Paul closes his letter to Titus in the same way he began: normally! But in the midst of the normal of this letter—and the Christian life—we see the glory of God revealed in Christ and in his church.
1. God’s Glory in Us Is Personal
We may think of Titus 3:12-15 as the Nebraska of the Bible—flyover country. But Paul lists names of saints for whom Christ died in this passage. It is deeply personal material that reflects God’s glory because:
God is (tri-)personal.
God made us personal to bear his image.
The church is beautifully personal… and therefore glorious.
The church is most gloriously personal when built through relationships.
2. God’s Glory Is Devoted, Fruitful, and in Process
God’s glory comes through in us when we are devoted—totally given over to worshipping and serving him. That devotion will make us fruitful and enable us to serve the needs of others. And yet, God knows we are in process, that we haven’t arrived, that we are still learning to follow Christ. This should both humble and encourage us at the same time.
3. God’s Glory in Us Is Normal
Paul closes his letter with something normal—greetings. But for the Christian, even this most normal of things should be shot through with the glory of God. God’s glory is normal. It’s normal because it dwells in the heart of your neighbor. It’s normal because, if you are in Christ, it dwells in you. C.S. Lewis said it well in his sermon, “The Weight of Glory,”
The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbor’s glory should be laid on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and godesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship…. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.… Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ… the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.
Reflection & Application Questions
Why is it significant that God is personal? What does this mean for Christian theology?
Why is our personhood of great significance to God?
How should our personhood as image bearers shape how we engage the church? How should it inform the way we build relationships?
In what way should you grow in devotion to good works? How have you been fruitful lately? How have you failed to be fruitful?
Why is it humbling that we are still in process? How is it encouraging?
Do you believe that God’s glory in us is normal? Why is this difficult to believe? Why is it so important for us to believe?
What is one person God has placed on your heart that you want to grow in relationship with?