- The Explore the Bible lesson for August 18 focuses on Titus 2:1-15.
The dictionary defines integrity as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.” Most often, I have heard integrity referred to as doing what is right, especially when no one is looking.
To live with integrity must mean my lifestyle is conformed to one of truth, honesty and trustworthiness—always. This does not mean mistakes will not happen. On the contrary, it means when I do err, I will own up to the mistake and likely own up to it quickly—sooner rather than later.
Spiritual integrity then must be to take the things of God and overlap it with our secular definition of integrity—truth, honesty and trustworthiness. So, it means doing what is right, good and profitable when no human eyes see, yet being fully aware God always see all.
Spoken (Titus 2:1)
Paul challenged Titus to speak the truth and do good for the sake of the gospel. Integrity in this challenge is to not succumb to ungodly cultural norms and sinful behaviors. Further, Titus and all believers are challenged to resist the temptation of compromising the gospel in order to avoid conflict. Titus is called to testify in word to the truth of the gospel. Current day Christians are challenged to do the same.
As servants of Jesus Christ, how do we remain steadfast amid adverse situations or events?
Acted (Titus 2:2-10)
Older mature men and women who are faithful know how to stand strong for God while facing adversity, troubles and persecution. Because of the growth of mature Christian women, they are in a better position to teach and encourage younger women.
Sharing the importance of self-control and demonstrating what is good, what integrity looks like, seriousness and sound doctrine to young men will build a strong hedge of good and noteworthiness in them. Titus is encouraged to teach by showing.
Paul encouraged Titus to identify practical ways of demonstrating godliness in all forms of life. Paul not only addressed older/younger men and women; he also addressed slaves. This is not to be confused with chattel slavery of America, also known as the Transatlantic slave trade, but the slave/master status of some of our early Christian sister and brothers.
Empowered (Titus 2:11-14)
We are blessed with God’s grace unto salvation. Further, we are empowered with grace to resist temptations and live a godly life based on the gospel as we anticipate the coming of our great hope and savior—Jesus Christ. He is the Savior who purchased us from all wickedness and into doing all that is good. Salvation is freely offered to everyone, yet only granted to those who accept Christ.
How does the power of the gospel help us to live godly lives?
Authority (Titus 2:15)
Titus is to teach, encourage and rebuke based on the word of God. In order to do this, Paul directed Titus to act with authority, know who he is as a believer and whose he is and not allow Christians to disregard his message.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your word. Thank you that you have called us to be bold and to exercise our authority in order to speak and act on the things of God. Help us, Lord. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Lisa M. Rainey, PhD., is a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield, Texas.