How often does does your pastor’s message sound repetitive? Or, how many times has he made the same point? Or, how often have you scratched your head thinking you just heard that message?
The Book of Titus is a Pastoral Epistle, giving instructions to Pastors. Titus 3:1 starts out, “Put them in mind,” setting the context of the chapter on remembering. It is the God-given job of the pastor to not only teach and preach the depths of the Word of God but also to continuously remind their members of things they already know.
“Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, 2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. 3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Here, Titus, as pastor, is instructed by Paul to “Put them in mind“ to be upright citizens, how to be a “Christian” by God’s standards and not the world’s or religion’s.
Why should we remember this? Because we are first and foremost a citizen of Heaven, left here to be “ambassadors for Christ” (II Corinthians 5:20). As ambassadors, we show our heavenly citizenship by how we live as citizens here upon earth. In other words, we’re trying to recruit more citizens in Heaven by revealing Heaven to them through us. We are to be demonstrating “the kindness and love of God our Saviour.”
A Christian citizen should be an influence for good in the community where every way of man seems wicked. How do we do this? By revealing God’s grace through our lives.
Look at the verses leading up to Titus 3:1:
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
- “the grace of God” has already been revealed to all men when “our Saviour Jesus Christ … gave himself for us.”
- “the grace of God” continues to be revealed as we “live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world!”
Since our natural tendency is to backslide, we must be often reminded of a few things that this wicked world can see “the grace of God.” If we are going to effectively reveal our Lord Jesus Christ, then we cannot forget who we really are.
The one word that gets in the way and keeps us from wanting to remember in the first place is PRIDE. Pride causes us to think more highly of ourselves then we ought. Paul said that it is “through the grace given unto me” that man is able “not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3).
It is pride that causes us to compare ourselves with others who are less spiritually fortunate than we are (Luke 18:11). Fact is, we do not have the right to compare ourselves with others. Why? Because we are ALL wicked sinners in God’s eyes. What we have the right to do is to compare ourselves to the Bible, which is the only thing that gives us the right to judge ourselves and to judge others.
Pride sends the wrong message to the world causing them to turn away from God rather than towards Him. Pride puts us in the shoes of King David who was told of his pride, “by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme” (II Samuel 12:14). Like most in the world and many in the church, David thought he was above God’s Law. He thought he got away with a great sin. His pride had him pointing fingers as others rather than himself. David was humbled only after he was reminded who he was.
In Titus 3, we find several applications to help us remember exactly who we really are as our pastors preach to us full filling the teaching to “Put them in mind.”
Here is a brief outline of Titus 3:1-7 concerning “Put them in mind”
I. Remember WHO WE ARE before the world (3:1)
II. Remember HOW WE ARE before the world (3:2)
III. Remember WHAT WE WERE before the world (3:3)
IV. Remember WHAT WE ARE before the world (3:4-7)