Titus 3 deals with many topics we can focus on and from which we can make application. He encourages his readers to do good works in verses 3-8 as well as stimulating one another to good works. In this passage, our good works are coupled with grace. Paul states plainly that God did not save us because of any good works we may be able to demonstrate. Instead of works, mercy and grace saves us, but he calls upon us to devote ourself to good works as a direct result of that grace. Such actions are a natural reaction to His impact on our lives.
Reacting to Grace
Ephesians 2:8-10 again reinforces the role of grace in our salvation, but again, grace and faith motivate good deeds. However, according to verse 9, such works are not for credit or boasting. Compared to what God has already done for us, anything we do pales in comparison. We do not rely on ourselves with a checklist mentality. Rather, we rely fully on God, and our reliance on God informs everything we do. God has created us for the purpose of good works, our reaction to our faith in His mercy.
In chapter 2 of James, the author associates faith with works. One example he gives is in James 2:15-16 where we can simply help someone meet a need. You or I might might be the only ones who know of the need, but we can help. Hebrews 10:24-25 talks about stimulating one another to love and good deeds. In this, we should be working together and assembling to build each other up, to encourage one another to do good works.
People have many motivations for their actions. We might follow God to have our sins washed, to be closer to God, out of fear. In Hebrews 10, Paul discusses one motivation for our good works – our encouragement of one another whenever we are together as Christians, reminding each other of the many things God has done for us. James 4:5-6 reminds us He also wants to continue to give us grace as we humble ourselves before Him.
The Ultimate Example of Grace
Christ’s sacrifice is a free gift for us to accept. Through Him, we gain access to our Father’s grace and mercy. As His children, our response should be to give of ourselves as graciously. If you haven’t yet, accept His grace, and dedicate yourself to a life of good works — not for personal glory or credit but to the glory of our Heavenly Father.
by Ben Lanius