“Titus, my genuine child by the common faith, grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.”
I wonder what church would look like if people had the genuineness of affection for one another that Paul had for those who worked alongside of him in the work of the Gospel…in this case, Titus. To meet someone and wish them grace and peace is a remarkable blessing, just to start. And then to genuinely mean that. Too often, when people come to church they either barely know other folks because they come and dart back out the door afterwards rather than lingering or, simply, they don’t much care for the other person and tolerate them when it comes to a worship gathering…perhaps tolerating them, so long as one person can sit in the front of the church and another in the back.
One might be tempted to suggest that there were people that Paul didn’t much like either. True, but he limited that to those who hindered the Gospel. One might also be tempted to suggest that the reason that he and Titus had such a close relationship was precisely because they had worked together in the work of the Gospel. And, there would be a great deal of truth to that…so, church, work together in the work of the Gospel. Suffer together if that is what is needed to bond you together in Christian love.
In fact, my experience is that those with whom we have suffered most are often the ones with whom we are closest. So, suffer with other believers for the faith and use that to build affection between you in the Gospel so that in all truth and sincerity you can say, “grace and peace” be with you. We share a common faith; we ought to live like it.