Witness and live your faith with enthusiasm (Titus chapters 1—2). Qualifications of elders and bishops (1:5-9). Sound doctrine . . . (for) the aged men. . . . The aged women. . . . Young men. . . . (and the) servants (2:1-9). The coming of our great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ (2:13-14). Speak evil of no man . . . but (be) gentle (3:2). A beautiful portrayal of a sinner facing God with Christ as Intercessor (Philem. 1:1-25).
Anarchy (chaos, lawlessness) is Satan-inspired; we are to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work (Titus 3:1).
Christians are not at liberty to choose which laws to obey and which to disobey. Peter was led of God to write: Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God (I Pet. 2:13-15). As long as the laws are in effect and operative, we are taught to obey them with one exception.
When Peter and the other apostles were commanded by religious authorities not to tell others that Jesus is the Messiah-Savior of the world, they responded as faithful Christians should, saying: We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). Never did they resort to violence, rioting, or hatred against those who attempted to silence them, nor did they ignore the law of the land. They taught the Truth and often received a prison sentence or even death for their loyalty to God who is above all rulers.
Christians should faithfully declare the truth — even when it could mean imprisonment or death. It is Satan who instigates violence and rebellion or ignoring the laws. Failure to report or pay taxes or to obey any other disagreeable law is against the teachings of the Bible. Even though Jesus, as the Son of God, should have been exempt from paying a tax (Matt. 17:24-26), He said to Peter: Lest we should offend them . . . find a piece of money . . . and give unto them for Me and thee (17:27).
The Apostle Paul also was led by the Holy Spirit to emphasize the responsibility of Christians to be law-abiding citizens: For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil (Rom. 13:3-4).
Thought for Today:
And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's (Mark 12:17).
For Titus 1:2: See Num. 23:19.
Titus 1:14 Jewish fables, myths; 2:10 purloining, stealing, even small things; Philemon 1:8 enjoin thee that which is convenient, order you to do that which is proper; 1:12 mine own bowels, out of my very heart.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Henry Rogers • Government Officials: Sen. Max Baucus (MT), Sen. John Kerry (MA), and Rep. Mike Simpson (ID) • Country: Ireland (3.7 million) off the coast of western Europe • Major languages: English and Irish (Gaelic) • Religious freedom • 92% Catholic; 3.7% Anglican; 1% Other Protestant; .2% Muslim; .1% Jewish; 2% Other; 1% None • Prayer Suggestion: Pray when distressed and afflicted (Jon. 2:2).
Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Corinthians 13:2