Do you ever insert your name in the letter?
Paul, Patricia, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— 2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3 and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,
Skip down to verse 12 so that you can see why this letter is being written to the churches in Crete:
12 One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” 13 This saying is true.
Oh my! So this is what the Bible studies look and sound like. Not good.
Paul orders the silencing of certain teachers because their teaching is deceptive: theologically, socially, and morally.
16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for doing anything good.
I noticed that chapter 2 was very similar to the letter to Timothy. What are the characteristics of leaders? So if we really want to be a leader in God’s eyes, look at the list and see where we need refinement. Set some godly goals for 2022-
- be temperate,
- worthy of respect,
- your sound is in faith, in love, and in endurance.
- to be self-controlled.
- by doing what is good.
- show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
- reverent in the way they live,
- not to be slanderers,
- not to be addicted to much wine,
- teach what is good.
- love their husbands and children,
- to be self-controlled and pure,
- to be busy at home,
- to be kind,
- to be subject to their husbands
Slaves- (for the sake of today, look at financial responsibility or as an employee)
- try to please them,
- not to talk back to them,
- do not to steal from them,
- Show that you can be trusted
- say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions,
- live self-controlled,
- be upright and show godly lives
How to live under civil authority: (rulers and government)
- Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities,
- to be obedient,
- to be ready to do whatever is good,
- to slander no one,
- to be peaceable and considerate,
- and always to be gentle toward everyone.
Let’s pick the following scripture apart:
3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.
The Greek word here for kindness is ‘chretotes’- (Christlike, in flesh). The word love in this text is ‘philiantropia’-(to love humans). These words were used to compare Jesus to Zeus. Terms used to characterize Zeus were selfish and misanthrope. Zeus hated humans. So Paul expounds on the ‘contrast’ of Zeus and Jesus by saying:
4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
I zoned out the first time I read this book, nothing absorbed. So I listened to it. Nothing absorbed. I stopped, prayed, took a deep breath… reread it. AND LOVED IT. The end of the book ends with:
14 Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.