This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— Titus 1:5 English Standard Version (ESV)
As I read the letter, I was struck by how often Paul urged Titus and the people in his congregations to love and good works. Especially, good works.
After speaking about those who are insubordinate, Paul admonishes:
To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, [and] unfit for any good work. Titus 1:15-16 (ESV)
After describing characteristics those in the congregation should display, he admonishes Titus to:
Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. Titus 2:7-8 (ESV)
After a nutshell declaration of our sanctification:
[Our great God and Savior Jesus Christ] who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:14 (ESV)
Prior to a description of our justification:
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. Titus 3:1-2 (ESV)
And again, as a bookend to the aforementioned description:
The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. Titus 3:8 (ESV)
Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful. Titus 3:13-14 (ESV)
Condensing what Paul says about good works:
- The pure (through Christ alone) were created to do them
- We should be models to encourage others to do them
- We should be zealous (i.e., eager), ready (i.e., fully prepared), and devoted (i.e., committed) to do them.
We were created for good works so let’s go do them.