God’s transforming grace affects all of life. To be a Christian is not about being religious and attending church once each week. Have a look at these two verses:
- “Be submissive to the rulers and authorities.” That’s talking about our attitude to government, that we respect our leaders (even if we disagree with them) and “be obedient” to the laws unless they are telling us to disobey God.
- “to be ready for every good work.” We should be seeking to do what is right in every situation, to help others as God gives opportunity.
- “to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarrelling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” So, transforming grace doesn’t just impact our behaviour; it also changes our speech. Not gossiping, avoiding argument, to be reasonable and not divisive, and to be respectful.
So, we are to be godly citizens, good neighbours, those that serve our communities, those that speak well and not evil, those that are gracious and respectful in our speech. This is part of being a Christian believer.
Why? Remember back in Titus 2:10, we are encouraged to “adorn the doctrine of our God and Saviour” – to show how attractive the gospel is through our lives.
Another reason, particularly in the context of Titus, is that Christians are attacked for their faith. Paul was conscious of opposition from Roman and city leaders towards believers. Therefore, he wanted to give the authorities no reason (outside of the church’s obedience to God) to accuse Christians. In fact Christians should be better citizens and neighbours than everyone else, because we have the transforming grace of God and serve our nation, city and street to bring honour to Him.
We need to be sure that the world can only complain about our faith and not about anything else. Daniel’s accusers said this:
“We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.”The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Da 6:5.
May that be true of the church of Jesus Christ in these difficult days. So, we need to let the transforming grace of God affect everything.
But let’s also pray for our nation, government, neighbours and city. This is the best thing we can do for them. Our lives should shine to point people to Jesus, and our prayers should cry to God that the people around us would see.
The song below is written as a prayer for the city (or, if you live in a town or village, you can pray for them also).