By Mike Riley
In Titus 2:14 – KJV, Christians are deemed as a “peculiar people”. For most folks, this term means “weird” or “unusual”, and in a sense this meaning is not altogether foreign to the common English translation. However, the idea behind this adjective in the Greek use of the term, is that such a people has been chosen by God, to be possessed by Him, and therefore as a result are a “special people” (Titus 2:14 – NKJV) Also note 1 Peter 2:9; Deuteronomy 14:2; 1 Chronicles 17:22; 2 Corinthians 6:17-18. Christians may indeed be a bit unusual in this world, but it is not because we seek to be artificially weird. Instead it is because we are aware of the sacrifice made by God on our behalf (John 3:16-17), a sacrifice that has made us “peculiar” in a very unique way – His own people (literally, “A people as an acquisition”). How then might we practice this properly understood peculiarity?
In Paul's letter to Titus (Titus 3:1-11), Paul gives us a list of behaviors that ought to characterize people who are God's unique possession. This is not an exhaustive list, simply because Paul had in mind the needs of the folks Titus was working with in Crete (Titus 1:5; cf. Acts 27:7-12). But these things surely do apply to us in principle. Other such lists of properly “peculiar” behavior are found in Ephesians 5:1-11; Colossians 3:10-17 and Galatians 5:22-26.
1) Be subject to the proper authorities (Titus 3:1) – Government has a role as God's servant (see the example of Cyrus (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4; Ezra 5:13-17), as well as Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13-16).
2) Be ready to do and maintain every good work (Titus 3:1,8).
3) Speak evil of no man (Titus 3:2).
4) Do not be involved in senseless brawls – Instead, manifest your quiet strength as a child of God (Titus 3:2).
5) Remember the sins of your past and that you have been saved by God's grace in Christ when you obeyed the conditions of salvation as set forth in the gospel – This remembering will help you keep in mind who you were, who you now are, and to Whom you belong (Titus 3:3-7).
6) Avoid foolishness – This admonition has in it the idea of thinking seriously before one speaks. Rapidity of thought is not nearly as important as careful consideration of what one says (Titus 3:9).
7) Reject the influence of people who would divide the church and divide you from God – Such people are self-condemning (Titus 3:10-11).
In these most perilous of times, we must never forget that we belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). It is said that a wise grandfather used to keep his grandchildren in line by telling them as they left the house, “Remember who you are!” God, in using the word, “peculiar”, is telling us the same thing.