By Oscar M. Baker

"Zealous of good works" (2: 14). A mark of a peculiar people. "Rebuke with all authority" (2:15). I hate to rebuke anybody. I haven't done very much of that. I don't like to be rebuked, do you? But when Titus is over bishops, deacons and so on, there's going to have to be a little of that to put folks in line. We're not exercising authority today, really. I'm not in the business of rebuking folks. I seldom do and if I do, I try to be positive rather than finding fault and maybe suggest there's a better way. I want to be helpful. I don't want to put anyone down. I want everyone who names the name of Christ to have a witness of some kind. And we can't be in the business of putting folks down and spoil their witness, what little they have might grow! I've known a lot of people who started out very weak sometimes we call it "on the wrong foot" and they turned out just fine! I'm so glad that I was friendly, and that I did try to help a little and didn't oppose.

"Hateful, and hating one another" (3:3). I don't know if I ever wasted much time on hate or not. However, I can see well, and can sympathize with folks who have to go through these things (listed in 3:3). I have nothing whereof to boast. I've told folks this, and I want folks to understand that I can't condemn them for what they do or think, for I have not been greatly tempted in my life. I was brought up a Christian in a Christian home, and went to a Christian college, and I probably wouldn't be tempted as much in a year as some folks are in 10 minutes. So where can I boast. I have to take that into account. So if these folks are tempted, and they slip, I think I'll just have to take the attitude that the Lord had, and not pay too much attention to it. And certainly not be blaming them.

"Maintain good works" (3:14). Not for salvation, but to work out their salvation with fear and trembling, that's maintaining good works!

"That they be not unfruitful" (3:14). Now, I've heard it said that the fruit of a Christian is another Christian. I haven't found that in the Bible, but it sort of makes sense. Have we so lived, and so spoken, that we have gotten somebody else to believe, to become a Christian? Some have more opportunity than others. Some have practically no testimony excepting just the way they live, they're not able to express themselves. And so we're all different, but that doesn't excuse us. If we live and behave ourselves as we ought to, there's somebody that's going to notice. And especially if we talk about Christ as Head of the church, His Body, because people will get curious, and you'll have an opportunity to explain it.

"Greet them that love us in the faith" (3:15). Folks, these personal greetings and contacts we have are necessary; it's a strengthening of the saints, a working together! Always remember, about the greatest miracle that ever happened was there at Pentecost, they were all together in one place with one accord.


From Truth For Today tapes - Titus Series, 8-10-86