Summary: A sermon examining the fact that a new life is possible.
A New Life Is Possible
Today is New Year's Day. All over the world people are excited about a new year, a new beginning, a "clean slate" so to speak. Countless people have set certain "resolutions". A recent survey revealed that 35% hope to lose weight, 33% want to get fit, 31% plan to eat healthier, 14% want to spend more time with friends and family, 12% seek a better work-life balance. Of those who make a "new year's resolution" 80% will have given up in less than 3 months. I am not opposed to making resolutions, there is nothing wrong with attempting to improve certain areas of our lives.
We all have changes that we would like to make. But there are some who want more than to stop smoking or to shed a few pounds. There are many people who are searching for an entirely new life. The problem is that they are looking in the wrong places. My desire today is to show you that a new life is absolutely possible.
In our selected text the Apostle Paul recalls the glorious transformation that Jesus had brought about in his life. I would like to listen to his words recorded in Titus 3:1-8 and see that "A New Life Is Possible'.
We join Paul as he continues to instruct Titus as to what should be accomplished in the Church at Crete. In doing so Paul gives a great contrast between the "old man" and the "new man". Who better to describe the amazing transformation that Jesus can bring than Paul. His story is one of the greatest transformations in history. In the first few verses He calls on Titus to remind the people of Crete of what they had previously been taught. They too had been changed by the power of Christ. But it seems that they needed a reminder of certain responsibilities of this new life.
Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, 2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men.
These remain important instructions for each and every born again Christian. The culture on the Isle of Crete was very hostile to the gospel. This area was corrupted and consumed by sin. But those who had been born again were expected to be different. Remember what we saw in 2:14 (Jesus) gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
This passage illustrates the change that comes through Christ. Perhaps you are searching for a change... maybe even a new life. That new life is possible, and it is possible because of God’s love, salvation, mercy, grace and because of God’s Son.
- Look with me to verses 3-4 as we see:
I. A New Life Is Possible Because Of God’s Love - v3 -4
Let's just admit... sometimes we can be “hard to love”. I am thankful for parents, children, and a spouse who possess unconditional love for me! Isn't it amazing how your family knows you better than anyone else and they love you in spite of yourself? Greater than that is the fact that God knows more about you than anyone. He knows your actions, He knows your thoughts, He knows what you have done, He knows what you are going to do and He loves you anyway. That my friend, is AMAZING!
In verse 3 Paul paints a picture of what we were before Christ. - v3 for we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. - This is a clear description of those who are without Christ.
a) “Foolish” – This means to be ignorant concerning the things of God
b) “Disobedient” – One who is rebellious toward God.
c) “Deceived” – Continually led deeper and deeper into sin by Satan.
d) “Serving divers lusts and pleasures” – One who is a slave to the desires of the flesh.
e) “Living in malice” – this refers to a lifestyle of evil.
f) “Envy” – Always grasping for more and desiring what others have.
g) “Hateful” – One who is mean-spirited and hard to get along with.
h) “Hating one another” – Walking without love for your fellow man.
I don’t know about you, but to me that describes someone who is hard to love! But notice what Paul says in verse 4 -“But after that …the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared…”
This means, in spite of who you are and what you have done God loves you! God knows us, yet He loved us enough to send His only begotten Son to make a way for us to one day be with Him!