“…exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it.” 1 Peter 5:12
It’s hard to imagine a culture less concerned about sin, or more enamored with material goods, individual rights, and all forms of ungodliness than the one in which we find ourselves.
Yet during these dark spiritual times, instead of our Christian way of life confronting the sinfulness around us, we have allowed worldly philosophies to find a home in our hearts and minds. As a result, the name of Christ is stained, and the testimony of believers rendered worthless and the church becomes voiceless.
It was into this exact kind of situation that the apostle Paul nearly 2000 years ago writes this very pointed and personal letter to his young disciple Titus.
The message that Paul is communicating to Titus is:
HOW TO LIVE A GODLY LIFE IN A GODLESS WORLD.
The idea is this: Truth must be something that works its way into the way we live or it’s not really believed. It must show up in my daily schedule. It’s not enough to just talk about our faith, it must impact and change the way we live. Godliness must show up in our churches, in our homes and in our world.
In the opening verses in Titus chapter 1, Paul makes an appeal for truth.
“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth” Titus 1:1
Truth has fallen on hard times today. One of the greatest temptations facing the church today is that of watering down the truth of the Gospel to accommodate our culture. To that Paul says NO! That’s not how the church is to live! The church is to live godly and holy lives. We are called to live radically not apathetically! And it begins with standing up for truth’s sake!
When Peter penned his first letter under the inspiration of Holy Spirit his readers were confused and discouraged by the persecution they were encountering because of their faith. Peter exhorted them to stand strong, repeatedly reminding them of Christ’s example, the riches of their inheritance in Him, and the hope of His returning again to take them to heaven.
Peter described how Christians should respond when they suffer because of their beliefs. Peter’s primary message is to trust the Lord, live obediently no matter what your circumstances, and keep your hope fixed on God’s ultimate promise of deliverance.
Beloved, suffering is to be expected, but it is temporary and yields great blessings for those who remain steadfast. As followers of Jesus Christ, let us commit ourselves to Stand Strong for the hope of the gospel and the absolute commitment to the authority of God’s Holy, Infallible and Inerrant Word.