Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Reformation Sunday, The Church that has to be Reformed.Titus 3: 1-11
....Be ready to do whatever is good. Titus 3:1b
Reformation in Churches is imperative when we diverge or deviate from true faith in theology and doctrine, for correction and betterment of the entire humanity. Reformation emphasizes the sovereignty of God and the authority of the Bible. A reformed Church believes that salvation is not earned but is an unmerited gift (grace) from God and good deeds are the result or response to that gift. In the Western world, theologians Martin Luther and John Calvin are remembered as two great leaders of the reformation. Abraham Malpan, Palakunnathu, also known as Martin Luther of Kerala, was the leading reformer of the Mar Thoma Church. Our Mar Thoma church is a reformed and reforming church, catering to the needs of humanity, showing God's love, irrespective of caste, creed, gender, and nationality. Fruits of this reformation are the many mission activities among the poor and marginalized in the world, Navajeeevan center. Navodaya movement, Light to a Life project, Mexico and Native American mission .., to mention a few.
Titus, 1st, and 2nd Timothy are referred to as “Pastoral Epistles” as they were written by Paul to give instructions to local church leaders. In today’s given portion, we see Paul exhorting Titus, a young and trusted Greek helper (Gal 2:3) and spiritual son who he had left behind in Crete, (the largest and most populous Greek island) to carry out some unfinished, challenging task. Cretans claimed to know God, but by their actions they deny Him.
In verses 1 and 2 Paul lists seven behaviors worthy of a true Christian and in verse 3 he lists seven behaviors of unbelievers. Paul reminds Titus that those who are now Christians had formerly been wicked, disorderly, and sensual but by “the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit” they have become heirs to eternal life not “ on their merits but by His Grace”. Paul asks Titus to remind the Cretan Christians that they should empathize with and not feel hostile toward or superior to those who were not yet converted.
Paul also tells Titus to avoid pointless debate, arguments, and quarrels over the law of Moses as these promote controversies rather than God’s work (1 Tim. 1:4). A divisive person must be gently instructed once and then a second time. If he does not respond favorably then leave him alone trusting that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth. (2 Tim 2:25-26)
Today let us heed Paul’s admonition and devote ourselves to seeking every opportunity to do good to everyone by using our time, talents, resources, and influence by acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our Lord. (Mic 6:8)
O Lord, help us to be humble, obedient, compassionate, and devote ourselves to seeking every opportunity to do good to others and thus glorify Your name. Amen.
Thought for the Day
Will others see us as Christ’s Ambassadors in our spiritual and secular walks of life?
Philip Manuel & Laila Anie Philp
Carmel MTC Boston