The Emphasis of Good Works in Paul’s Letter to Titus

Lately I’ve been meeting with God in the book of Titus.  In this short, three-chapter letter Paul gives more than a little weight to the importance of good works.  Take a look at these statements:

  • Speaking of certain unbelievers, Paul says, “They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works.  They are detestable, disobedient, ” unfit for any good work” (1:16).
  • Speaking to Titus, he says, “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works” (2:7).images (61)
  • Speaking of believers, he says that one of the reasons why Jesus redeemed us is to “purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (2:14).
  • Speaking to Titus about his teaching, Paul says, “Remind them… to be ready for every good work” (3:1).
  • Again, speaking to Titus about his teaching, Paul says he wants Titus to “insist on [the gospel] (which he details in verses 3-7), so that those who have believed God may be careful to devote themselves to good works” (3:8).
  • Speaking to believers again, Paul says, “And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful” (3:14).

Be careful to notice how 2:14 and 3:8 bring the gospel into play before they mention good works.  Paul emphasizes the importance of good works, but he also wants to make sure they are fueled by gospel-motivation.


About Brent Osterberg

Ransomed sinner, husband to Keri, father to the kiddos three, associate pastor at Calvary Bible Church in Fort Worth, TX, and lover of most things epic. View all posts by Brent Osterberg

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