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Titus 3:1 Subject to sovereignties

13-07-2023 - Posted by Hans

Remind them to be subject to sovereignties, to authorities; to be yielding, and to be ready for every good work.

After the specific instructions for different groups in chapter 2, there are now seven general instructions that Titus would pass on to the believers in Crete. First, he had to remind them to be subject to sovereignties and authorities. Apparently they had been taught about this before. The fact that Paul mentions this first indicates not only that he considered this important, but also perhaps that the Cretans had a tendency to rebel (cf. 1:12).

To subject (to be submissive) indicates an attitude in which one recognizes the other as superior. It is distinct from obedience which is not just a passive attitude, but an active response to what is commanded. Normally, obedience results from subjection, but it doesn’t have to. When governments and authorities ask something that it is impossible for a believer to do (for example to deny God’s word), then obedience is obviously misplaced (Acts 5:29). Yet, even in such a situation, one can still be subject and recognize such governments and authorities as superior.

Our job as believers is not to lecture or interfere with governments and authorities. Let alone overthrow them. Subjections, that’s the attitude.