Leaders are commissioned by God to lead us in a way of life, not activities of Christian expression. A personal relationship with God in Christ transforms our lives to become Christ-like in our character, nature, way, power, and authority. Leaders in the community of God set an example of such a change of life and they lead others into embracing a way of life that comes by the kindness and the love of God.
Titus 3:4-7 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Our main focus in life should be to see and embrace the kindness of the love of God in all things. He is the One who saves in all situations. He doesn’t just give us salvation into eternity when we die; He saves us daily in the desires, thoughts, reasoning, imaginations, and emotions of our souls. He rescues us in natural and supernatural ways with interventions of His mercy and grace to keep us in the path of life. Our aim in life is not to be right, but to be in a right relationship with God in all things. One can be right in their actions, but wrong in their hearts. One can be right in the law, but wrong in the actions of love. It is dependency upon God and a relationship of love that leads us into the way of life. We are part of a new generation. We are part of a family that has roots in the Tree of Life and is of the testimony of Jesus Christ, the firstborn from the dead for all of mankind. The Holy Spirit in our lives is the testimony that our life is no longer bound to the life of the flesh, but we have been grafted into the Vine of eternal life in Christ. The way of our family is eternal life in all things and in all times.
Titus 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
Our focus should be a focus of good works for the sake of others. We are children of God and as children of God our plans should be plans of nobility in this world. We were born for the life of the world and we should live our lives to give life-giving water to those who lack life. We are children of the King and we were born-again for the good of God’s kingdom in this world.
Isaiah 32:7-8 As for a rogue, his weapons are evil; he devises wicked schemes to destroy the afflicted with slander, even though the needy one speaks what is right. But the noble man devises noble plans; and by noble plans he stands (NASB).
Noble plans include the noble works that bring life to those in need. As children in the family of God we must avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law. A leader must not endeavor in the path of such divisive things and they must lead the community of God in doing the same.
Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless.
True doctrine is not what we believe about Scripture or our own views of the meaning of the law. True doctrine is our way of life. It is the way we think, the way we act, and the motive our hearts in all that we do. Our doctrine is seen in the character, nature, way, power, and authority of our lives. Our lives should cast a shadow that looks like the things found in the law, but we are not bound to or under the law. We are empowered by grace for real life-transforming change in our hearts and minds. This is what inspires the actions of our lives. It is not our understanding of Scripture, but our intimacy with God in Christ. Leaders must lead the community of God in the things that matter and they must avoid things that are unprofitable and useless in the family of God.
Titus 3:10-11 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.
Paul told Titus to deal with divisive people in the community of God, but not to waist time with them. They are not the focus of the community of God, but are a distraction to the real issues of life. A leader must seek to bring life-giving correction to those who are divisive, but not let them determine the agenda of a leader’s time or the important matters in the community of God. Divisive people are twisted in their thinking, missing the mark of true connection with the life of Christ, and thus putting themselves in the consequences of their own condemnation. The main events in the community of God are things of life, so leaders must simply put lesser things in their place. Lesser things are simply dealt with and not allowed to dictate the agenda of a community of God.
Titus 3:12-15 When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, be diligent to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Send Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey with haste, that they may lack nothing. And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful. All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.
Paul understood the importance of relationships and the testimony of life that comes through covenant-keeping, grace empowered lives. He was more than willing to call upon those in relationship with Him to join in the purpose of His life. Leaders must call upon and empower others to embrace the responsibility of bringing God’s people to the place of fulfilling God’s purposes in the earth. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ will be with the leader’s spirit and that same grace will empower all in the community of God to become who God declares them to be.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson