The Out-of-Control Cretans

Author: Ronica Stromberg — Host: Andrew StevensPosted on: October 17, 2022

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
The Out-of-Control Cretans

One of the first missionaries, Paul, left Titus on the island of Crete to
oversee the new churches there and appoint elders in every town. Titus may
have been young, or at least younger than Paul since Paul refers to him as
“my true son in our common faith” (Titus 1:4). In the book of Titus, which
is really a letter, Paul advises Titus on how to handle false teachings and
immorality in the church.

Many people in the Cretan churches claimed to know God, but their actions
denied Him (1:16). We can guess what some of their sinful actions were by
noticing what Paul warns against: teaching false beliefs for dishonest
gain, engaging in foolish controversies and quarrels about the law, getting
drunk, behaving violently, gossiping and slandering others, stealing,
saying “Yes” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and living in envy and
hatred of others (1:7, 11; 2:3, 10, 12; 3:3, 9). Yet, the Cretans’ sin is
no worse than anyone else’s sin. In fact, Paul writes, “At one time we too
were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions
and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one
another” (3:3).

But the good news is, God mercifully saves us from hell and offers us
eternal life through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and the pouring out
of the Holy Spirit upon us. He didn’t save us because of anything good we
did or will one day do; He saved us because He loves us. And once we’ve put
our trust in Jesus, we are able to live in a way that honors our loving God.

Accepting the grace of God and the salvation message teaches us to say “No”
to ungodliness (2:11-12). Although Paul’s letter is short, he stresses the
need for self-control five times (1:8; 2:2, 5-6, 12). And self-control is a
fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). The Holy Spirit works in us,
helping us to exercise self-control and live godly lives by loving God and
loving one another (Matthew 22:36-40).
• Ronica Stromberg

• Why do you think Paul emphasized self-control in his letter to Titus?

• God doesn’t expect us to be able to say “No” to sin without His help. How
do God’s love and mercy toward us make it possible for us to live
self-controlled lives?

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It
teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live
self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. Titus 2:11-12


Read Verses:

Titus 2:6-Titus 2:8; Titus 2:11-Titus 2:14; Titus 3:3-Titus 3:8