Paul calls Titus to remind the Church to be subject to rulers and authorities. What if these authorities are oppressive to the Church? Should they still be subject to them then? I think Paul would say yes. At the time that this was written, the Jews and Christians alike were being oppressed. There’s a decent chance that Nero was Caesar at the time and he was known for blaming things on the Christians that caused people to persecute them. He was also known for putting Christians on crosses and lighting them on fire to light the gardens of Rome.
How does Paul call us to act as Christians in this kind of society with these kinds of rulers and authorities? He says to be obedient, be ready to do good, malign no one, be peaceable, gentle, and show every consideration for all men.
Obedient – Yes, there are times we are to go against the law of the land but we need to be careful about when/how we do this. Like in the example of Daniel, he was told he couldn’t pray but he did anyway. When Christians couldn’t worship openly, they did it in hiding. I’m not sure we can apply this to “unfair” taxes and just not pay them because we do not think it is right.
Be ready to do good – As Christians, are we known for the good that we do or for the evil that we stand up against. We should still stand up against sinful action but the good that we do should be what defines us.
Malign no one – We live in a country where we have the right to “Free Speech” but does this mean that as Christians we should always take advantage of this right? I’m fearful that sometimes as Christians we can become very hateful in our speech about those we feel like are opposed to us. Whether it is the President, Communists, Muslims, homosexuals, etc. we are not to speak maliciously against anyone.
Peaceable and Gentle – When people think of Christians in our society do these two words come to mind? We should be a presence of peace in this world of chaos. The world sees gentleness as a weakness but we look to the example of Christ and the gentleness that he showed those around him.
Every consideration for all men – What group of people are you least considerate towards? What person do you struggle being considerate to? Ask these questions seriously and make changes to be more like Christ on the cross who showed the full extent of consideration for all mankind.
We used to do all of those things. We weren’t worth much at all and we looked and acted just like the world…till the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared. That’s when everything changed. He saved us. It wasn’t because of anything we did but it was by His mercy through the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit. I want to point out here that Paul is saying that Baptism (the washing of regeneration) is not a work that we do but the mercy of God. We receive the Holy Spirit at our baptism and we becomes heirs with Christ our Savior. This is what Paul encourages Titus to speak confidently about so that the response of those who do believe in God will be to engage in good deeds.