Light Shines Best When It’s Darkest
Church leaders ought to be godly. Their whole life (family life, moral life) should stand out because they are seen as different in a culture if ‘liars, evil brutes and lazy gluttons.’ They should be firm in faith and doctrine so that they can teach and defend the truth. This is in direct contrast to the opposing forces in Crete (decaying culture and false teaching). If those are the qualities of church leaders, all other Christians should follow suit (2:1-10)
Doctrine vs. Works? – A Dualism Bubble
In chapter 3, Paul starts by encouraging Titus to remind the people to do what is good. But then, he continue with some doctrinal statements – what he calls a ‘trustworthy saying’. It is the gospel. What is the connection between doing good and doctrine/the gospel/ Paul has already stated this in 1:1 – ‘knowledge of the truth…leads to godliness’. In other words, sound doctrine produces good works. Paul’s letter to Titus teaches us how we should live in the midst of bad culture and false teachings. Is that so different from our own surroundings today? The way of godliness is how we should live, especially in the midst of bad culture. And how can we grow in godliness? Growth in godliness in ‘sound doctrine’.
Responding: Godliness in the face of bad society
- Malaysian society may find some similarities in the bad culture of Crete. E.g. Corruption, greed, laziness, low morals. Is your conduct governed by culture or by Christ? Is your life Different and seen to be different?
- This letter talks a lot about sound doctrine. It is the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness. How well do you know the truth of God? Is your knowledge of the truth merely INFORMATIVE or is it TRANSFORMATIVE?