The last couple of days I have been reading through the book of Titus and this morning I was amazed at the emphasis of good works in the book. As a follower of Christ for many years now, I know that good works are to be a part of the Christian life but today the importance of them hit me more than ever. I would like to leave you with a few initial observations that are swirling in my head.
As followers of Christ as we grow in the truth and follow sound doctrine we will grow in our good works. Essentially sound doctrine results in good works. In chapter one the author points out that false teachers are unfit for good works. The teaching that they proclaim does not lead to good works nor is their life fit for good works. This makes me ask myself, when I teach are believers compelled to do good works. Also would the mark of a healthy church be that it is full of God’s children doing good works. Is the church impacting the culture and community through service?
In chapters two and three Paul tells Titus that believers are to be zealous for good works and devoted to good works. This does not mean that every once in a while we do something good but rather one of the marks defining the Christian is that they are all about good works. Paul uses the same word “zealous” of himself in Galatians 1:14 when he was talking of his following the traditions of the Jews. It says he was more zealous than his fathers. Paul was so zealous that it led him to persecute the church in order to protect Judaism. My son Noah is a great picture of being zealous for something. He loves apple juice and when he wants it nothing will get in the way of him attaining it. He will ask Amy and I over and over again until he gets it. No answer is sufficient unless it is that we are going right that second to get it. That is how we as believers should be towards good works. They should consume us, we should be defined as ones who do good works. Is this how you or your church are defined? I think of the body we are a part of right now and what would happen if all 200 people were devoted to good works. How would Centerville be changed? How would your community be changed if everyone in the church were zealous for good works.
The last thought that I would like to leave you with is some thoughts about the gospel impact of being zealous for good works. I was intrigued because Paul did not say that they would be zealous for sharing the gospel or to be devoted to sharing the gospel but instead he focused on the end result of God’s grace in our life is being zealous for good works. Why is that? I mean if they don’t hear the gospel how can they be saved? It is my conviction that every follower of Christ should be proclaiming the gospel but in this book why is there no emphasis on this. As I ponder this I realize that could it not be because as we are selflessly invovled in good works doors for the gospel will begin to open up. If we are zealous for good works and we begin to interact with people will they not begin to ask why we do such things. In the end when the church gets outside of its walls and gets active they will begin to find many opportunities to share the gospel with people around their community and the world!
Am I zealous for good works? Are you? If not lets begin to pray that God would refine our heart to be devoted to good works. Also go out and look for opportunites to do good in the church and outside the church! I bet each of us will be blown away by what God does!