The majority of Titus 3 forms a chiastic structure:
1a) Tit 3:1-3, Admonition to good works/ we were once caught in evil works:
— 1a.1) Tit 3:1-2, Be subject to rulers, ready for good works, speak evil of no one in humility to all;
— 1a.2) Tit 3:3, For we were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, malice + envy, hateful;
1b) Tit 3:4, When the kindness + love of God our Savior toward man appeared;
central axis) Tit 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit;”
2b) Tit 3:6-7, He poured out on us through Jesus Christ our Savior/ justified by grace + hope of eternal life;.
2a) Tit 3:8-11, Admonition to good works/ avoid evil works:
— 2a.1) Tit 3:8, Those who believe in God should be careful to maintain good works;
— 2a.2) Tit 3:9-11, Avoid foolish disputes, unprofitable + useless/ reject divisiveness.
It is a good work to be subject to rulers and to obey (see romans 13, the governing authorities), and speaking of rulers and those in authority, speak evil of no one, but be gentle and patient, showing all humility to all men. The reason we do, is we can relate: we were once lost too, we were once caught in evil works too.
But we were found in that state of unrighteousness by God our Savior, who treated us with kindness and love, something we did not deserve. He saved us, not by works but by His mercy. He poured out that kindness and love on us because of Jesus Christ our Savior, through the Holy Spirit.
Because this is the case, those who believe in God should be careful to maintain good works. We weren’t saved by works, but by the kindness, love, and mercy of God. That grace inspires good works, in other words, the showing of love toward God and others. A good work is showing love to another in some way. God’s Law defines good works and evil works for us; in other words, God’s Law defines what showing love and treating with love is and is not. Grace and works are not exclusive of each other, but necessarily bound together, as works are the fruit produced by the root of grace.