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Q&A: Titus 3

Questions and Answers on Titus 3

Bruce Stanley

July 25, 2022


Titus 3 Q&A

Here are some brief answers to our questions from our Sunday evening service. If you would like to discuss more, please call me or email at bruces@stphils.org.au.

If we do something good how do we find the balance between being humble and not telling others and allowing people to know so that God can be glorified?

God will be glorified whether people are told or not. God is bigger than this. He is glorified when we do good and seek to honour him. God is able to use these things to bring glory to him without us telling anyone!

How do we not virtue signal our good works as a Christian, but still encourage others and ask for prayer.

We need to check our motives. Encouragement and prayer can happen in many ways. If we have to draw attention to our good deeds in order to encourage people and ask for prayer, perhaps we need to ask why? There may be a reason, but perhaps sometimes we just wanted people to know what we've done?

What is the difference between affirming/encouraging/celebrating good works and feeding virtue signalling?

Just to put the idea out there - good deeds require no recognition for them to be "good". If you help someone, and no one knows you did, including the person you helped, have they still been helped? Of course they have. Doing good is good on its own! Sometimes we can celebrate and encourage good works, but we want to make sure we give thanks to God for the person or for the results. We should always deflect praise to Him.

You said that you can respect/be subject to a leader without always doing what they ask. Could you give an example of when this might be appropriate?

Conscientious objectors in times of war may be one example. Simply not following unjust laws (for example, you may not report someone when you see them steal a loaf of bread to feed their family) is another. However, as Christians, we should not ignore unfair laws or injustices - we should seek to correct them. In a country like Australia, we have the opportunity to lobby governments successfully - and we should where change is needed. We should not just break the law without advocating for change. That would be, I believe in relation to Titus, irresponsible.

What are some ways that we can avoid being bitter about not receiving recognition for doing good things when we see social media full of people getting a lot?

Remember where your true reward is. Matthew 6 - your heavenly Father sees all that you do - and He will reward you. We must keep that very real perspective. It's GREAT when people don't see your good works and you aren't rewarded for them. You have truly done something for the sake of reflecting Jesus' character of love and kindness.

How do we love Christian brothers and sisters who we feel are virtue signalling?

Sometimes with great difficulty! Perhaps it's a cop-out, but on social media, I tend to just ignore them. Sometimes, however, they may be just want attention - they may be very insecure and seeking to be validated. It's good to offer them that but in a Christian way. Love them for who they are and not for what they have done. Remember we are all flawed human beings and sometimes we just need to be shown grace and mercy. Keep loving them. Just don't fall into the trap of enabling their unhelpful behaviour. Sometimes, that means calling them out.

What is the difference between goodness and kindness?

The4 Greek word for kindness here is like the word for "useful" or "profitable". Here it is implying a "spirit-induced" kindness. A kindness motivated by the Holy Spirit - God-like kindness. The word for good is "philos" - love for others, or "love for humans". It's where we get the word "philanthropy".

They are not synonyms, but they do point to the same idea overall.

Can you learn devotion to doing good or does it flow naturally from being a Christian?

Like any part of our character, it is something we have that we can grow. God gives it to us. Our purpose and motivation are given to us when we are born again in him. But we do need to focus on growing that character, always checking our motivations.

Titus is a cracker of a name, how come you rarely meet a Titus now?

Too right! According to some stats, in the last 75 years, only 10 Australians have been given the name Titus. In the USA, in the last 100 years, over 17,000 boys have been named Titus. In Argentina, it's more common as a girl's name - although still not very common at all!

It is a very cool name. Not used nearly enough. Very popular during New Testament times it was a Roman name meaning, in Latin, "Title of honour". It was the name of a Roman Emporer in the first century.

Is there any difference between doing work that meets people physical needs vs spiritual needs when doing good? How do you think about that?

'Interesting question. We must think of the whole person when we seek to help them. We can't "just" help their physical or spiritual needs. Obviously, anyone's greatest need is to know Jesus as Saviour. But a starving person needs to be physically fed first. Jesus' great example of this was the paralysed man who wanted healing. Jesus forgave his sins FIRST, then healed him, as a way of showing his power over both. "Good works" are when we do the work of God on earth. He feeds the hungry and humbles the proud, he comforts the grieving widow and brings salvation to those who trust in him. In other words - it's all good and all necessary. If we see a need, we should ask "how can I do good here?" Sometimes the answer is spiritual, sometimes it is physical, sometimes it is both.

When doing something kind for someone, what can we say so the receiver understands this is for God's sake.

Sometimes that may be helpful. But it's never necessary. God will be glorified just by you doing good. Trust God - he will use your good work for his glory. He has ways to do that! Sometimes, you may just finish by saying (or typing on an email), "God bless". A nice little way to indicate where your heart is.

Sometimes it feels that there are certain ways of doing good that are more accepted or encouraged than others. Should devotion be unique to individuals?

Yes, I suppose that makes sense. Overall, our "stance" is to seek to show God's love, mercy and kindness. How we do that will depend on the circumstances, or sometimes, even the country or culture in which we live. As a silly example, did you know that in some cultures, a good housewarming gift is a pot plant. In others, a good gift is toilet paper!

Referring to v2, does ‘Do good’ refer to the way how we manage the relationship with others? If it does, shall we be vulnerable in the hands of bad people?

I don't believe so.

"2to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone."

Being gentle or peaceable doesn't mean we are a doormat for people. We certainly should never slander. You can walk away from an evil person with gentleness and consideration. Road rage is probably one of the best everyday examples. There is no good reason to lose our temper on the roads, although there are plenty of bad drivers.

We must remain people of peace and love. Jesus of course is the perfect example. He never kept quiet towards evil people. He never held back. Was he gentle? Well, another translation for the word "gentle" is "reasonable". The word literally means "seeking true justice". In human terms, sometimes that doesn't involve being "gentle". What's the intent of the verse? It's to be different to the world. It's not OK to slander. It's not ok to be inconsiderate. It's not OK to be harsh. There are other ways to be firm and not taken advantage of. But it often leaves us vulnerable to the world. Not slandering can often leave us out of the gossip circles. Being harsh with people might help us up the corporate ladder. But is it worth it to lose our Christian character?

A review on Titus leads to an impression that a reborn Christian is building up an integrity from inside by the power of God. Can it be said that?

Yes, that's a nice way to say it. We are reborn. We have a new "stance" in Christ. We are building on a new platform by the power of God. It's important to remember that - God is the one who gives us the power to be different from the world and to have a different daily motivation.

Click here to watch the questions answered during our live Q&A after the sermon at night church last Sunday.

Q and A is from 1:06:30

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