Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. (Titus 3:1-2)
The core of the Christian life is what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Receiving by faith what God gives us in Jesus comes first. That being said, it isn’t the only aspect of the Christian life. Once we receive, we are then to respond. One way we respond is by living in a way that brings God glory. In these two verses, Paul tells us several aspects of living that kind of life.
To show the importance of this, Paul started by telling Titus, remind them. I have read that in the grammar of the ancient Greek text, remind is in the present tense. It actually has the sense, “Go on reminding.” Titus was to constantly remind the Christians under his care how to live the Christian life.
The first specific thing Paul told Titus to remind them of was to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey. Normally, Christians are not rebels or troublemakers. We respect the principle shown in Romans 13:1-7: that we are to do this because these governmental leaders are actually appointed by God for the good of society.
I say that “normally” Christians are not rebels or troublemakers, because we do recognize a higher allegiance. When government tells us to sin and disobey God, we honor God first (Acts 5:29) and obey God rather than men. There are times when government oversteps its bounds and the Christian is obligated to say “no” and stand for God and His righteousness.
Paul also noted that it was important for the Christian to be ready for every good work. If we simply focus on being subject to rulers and authorities, it is easy to make the Christian life passive. Titus should not allow this, and also remind them to be ready for every good work. We should always look for ways to do good in the world for Jesus’ sake.
Paul continued, saying that we should speak evil of no one, be peaceable and gentle, showing all humility to all men. This is a distinctively Christian kindness, coming not from simple good manners but from knowing who we are and who others are in the heart of Jesus. We won’t gossip or tell lies about others, we will look to make peace instead of stirring up trouble, we won’t try to dominate others (gentle), and our humility will be evident to everyone.
That’s a great last thought. Maybe you think of yourself as a humble person. Yet the question is, “Is my humility evident to anyone else? Am I actually showing humility to all men?” It’s easy to show humility to some people – those who might be thought to be “above” us. But the Bible says that we should show humility to all men.