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Titus 3:1

ESV Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work,
NIV Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,
NASB Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed,
CSB Remind them to submit to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work,
NLT Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good.
KJV Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

What does Titus 3:1 mean?

Verse 1 begins an emphasis on applying the teachings Paul has spoken of in chapters 1 and 2. The culture of Crete was famous for immorality (Titus 1:12–13), and these verses instruct the Christians under Titus' leadership not to be part of it. The term "them" used in this verse is in reference to these Christian church members of Crete.

Paul uses the word "remind," which means these teachings are not new. These are probably instructions taught by Paul when he was at Crete with Titus. Three specific commands are given in this verse. First, believers are to be "subject to," or "submissive to" authority figures. This is a frequent teaching of the New Testament. Christians are to submit to—not necessarily obey—authorities such as government (Romans 13). We are also instructed to pray for governing leaders (1 Timothy 2:1–4).

Second, Titus is to teach believers to "be obedient," which is separate from submission. A person who refuses to comply with an unjust law, but who accepts the resulting punishment from the government is being submissive, not obedient. Believers are called on to obey God, when the commands of God and men contradict (Acts 5:29). However, in most cases, we are to comply with the laws and instructions of authority figures. Obedience was also an important theme in the Old Testament, as well as a common teaching for believers in the New Testament. Obedience is not part of earning salvation or becoming right with God, but is an expectation for the believer (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Third, Titus was to teach believers to "be ready" to do good works. This is similar to Ephesians 2:10, which teaches that we are created in Christ, in order to do the good deeds God planned for us in advance.
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