SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- In verses 1-2 and 8, Paul tells Titus to teach God's people to focus on being and doing good.
- We learn in verses 3-7 that we are not "saved" by being good. Our goodness or doing good works does not earn us anything with God. Instead, we are "justified by his grace." Justified means it's "just-as-if-I'd never sinned." "Grace" means to get the opposite of what we deserve. Because of God's unconditional love, and through Jesus' death on the cross, we can have our sins removed and be made right with God.
- In verses 9-11 Paul writes about some things Jesus' followers should avoid. If a discussion or argument isn't benefitting any of the people involved, or the Kingdom of God, there is no reason to waste our time participating in it.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- We are saved, despite being bad, because Jesus is good. Our response to being saved should be to want to be good. The order is critical. Being saved leads us to being good. If we think that being good leads us to being saved, it will mess us up.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Where in your life do you see the thought that you can be good enough for God creeping in? When do you see yourself motivated by thoughts that you can earn something from God, or devastated when you don't perform well enough for God because you feel like you may have lost His approval? What could help you remember that you are saved by grace, and doing good is just a way of saying thank you?