Our key passage for this piece is Titus 3:14.
“And let our’s also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.” (KJV).
And, in writing to Titus, the apostle Paul gives solid instructions regarding the establishing of churches, teaching of congregations and what the message should be to the lost of the local community.
At the end of the letter, Paul warns of the church, and Christians against losing credibility by getting into arguments and disputes.
“ 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. But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.” – Titus 3:8-9 (KJV).
In recent times, I have seen many Christians engaged in confrontations that do nothing to further the gospel.
If we analyse what Paul is saying in chapter 3 verse 9, and bring it up to today, we find the following.
Foolish questions. The unsaved are forever challenging the saved with worldly opinions. In every case, disputing is not the answer. The answer always lies in scripture. Quoting the Bible in every situation means the foolish questioner is disputing with God – not you!
Genealogies. At the time of the early church, the Jews believed their Jewish heritage saved them. It is interesting that the first chapter of Matthew carefully explains Christ’s genealogy so there can be no disputing on that account when He starts His ministry.
On several occasions He is labelled “The King of the Jews”.
Today, there are many Christian denominations and people often believe that just belonging to an organisation is proof of salvation. This is exactly the same false belief as the Jews had at the time of Christ.
Contentions. We live in a time where all the media tries to do is be contentious. Christianity and true faith are lampooned, and when Biblical truth determines our position on abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia and so on, we are labelled “hateful”.
The challenge for Christians is to shelter under the rock which is Jesus Christ and simply say the world’s arguments are with the instructions from Almighty God not us as individuals.
Strivings about the law. We constantly see protests over laws which are deemed unfair or discriminating. We forget that we live in a country where elections are held every three years, and God decides who shall govern and what laws will be enacted.
Our job is to be ambassadors for Christ. We live in a foreign land and – for a true believer – our home awaits us in heaven. We are pilgrims just passing through and our job is to present the gospel to the lost.
The world is what it is, and has been from the beginning, and will be until Christ returns so we just have to live through these times as an example and a testimony of what true Christianity is all about.
Think about an ambassador and what their job is representing their country, and apply that to our testimony to the world. We are to represent Christ in the best possible way.
Try not to cause offence, or upset, and simply concentrate on telling those who will listen the benefits of the gospel.
Christ’s own ministry only criticised the religious leaders of the day, despite His nation being under the rule of Rome.
“And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s. And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace.” – Luke 20:25-26 (KJV).
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About the author
Barrie Hanson lives in Bluff, Southland. He has been a Christian for over 40 years and in that time he has been a preacher, Pastor and a church helper in both Auckland and Hamilton.
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