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Posts Tagged ‘Titus’

Verse 3: “But not even Titus who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.”
Verse 9: “and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we might go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised.”

Today is July 4, Independence Day, in the United States. This is the day we celebrate the birth of the United States of America; over 200 years ago, our forefathers fought against the tyrannical British monarchy to achieve their freedom from England. They wanted to govern themselves, not be subjected to the unfair laws and rule of King George. They wanted freedom from the law of the English empire.

Paul had gone to Jerusalem to meet with the Christian leadership, and he, too, was fighting for freedom: the freedom from the laws that the Judaizers were saying the Gentiles had to abide by, in addition to the grace of Jesus. Titus was Exhibit A in this case; a Greek uncircumcised Christian. Had the Judaizers had their way, they would have stated that Titus couldn’t be a Christian without obeying the law of Moses, including circumcision. Paul defended that it was grace and grace alone in Jesus Christ that was saving. The Christian leadership agreed with Paul; they also offered the “right hand of fellowship” to Barnabas and him to continue in the ministry to the Gentiles. The Judaizers had kept referencing the Jerusalem leadership in their arguments against Paul…now Paul had the endorsement of the Jerusalem Christian leaders that he was in the right…that the grace of Jesus needed no additional “requirements”.

That is what makes the Christian faith different from other religions; you can’t earn or work your way to Heaven. It’s a gift from God, the gift of Jesus. It’s freedom from the penalty of sin.

Happy Independence Day!

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verses 23-24: “As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ. Therefore openly before the churches show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you.”

Ever been welcomed somewhere where you really didn’t feel welcome? Going somewhere and being welcomed genuinely versus being welcomed superficially can be as stark a contrast as comparing a diamond to a lump of coal. I have also heard of places where the barometer of genuineness in welcoming was equal to the amount of celebrity or notoriety the “welcomee” had.

This shouldn’t be the way, especially with the church today. We should welcome all visitors with the same warmth, love, and belonging that Paul was boasting about in the Corinthians. He was telling them about the impending visit of Titus and the rest of the brethren. He was saying “prove to them that I haven’t been giving lip-service about you. Show them!”

I remember when our family visited the church we call home now; it was over 10 years ago we came to this church. We were warmly welcomed, greeted, helped (we had a 2-year-old boy at the time), and genuinely invited in. It wasn’t long afterwards we joined this church, and have never regretted it. Take that extra moment to greet the stranger who visits your church; for all you know, that visitor today will be the involved church family member tomorrow.

Have a blessed day!

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