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"Maintaining an Assertive Spirit for Good Works In Christ" Titus 3:8

Aug 4th, 2013 by Dr. Edward L. Hall

As Christians, we must always carry and display a spirit of appreciation for Christ for what he did for us at Calvary. Because of what he did for us at Calvary, it sealed out position as Christians. What he did at Calvary alone is enough for us to maintain an assertive spirit for doing good works in Christ.

            The Word of God states in Titus 3:8 in the Wuest’s Expanded Translation, "Trustworthy is the Word. And concerning these things I desire you to be strongly assertive, in order that those who have believed God may take careful thought to be forward in good works. Now the King James Version states, "This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might maintain good works. These are good and profitable unto men.”

            In our text from above, it is fascinating to analyze Paul’s language of the processes of grace how they are adapted from biblical times. Now Paul exegetical presentation as a hymn is design to strengthen Christians who became believers in Jesus. Now keep in mind that Titus’ book or epistle was written from Macedonia about 67 A.D (1 Timothy 1:3). Paul's dilemma is his desire to stress to the church the need to have an assertive confidence in what they have accepted in Christian experience with Christ (v. 8a). As we contemplate the writing of this text, we will see that the reason for assigning this biblical order in the church then follows: “… so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good” (v. 8b). Note how carefully Paul specifies the cause and results of our blessing in this epistle.  I find it rather interesting in the text that the sound man of God communicates, those who are believers should find themselves spiritually competent who have “trusted in God,” not in their achievements or integrity. Now I can appreciate the apostle’s expectation of those who have experienced the grace in Christ that they will be “careful to devote themselves to guard or give attention to doing what is good” (cf. 1:8; 2:1, 3, 7, 14; 3:1, 14). Our duties never acquire grace, but the doctrines of grace lead to the duties of gratitude that we all should perform.

            What I find so amazing about our text in Titus 3:8 is the biblical statement--"this is a faithful saying." The etymology of “Faithful” is pistos (πιστος), in the sense of “trustworthy” here. The word “Saying” is logos (λογος), “a word,” the emphasis being upon the Word as a spiritual concept of thought.  This is a Godly and Holy Spirit filled statement endorsed by God. Keep in mind that the word, logos (λογος) refers to the doctrines as given in verses 4–7, and their spiritual enlistment of data that support our foundation of lifestyle in Jesus. Now the word “Affirm” is diabainō (διαβαινω), which means, “to assert strongly or to asseverate or declare serious.” And so God’s Word conveys to us to do this “constantly” which comes from the prefixed preposition, which has a perfective force that carries with it the present infinitive middle voice, which intensifies the already existing idea for Christians to take this seriously. It encourages that we as Christians should assert strongly and confidently our position in Christ alone with volitionally choosing to serve with Christ to whom we have believed. The theological premise of this word is not “constantly” in the sense of continually, but uniformly. The Scholar Vincent translates, “affirm steadfastly.”

            So, the apostle Paul theologically stretches our minds spiritually with this thought for us to “Be careful” which is phrontizō (φροντιζω), “to think or consider, to take careful thought” to “Maintain” --proistēmi (προιστημι) or “to be forward in occupying ourselves in the good works in Jesus. As members of the Lord's church, let us strive to be optimistic and supported in doing well for work involved in the Lord's church, no matter what it is.