Wednesday, 4 July 2018
And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful. Titus 3:14
In verse 8, Paul was speaking about believers, and the good works they were to maintain. He then discussed those who are divisive and how to handle them. After that, he brought up sending Artemas or Tychichus to Crete. And then he spoke about sending Zenas and Apollos on their journey. In this verse, he now returns to the believers on Crete with the same thought he had left off with – good work. One final time before closing, he brings this subject up with, “And let our people learn to maintain good works.” Notice the similarity to verse 8 – “…those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works.”
The sense is that good works are to show forth from them in all they do, not merely for others to see the works themselves, but that they would see the state of those who do them, and the results of them. Needs should be met, contentment should be the result, and the works should show forth as being the reason for those things.
It is obvious that “our people in this verse” are those who “have believed in God” of verse 8. They are the saved of Crete, but Paul’s words are prescriptive for the church age. All who have called on God through Jesus Christ are included in this exhortation. Further, he says that they are “to meet urgent needs.”
This then expands on the words, “to maintain good works.” It follows on with the thought of the previous verse where Paul asked Titus to assist Zenas and Apollos. Their work needed assistance, and this is probably what spurred Paul’s mind onto repeating the need for good works and meeting urgent needs. Paul’s mind is directed to the state of the church, including those in it, and those who go forth from it. In meeting such needs, he says of the believers, “that they may not be unfruitful.”
Instead of just living out their salvation in a barren, useless way, he would have believers do that which is profitable towards meeting the needs which arise in the affairs of the church. This would, in turn, bless both the individuals and those who received their assistance. A church which is unfruitful will lead to a church which is stagnant, lifeless, and filled with moaners. Paul’s words are intended to avoid that.
Life application: The church often gets involved in things which are completely useless. Giving for a private jet for the pastor is such a thing. Instead, the church needs to focus on real needs of real people. The building where the church meets needs to be attended to from time to time. The pastor will normally receive his livelihood from the church. Missionaries cannot go out without funding and support. Such things are needed, and those in the church should be fruitful in attending to those things. To not do so, is to fail in the very word which has been given through Paul.
Lord God, grant us the desire to be more than just seat warmers in our church. Each believer must evaluate, and honestly answer, “What have I done to improve the church and those in it?” If nothing has been given of time, ability, or earnings, but only in the warming of a seat, nothing of value has been added to the church. Help us to give of ourselves as we have been prospered. To Your glory we pray. Amen.