Ethics is a term used by the world and politicians. It’s a code of moral conduct, the standard they take. Most of the time it is not good. It’s a mess of corruption and pollution. I’ve been told Colorado just passed a law that ages 10 and above, male or female, can go topless. There is hardly anything wrong anymore, that is except what is truly right.
I’m thankful for the book of Titus. Here we read about the Christian standard. You can’t separate Christianity from a correct moral standard. So many want to profess Christianity. They want to be good church goers, but they separate their church life from their everyday life so it doesn’t affect who they are. I saw that growing up and sensed the hypocrisy in it. However, many are satisfied with that. Jesus never meant for salvation to be so ineffective in our life that it begins and ends with coming in and out of church. God wants to be real. He wants each of us to be good people. Living the Christian life is a different life. It’s not just a moral life or being a good neighbor. That isn’t what saves you. We can’t live right until we are right with God.
Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, 2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. 3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
You take someone who is a Jehovah Witness. They are dead serious about being in this religion. You don’t talk to them long before you know it. The same goes for those who are of the Mormon religion or any other religion. They are not afraid. Hindus act like Hindus. Buddhists act like Buddhists. When it comes to Christianity there is a smorgasbord of beliefs. So many profess to be a Christian, but it’s one thing to profess but another to be a person who possesses Christ and reflects him. What does letting our light shine mean? First, you must have a light before it can shine. Then by conduct we show our Christianity. Does it guard your passions? Does it control your emotions? Does it hold back your temper? How easy is it to respond gently? This is how Christians are judged. The failure of so many of us in how we conduct ourselves everyday. We have to watch that we “stay in the lane” walking the straight and narrow way that the Bible calls Christianity. We’re not helping Jesus save us by this kind of living. We live it because we are saved. The only way to be a real Christian is simply to be one.
Verse 1 tells us to obey the law. We are to be law abiding citizens. There are laws that transgress God’s Word. I’ll obey God rather than man in this case. I’m not for abortion just because it’s legal. I’ll stand against it because God is against it. As Americans we have the right to uphold God’s convictions. Peter blended in with the crowd on that fateful night of his denial of Christ. He was within earshot of Jesus. It’s up to us to be Christian citizens by conducting ourselves as real Christians. Don’t just do it when you’re around other Christians. Do it around everyone. Even in the dungeon Paul and Silas maintained their Christian character. A true Christian is a true Christian by himself. He reads his Bible and prays even if no one else is around. He switches the television channel if he shouldn’t be watching a specific program. Be a Christian by yourself and it will be easier when you’re around others.
What’s the basis? Verse 3. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. “We ourselves also” means that just like so many; we were like others. But now–don’t let the flesh rule you. We are not perfect, but we have a new nature. Malice is thinking of something evil to do to someone else. Envying is wanting what others have. We’re acting like the old person we were when we do these things. Be the new person. Without Jesus we are nothing. Verses 4 and 5 tells us But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. We’re saved by grace and mercy, and we live in Christ by his grace, kindness, and love. If God wasn’t kind to us we’d not know salvation. It’s the basis for how we are to act. He saved us by the washing of the old man, regenerating us. We are born again. As Christians with a new identity, we are made a new person in Christ Jesus.
Why don’t we want to be that new person? We can’t do it on our own. Through the Holy Spirit we can do it. We can live right. He showed salvation abundantly. Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Salvation envelops us. Our past is forgiven. We have a bright future beyond this world. We are saved right now. That’s the basis for our conduct right now. We can live it because of the love and mercy of God. If we live in the Spirit and don’t walk after the lusts of our flesh we can do it. Verse 8 says This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. It’s not “I’m going to be a Christian.” If you are saved it is “I am a Christian.” This is who you are. It’s who I am. It’s how we act. It’s our standard. Let the Lord help us to be profitable to others.
Other people are saved by the testimony of real Christians. When they see the change in us they are drawn to the person who made that change in us–JESUS. The Christian ethic is here. The choice is ours, each of us. Who will we live for? Ourselves? No. Let’s live for Jesus!