“Bring to mind to them to be submissive to their rulers and authorities, to be obedient and ready for every good work.”
I wonder which is harder for fallen man…submission to their spiritual authorities or to their governmental authorities? Up unto this point, Paul’s focus has been on the spiritual leadership in the church, but here, he reminds Titus (and, by extension, us) that we are to submit to the rulers and authorities that God has placed over us…as Paul would elsewhere write, they are ministers, appointed by God for our good and to be a terror to evildoers (Romans 13:1-7). The only exception to this rule is if the authorities would demand that you sin (Acts 5:29).
Yet, how we, as fallen men and women, seek to look for loopholes in the law, whether it be on our taxes, while driving down the road, or when confronted on a matter of civil disobedience. Over the last few years, here in America, I have seen more unrest than I have ever seen within my lifetime. The right to peaceably assemble has been misconstrued in ways that people are given permission to riot, loot, and destroy one another’s property. Instead of peaceful dialogue, it seems that those who shout the loudest and claim an oppressed status are given the floor. In the life of the church, we call this behavior sin, but in the life of the community, many are much more willing to tolerate it. Yet, beloved, it too is sin. From the earliest days of the Christian church, even while under immense persecution from Rome, Christians sought to be model citizens, demonstrating that they were an asset to the empire. We must take that same approach once again today.