The Gospel and Good Works

I have been spending time in Titus these last few days and have been helped by Paul’s instruction here. Paul tells us that Christ freely gave himself to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people who are zealous and committed to good works (Titus 2:15). The aim of the cross was to purchase a people for his very own. Through the cross then God purchases a people and cleanses them from sin. This people becomes a valuable possession to this gracious owner. The goal of the redemption and cleansing in this text is to produce a freed people who are freely and gladly zealous for good works. The people of God created, redeemed, and cleansed by the cross are a people who funnel their joy and freedom into a lifestyle of good. The book of Titus is a clarion call to good deeds. But this call to good deeds is clearly rooted in the finished work of Christ. This verse is not calling us to do good works it is simply saying we were created for this very thing. Understanding the gospel and understanding our identity through it is vital for grasping why we must do good works. Apple trees bear apples. Orange trees bear oranges. Grape vines bear grapes. Christians bear good deeds. It is not strange to ask a pear tree to bear pears. Nor is it strange to tell a Christian to do good deeds. Christ has redeemed us for this very purpose. It is in our spiritual DNA. We musn’t miss the link between gospel and good deeds here. This text provides a good foundation for proper thinking about the relationship between the two.

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