Titus 3:1-3 ESV
“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.”
Exceptions to Submission
With regard to being submissive to rulers and authorities, there are exceptions to this, as well, which is important that we understand, for many people are submitting to things they should not be submitting to. So, if any authority over us leads us to sin against God and to disobey his word and to deny Christ as Lord and to give our worship (loyalty, devotion) to any other entity or person, then we are to refuse (example: Revelation 12-14).
Jesus did not obey or yield to or submit to the Pharisees, et al, if they required of him to disobey God. They chided him often for healing people on the Sabbath but he continued to do so. The disciples did not obey the authorities over them when they commanded them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus. Daniel refused to stop praying to his God but he kept on doing what he did every day. And Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue.
And with regard to submitting to pastors of “churches,” much of what is being called “church” today is not the church. It is not the body of Christ operating under the authority of God in the power of the Holy Spirit doing what God has called his church to do. Most of these “churches” are businesses incorporated under the state and under the authority of church denominations which are following marketing schemes and goals for how to grow their businesses. And many pastors are more like cult leaders following marketing schemes and men of the flesh and not God and his Word.
And wives, if your husbands are leading you into sin, you can say, “No.” If they are leading you to disobey the Lord and the teachings of his word, you can tell them “No.” For you are to obey your husbands as unto the Lord, in the same way in which you would obey the Lord, and the Lord is not going to tempt you or lead you into any sin. So, if your husbands are leading you to compromise your biblical faith in any way, you can refuse kindly. Otherwise you should submit to your husbands as you would to the Lord.
Ready for Every Good Work
We read in Ephesians 2:8-9 that we are saved by God’s grace, through faith, and this is not of our own doing. Even the faith to believe in Jesus comes from God. This salvation which comes from God is not the result of our own works lest we should boast. BUT… verse 10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Most people leave out that verse.
We can do nothing in ourselves to earn or to deserve our own salvation, but our salvation is not absent of works. It is just that they are the works of God which he prepared in advance that we should walk in them. For Jesus gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works (Tit 2:11-14). So, we are saved to do the works God prepared for us to walk in.
So, we are to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Co 15:58; 2 Co 9:8). And just as we have always obeyed (if we have), we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in us both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Php 2:12-13). And we are to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work (Col 1:9-14; 2 Thes 1:11-12; 2 Tim 2:21; Tit 3:8; Jas 2:17; Gal 5:6; Jn 15:1-11).
And then we read all throughout the New Testament how we are to walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands, and how we are to no longer walk in sin, according to the flesh, and how we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, and how we are to deny self and daily die to sin and to self and to follow the Lord in obedience in everything. And then we read that if we continue living in deliberate and habitual sin and not in obedience to the Lord, and if we practice hate and not love that we will not inherit the kingdom of God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:28-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:3-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23]
Speak No Evil
Now, when this says we are to speak no evil of anyone this is not teaching that we are to remain silent about lies being spread by wolves in sheep’s clothing. We are to test the spirits to see if they are of God and we are to expose false teachers and false teaching for what it is so that others are not being led astray by these charlatans and these masqueraders of righteousness who are spreading lies about God and about Jesus and about his gospel message. And then we are to proclaim the truth of the gospel.
So, when this says to speak evil of no one it is talking about being hateful and nasty and/or slandering and gossiping about people in order to destroy their reputations and to make others not like them. This is without cause. But if a brother or a sister is living in open adultery and in defiance against the Lord and his commands, and if he/she is walking in deliberate and habitual sin we are to confront the sin and call them to repentance and then follow the biblical model for how to deal with unrepentant sin in the church.
Yes, we should avoid arguing with people, but we are to speak the truth in love, one to the other, so that none of us is led astray by men in their deceitful scheming who are teaching false doctrines. And if we are opposed, we should be ready to defend the truth of the gospel, to a point, but then pray for wisdom to know what to say and when to say it and how much to say and when to remain silent, too. For some people just won’t listen. But we should always be kind and not turn this into a spiteful fight.
And we must remember from which we came so that we are not too hard on those who are not living up to the faith that they profess. Now, this is not saying to give them a pass or to placate their sin or to say nothing. We should not be silent on the subject of deliberate and habitual sin in the lives of those professing faith in Jesus Christ. Yet, we can certainly follow Jesus’ example there. He spoke differently to the ones who knew better and who were living hypocritically than he did to those who were ill informed.
An Original Work / April 15, 2012
Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace.
From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.
Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love
That He gives me
By His Spirit, from above.
Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend.
With my Savior, by His Spirit,
I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died.
On a cruel cross He suffered
So that we might be alive.