Eager To Do What Is Good- Titus 2:14
As we come to the conclusion of the passage we have been studying, we now come to Paul’s enumeration of the purpose of God’s both redeeming and purifying those who have come to faith in Christ. We are given here both the goal toward which our paidagogos leads us and the purpose of our redemption and purification. This is translated in NIV as “eager to do what is good”, or more literally, “zealous unto good works”. In this expression, we find both the means through and the end toward which the “teaching” of Jesus lead us. The means through which He accomplishes this purpose is by making us “zealous”, here as the noun zelotes, from which we derive the English word zealot. This Greek word refers fundamentally to the desires and drives which motivate us to action. It is used here in its noun form rather than it verbal one, which is telling us that being a zealot is not something we do, but something we are. Part of making the believer a “new creation” in Christ is the changing our deepest, innermost desires, a changing in what moves us to action, a making of our deepest desire the desire to do “good works”, a making of one who is zealous to do what is “good”. This being the case, it now becomes incumbent upon us to understand what is meant in the usage of the adjective “good” in reference to the works we have become zealous to perform. The Greek word “good” here is kalos, and it is used not as much in its Greek conception as an abstract concept, but in its Hebrew conception as a concrete reality. We find this more concrete conception of good throughout the Bible, beginning even in the first three chapters of Genesis, in which we find that the basic conception of good or evil had to do with whether or not something is useful in helping us achieve our goal or get what we desire. That which helps us in this respect is referred to as “good”, and that which hinders us in this respect is referred to as “evil”. In the Bible good and bad are defined in relation to God, all that is helpful or useful in accomplishing God’s purpose is good, and all that hinders the accomplishment of God’s purpose is evil. As we are told in Romans 8:28-29, God’s purpose for all humanity is that we would be “conformed to the image of Christ”, and it is this goal toward which our “zeal” is to be directed. Good, as God defines it, is anything which helps to conform us to the image of Christ, and bad is that which hinders this conforming. So, what we conclude from all of this is that God has made all believers “zealots”, God has made the primary desire of our heart to be doing whatever is needed to help unbelievers come to know Christ, and to help fellow believers be conformed to the image of Christ, for this is what the Bible tells us is truly “good”. May we all come to an understanding and acceptance of this reality, and not let any lack of understanding hinder the “zeal” which God has made a fundamental aspect of our being, to not allow these to hinder us from doing the “good works” He requires of us.