Transformed people live transformed lives
The heartbeat of the Christian life is becoming more like the One who has saved you. How does God make you like Himself? He transforms you by His grace. When the grace of God touches your life, you know it, because God begins to conform you into His image. As God transforms us in our heart, a transformed life is sure to follow.
In the book of Titus, the Apostle Paul gives seven ways Christians can show the transformation God has brought to their life, especially in a lost and secular world. If there is anything Christians need to be reminded of at this moment in history, it is these seven things.
First, Christians are to be submissive to rulers and authorities (Titus 3:1). The government at the time Paul wrote this was cruel, ungodly, immoral, and oppressive, yet Paul told Christians to submit. The only time a Christian is permitted not to submit to governing authorities is when they are asked to do something that goes against clear Christian conviction. A Christian is never to renounce their faith or not share the Gospel, no matter what mandates the government places upon them. But, in most instances, Christians are to be a submissive people to those in authority.
Second, Christians are to obey governing authorities. Romans 13:1-2 says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore, whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” These are strong words. As I often remind the members of my congregation, kings and presidents are but pawns in the hands of our almighty God. He raises up rulers and brings them down, and our times are in God’s hands. We must obey those God allows into leadership, unless they ask us to do something against clear biblical conviction.
Third, Christians are to be ready for every good work. Mature believers should be marked by a readiness to serve and make a difference. Christians are not saved BY good works, but we are saved UNTO good works. When God does His transforming work in us, it leads to His transforming works through us. Christians should be eager and ready to do good to all people. There is no good work God’s people should be unwilling to do.
Fourth, Christians are to speak evil of no one. Paul continues in Titus 3:2 by saying that our words matter. Christians have a responsibility to hate what is evil, but not to hate those who are evil. In 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Paul tells us we are to pray for those in authority. Christians would do much better to pray for, instead of speak against governing leaders. In our very godless and secular age, it is very difficult not to speak against those who do evil, but even when we take our stand, we must not cross the line of speaking evil of anyone.
Fifth, Christians are to avoid quarreling. Believers show God’s transforming work in their life by not living contentious and argumentative lives. The Bible tells us to strive to live at peace with all people. Yes, Christians must maintain their convictions and not compromise on clear biblical teachings, but we must also strive to bring peace.
Sixth, Christians are to be gentle. Gentleness is not weakness. Jesus was the gentlest man who ever lived, but He was also the strongest. Christians are to show gentleness to others in the same manner God has shown it to them. The Bible says to “let our gentleness be known to all.” If Christians are guilty of anything, it should be that they are too kind and gracious.
Finally, Christians are to show courtesy toward all people. It is easy to be courteous toward people like us, but Paul reminds us to be considerate and courteous to all people, even those we do not like, or who are difficult. Jesus set the example and displayed for us how we are to put others above ourselves. A Christian’s life should be marked by love for God and service to others.
True Christians need to live lives that reflect God’s transformation. It is easy to say you are a Christian with your words, but what does your life reflect? Our life needs to reflect the seven things I have mentioned. Those things will help show the world the difference Jesus has made and continues to make in our lives. See you next week!