Scripture: Titus 3:3-8
I. The good news begins with bad news about you.
A. Paul goes straight into the bad news about you in Titus 3:3. He lists seven characteristics of Christians before their conversion to Christ. You might call this list the slimy seven. In summary, without Jesus our relationship with God was a mess. It was not just our relationship with God that was a mess. Our relationships with other people were also a mess. We either wished that bad things would happen to people or we wished that good things would not happen to people.
B. Paul writes about we ourselves (vs. 3), as in, Paul and Titus. Even the best Christians then, the missionaries now completely devoted to Jesus, lived slimy lives apart from Jesus. What is the only thing that the gospel says can save your soul? The death of Jesus, the Son of God, on the cross. I could not save myself by my own good works (vs. 4). Only God could save me. It was necessary for Jesus to die to save me (vs. 6). There was no other way.
II. The good news for Christians is that God saved you.
A. Before Jesus entered our lives, we were living in darkness. People act despicably. But how does God act? God acts kindly toward people who are rebelling against Him. He is so kind to them that He saves them. And God shows love toward people who hate Him. We are reminded of God’s incredible saving love toward us in the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 5:8: “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
B. How does God save us? God does not save us because of works done by us in righteousness (vs. 5). God had to take the initiative in saving us. God saved us because of His character and virtue, not ours. All three persons in our one Triune God save us according to Titus 3:4-6. We are justified by God’s grace (vs. 7). Justified is a courtroom word. It means to be declared righteous by God the judge. God says you are not guilty. You are instead righteous.
III. The good news for Christians is that God gives you a wonderful, eternal life.
A. Because we are now justified, we receive life. Paul writes in Titus 3:7: “Being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” The Holy Spirit opens our eyes to see that we need Jesus to save us. We then put our faith in Jesus alone to save us. Because you are united with Jesus in being justified, you will be united with Jesus in having eternal life. You will be heirs with Jesus (vs. 7) of heaven as part of Christ’s own family. Because of your relationship with Jesus by faith, you are now an heir of heaven and eternal life.
Are you sure that you have and will have eternal life?
The letter to Titus
Commentaries by Andreas Köstenberger, Denny Burk, Tim Chester and Robert Yarbrough.
Sermon Discussion Questions
1) How do you think about God now that you have studied Titus 3? How has your thinking changed?
2) How do you know that God has been kind to you? What were you like before Jesus entered your life according to vs. 3?
3) How do you answer these questions: Are you trusting in your good works to save you or are you trusting in Jesus alone and His work on the cross to save you? Do you want to do good works for God? Has God given you the power to do good works?