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Daily Devotional

December 3

FOR THE GRACE OF GOD THAT BRINGETH SALVATION HATH APPEARED TO ALL MEN

by Henry T. Vriesen

Titus 1–3

Titus was one of Paul’s most trusted coworkers. He was of Greek parentage, but apart from that we know very little about him. It seems that he was converted by the apostle’s preaching. He was taken by Paul to the council at Jerusalem (Acts 15), evidently in order to give the Jewish Christians a concrete case that the Gentiles also were permitted to have the privileges of the gospel. It appears that Titus was a man of a strong character. He organized the collection in Achaia for the believers in Jerusalem; and when grave difficulties arose in the congregation at Corinth, Paul sent Titus to handle the delicate situation, which he did with good results. The Epistle of Paul to Titus indicates that the isle of Crete for a while was the place of Titus’ ministry.

Paul in this epistle advises his beloved coworker, “To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: grace, mercy and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee … But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine … In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you … For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in the present world; looking for the blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”

“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 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; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men … All that are with me salute thee.”

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