Paul’s aim in life was to always bring people to Christ. He also wanted others to live a godly life, for their own sake as well as to bring others to the truth.
So how should we live? And why?
Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
Paul explained how the different groups Titus was working with could live this:
- older men—be self-controlled, be worthy of respect, live wisely, have sound faith and be filled with love and patience
- older women—live in a way that honors God and teach younger women
- younger women—love their husbands and children, live wisely, be pure, work in their homes, do good, and submit to their husbands
- young men—live wisely
- slaves—obey their masters, don’t talk back, don’t steal, but show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good
- everyone—submit to the government and its officers, be obedient, do good, don’t slander anyone, avoid quarreling, be gentle and show true humility.
And why? So they don’t bring shame on the word of God, so people have nothing bad to say about believers (and will be ashamed of their own actions), and so they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way.
Is this another justification for slavery? No. Asking slaves to do what it takes to live the gospel, within the limits of the laws of the day and their circumstances, is hardly a justification of anything other than living to please God.
Paul was ready to die for the gospel, so he wasn’t asking anything more of people than, as he had, to accept their lot in life.