” of living this life (3:3-8)
1. Our past life (3:3)
2. Our new relationship (3:4-8)
a. The source and medium of our new relationship (3:4-5)
b. The basis of our new relationship (3:6)
c. The result of our new relationship (3:7)
d. The activity of our new relationship (3:8)
V. Conclusion (3:9-15)
A. Personal exhortations to Titus (3:9-11)
1. Avoid foolish strife (3:9)
2. Maintain discipline (3:10-11)
B. Personal messages (3:12-13)
C. A personal appeal (3:14)
D. Personal greetings and benediction (3:15)
We are so blessed to have an eternally kind and good Heavenly Father. As a Sunday school song reminds us, “God is good, all the time!”