The way of life elicited by God’s grace
Put them in mind to be in subjection to rulers, to authorities- to be obedient, to be eagerly ready to do every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, not to be contentious, but to be gentle, showing all meekness toward all men.
3 For we also once were foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. 4 But when there appeared the kindness of God our Saviour and His love toward man, 5 not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit 6 which He poured out upon us richly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. 7 This was so that being justified by His grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
8 This teaching is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. 9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.
10 A divisive person, after a first and second warning, reject, 11 knowing that such a one is perverted and sins, being self-condemned.
12 When I shall send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, give diligence to come to me at Nicopolis, for there I have decided to winter. 13 Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. 14 And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, to help those in urgent need, and not to be unfruitful.
15 All that are with me greet you. Greet those that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.
3:1 Are we ready to good works, whenever the opportunities present themselves, whether the timing is convenient or not?
3:7 Justification by grace is a major New Testament theme. We are counted as righteous, even though we are not of ourselves, by God’s pure grace; and thus we are waiting to inherit eternal life- which we will receive when Jesus returns. The fact we are saved as a pure free gift, and not by our works, should actually be a motivation to do good works (v. 8).
3:10 Keep away from those who cause division. Making divisions and factions between brethren can lead to condemnation (v. 11)- even though it is often justified as love for God.