Titus had previously traveled with Paul, and was now carrying out the beginning of the church on the island of Crete. In this letter, Paul reminded Titus of the gospel as the foundation and impetus for this work: the believers in Crete needed to remember the “why” before they started doing the “what.” The same is true for us. If we want to welcome others into the church, we must remember how we ourselves were once on the outside looking in—and how God welcomed us into His family with kindness and grace through Jesus.
- What is the relationship between the gospel message and our making other people feel welcome?
- How would you describe your experiences of being new in a church?
- In what ways are you using your own experiences to help others feel welcome in our church?
- What might be a common objection for not taking the initiative to welcome people we don’t know?
- Have you ever thought of being friendly and welcoming as a “good work”? Why or why not?
- What is the difference between being saved by good works and devoting oneself to good works?
- How do we know which issues are central to living out our faith and which ones are unprofitable?
- What steps can we take to redirect debates toward kingdom-focused conversations?
Taking it home:
- Which of the commands in Titus 3:1-2 have been most challenging for you? What could you do this week to be kind and gentle, even when you don’t feel kind and gentle?
- What opportunities are you aware of today to do good works by practicing Christian hospitality?
Other Scriptures to Engage with this week:
Ephesians 4:17-5:2; Galatians 3:23-4:7; Isaiah 43; 1 Thessalonians 2; Isaiah 49; Romans 12:9-21.