The Duties of Good Citizenship, Part 2
Scripture: Titus 3:1–3:2
The Duties of Good Citizenship
Text: Titus 3:1-2
April 27, 2014
The gospel not only creates the church but also brings order to it. Paul has argued in this letter that a rightly ordered church places the gospel at the center for church leadership (1:5-16) and church membership alike (2:1-5). There is one more area where the gospel brings order, namely how Christians are to live in society as good citizens (3:1-15).
A. Paul’s Concern
It is important to understand that Paul’s concern moves beyond mere civic righteousness (i.e., external conformity to the laws of the state). Serving as models of good citizenship goes beyond that which is defined by the state as consisting in good public civility. For example, Cretan believers and unbelievers alike can pay taxes to the Roman government. Paul is concerned that God’s people exhibit good works for the sake of the lost who observe their behavior (3:8). So, he moves beyond mere “Christian civility,” to the conversion of unbelievers (i.e., evangelism is his concern).
B. Gospel-Driven Citizenship
This letter grounds the virtues of church leadership, membership and citizenship in the gospel of the grace of God (1:1, 9; 2:11-14; 3:4-7).
I. Remember the duties of good citizenship (3:1-2).
A. The believer’s duties to government authorities (v. 1).
1. Governing authorities have not been granted the right to oppress their people.
2. There is a proper context for civil disobedience.
3. Paul views government authorities as being instituted by God (Rom. 13:1).
1. Civil obedience (Titus 3:1), ecclesiastical obedience (Titus 1:6; 2:15), domestic obedience (Titus 2:5), and workplace obedience (Titus 2:9) are interrelated.
2. We can express a submissive heart toward our governing authorities by paying taxes. Matt. 22:21
3. We can express a submissive heart toward our governing authorities by praying for them. 1 Tim. 2:1-3
© John Fonville
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More in Titus
January 18, 2015Demonstrate the Charity of Good Citizenship, Part 2
September 14, 2014Demonstrate the Charity of Good Citizenship
August 31, 2014Threats To Good Citizenship, Part 4