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Where do nice people come from?

June 10, 2017

The last chapter of Titus starts with these verses, to which I referred in the last post:

 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.

And as we read further into the chapter, we see the reason why we should be like this.

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

We should watch what we say and do, because we were in the same condition. Isn’t it interesting that we often forget our previous condition. And it was really bad: foolish, disobedient, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

That doesn’t sound like someone I’d want to have as a neighbor. But that’s how my life was.

Then something happened, which Paul describes in the next verses:

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Because of God’s goodness, loving kindness, mercy, and grace, he brought about a change. Not because of anything that I have done. He cleansed me, made me new – made me an heir, declared me righteous, gave me hope.

A whole new perspective that came from an inward change!

And the inward change leads to outward changes:

The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

The change which God has made in my life, creating me brand new from the inside out, gives me a reason to do good works, things which are excellent and profitable for others.

Look again at the description from verse 3:

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

That kind of person doesn’t do good things to benefit others. They are only thinking about themselves, looking to satisfy their own desires, stirring up anger.

Now, I still struggle with doing things for others, rather than for myself! But at least I now have the power and the desire to do good works to benefit others.

How about you?

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From → Titus

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