November 10th, 2021 – Titus 3:8

Verse of the Day Devotion  Titus 3:8  This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.  

Paul starts this verse by stating ‘This is a trustworthy statement’. This refers to what he had just said, that the doctrine which he had stated about the method of salvation was of highest important, and entirely worthy of belief. “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7. Paul found it of utmost importance that we speak confidently, with no doubt at all, of the salvation that God provided through Christ.  And this salvation was not on the basis of good works, as was the teachings of the Jews, but purely on the basis of His mercy.  And this mercy is beyond everything we can imagine.

But it is also important that we make it our way of life to do good works, not so that we can be saved, but because we have been saved.  Theologian Charles Spurgeon put it this way, “The common actions of everyday life, when they are well done, with a view not to merit, but out of gratitude these are good deeds. Be careful to engage in good deeds” of every sort and kind. You are sure to be working in some way; mind that your works are good works.”

Note how Paul ends this idea. “These things are good and profitable for men.” He is not saying it is good and profitable only for the one who does the deeds, but also to those who are the recipient of these good works.  There are people in need of many things, including the basic necessities of life.  Remember what Jesus said, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31.  This idea of being careful to engage in good deeds has not gone away as if it were a temporary precept.  How can we say we love someone when we see they are struggling and we have the means to help them, but we do nothing. 

James put forth a similar idea. “What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” James 2:14-16.  He is speaking here of someone who is not careful to do good to others.  However, many people do just what James alludes to.  In times of need, words are not enough, assistance is what is needed.  And the assistance that brings people through tough circumstances is, I believe, what Paul refers to as good deeds. 

So, I want to encourage us all who are reading this and are believers to do good deeds to help people who are in need.  And also to train Christians we come into contact with to do the same.  Let our good deeds be seen by others in such a way that it encourages them to do the same.  We must not do it to lift ourselves up, but to lift up those in need. By doing so we will be doing the work that God has called us to: to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and also to love our neighbor as ourselves. “And on these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:40.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

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