He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it (Titus 1:9).
Titus is a pastoral letter, meaning that Paul is writing to Titus, the pastor of his planted churches in Crete, instructing him in the importance of teaching sound doctrine. There is no better advice to a new pastor than to stick to the truth! And there is no better defense against false teachers than the truths of the gospel!
Paul exhorts Titus to elect elders in each of the Cretan churches who will teach sound doctrine because the gospel is the source of godliness. It is the Lord’s kindness that compels us to obey. Godly acts are motivated and empowered by the gospel – by the steadfast love of the Lord.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age (Titus 2:11-12).
The gospel is mysteriously transforming. It first teaches us that we desperately need to be saved. David writes in Psalm 31:10, “For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.”
Sin causes a spiritual crisis. We need to be rescued! We need a Savior – someone to transform us, strengthen us and preserve us for his Kingdom. We need grace.
Psalm 32 shows us the way to salvation!
I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin (Psalm 32:5).
God offers forgiveness. He covers our sin and accepts us into His Kingdom because of the sacrifice of Christ that was poured out for us. This is God’s amazing grace. May we rest in his steadfast love!
Blessed be the Lord,
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
…you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy
when I cried to you for help (Psalm 31:21-22).