Paul’s final point to Titus here is that if we are people who have integrity – who speak honestly and truthfully then even though people may oppose us – they will not be able to say anything bad about us. They will have to admit you have integrity and that you are consistent.
The most damaging thing for the church and the Gospel are Christians, and Christian leaders who have been hypocritical in their behavior. I have seen a whole church ruined when an affair was discovered amongst married staff members – members of the church and fringe members simply left the church with a bitter taste in their mouths.
For Paul, theology and ethics are one – as we grow in Christ our behavior changes and we are transformed.
What he Should Teach: Again Paul says we must speak with sound / healthy teaching (v1) but also he tells Titus the core aspects of belief. Now these are not exhaustive but is a summary – a foundation of what is healthy doctrine (v11-14). Some commentators suggest this was originally constructed for a baptismal service. Notice that it focuses around Jesus. The grace of God has appeared – that is Jesus Christ – bringing salvation for all. Christ appeared and taught us how to live a new life – God’s curriculum is called “How To live”. It begins with repentence – a change of mind – denying the ways of the world.
Also, to live God’s way is to have hope – a future hope – the return of Christ.
Jesus Christ – his salvation – his death and resurrection – the future hope of being with Christ is Titus’ foundation in teaching.
Is Jesus the center of EVERYTHING for you and I? I was challenged in this recently having read John Pipers book “God Is The Gospel.” Piper says:
Are you in love with God? The critical question for our generation – and for every generation – is this: if you could have heaven with no sickness, and with all the friends you had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there.
How many of us would say, ‘you know, I just might be okay with that’?
Our foundation can only be Jesus if we desire to love him and are willing place everything else on him.
Do we really love Jesus to the extent that we would not want heaven if he were not there? Samuel Rutherford in the 17th century wrote: We want HIM! I should refuse heaven if Christ were not there. Take Christ away from heaven and it is but a poor, unheartsome, dark, waste dwelling. Heaven without Christ would look like the direful Land of Death.