It is sad that the world holds against Christ the fact that the church is full of sinful people.
Hypocrites they call us. Unfortunately it is true on both accounts and God will hold us accountable for it too. But God intended the church to be full of people who are tired of trying to be good in their own rights. He came to earth to save the meek; he wants sinners to come to him. God is not interested in the self-righteous, the self-made man, or the proud. The church is for those who know that they cannot help themselves. Church is not a crutch; it is a defibrillator – it is life support. This passage shows us what we were in ourselves, what Christ did for us, and what he has made us now. The rest is what he now wants to do through us.
Doing What Is Good
3 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.
3At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. 9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. 11 You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God of true righteousness and I am not interested in your own view of what that looks like or what you think is good. I am not looking for self righteous people. Their good works are like filthy rags to me. The world is full of people like them.
I AM perfectly holy and I command you to be holy, but I know that you cannot be holy without me. Thus in my mercy I make you holy through my death on the cross and if you accept that work, I will make you like me.
I am looking for people who realize that they are not righteous, but who want to be. People who want me to make them holy, good, righteous, according to my standard.
I AM the God of mercy and grace who gives it freely to those who want it even though they know that they don’t deserve it.
I hate religion where the goal is to make yourself acceptable in my sight by your list of rules and rituals. Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest for your souls.
Now, as a result of their new righteous standing with me, live your lives to do good so that others will want to come to me as well.
Satan will do all that he can to confuse you into thinking you have to earn your way into heaven. Trust my word. Don’t get caught up in fine sounding arguments about even using my law to establish your own righteousness. My Law was to show you how sinful you are in comparison to me, not to be used as a list of rules to perform to become righteous.
“he who has been forgiven little, loves little”
I love the story and consequently the comparison Jesus makes of the sinful woman and Simon in Lk 7:47 Where Jesus says “he who has been forgiven little, loves little”. The fact is, we have all been forgiven the same in salvation, but because of our sinful selfish nature’s, we don’t all see it the same. Only when we realize how much we have been saved from (or out of) as Rom ch 12:1 (“in view of God’s mercy”) and Eph 2:1-12 (“it is the gift of God not of works”) and now as Titus 3 says above, can we appreciate and consequently reflect that salvation in love to others throughout our daily lives.
In another story of the Pharisee and the tax collector praying, it was the tax collector – the sinner who went home justified. Why? Because he realized how needful he was of God’s righteousness. The religious leader had established his own righteousness apart from God and thus didn’t need him.
The church is full of people who are sinful.
Many would say that they are hypocrites; and yet most of these “hypocrites” know that they need God’s continuing work in their lives and will eventually receive it. Nobody is perfect. Romans 3:23 says “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God…” But it is the ones who don’t acknowledge their short comings, and who think that they are “alright” in their own accord that will miss out on God’s mercy in the end. Don’t be one of those.
On a cultural note: In Papua New Guinea
as I am sure it is the same around the globe, the people believe that they can control the spirits by a list of rules and taboos to either bless them or prevent bad things from happening to them. And since God is a spirit, they feel that they can control him just like all other spirits by trying to obey His list of rules – the Ten Commandments. It doesn’t really matter if they don’t completely succeed, just as long as they try hard. This is the difference between the true Gospel and the basis of many religions. You have to remember that if you break one law – you have broken them all. Imagine the consequences of breaking just one link of the chain holding back a 100 lb
attack dog bent on eating your face off. (it’s just one link… how bad could that be?)
More to come,