Summary: The need to do good
Titus 3:1-8 October 30, 2011
Turn with me this morning to the book of Titus, chapter 3. I trust that by now you have learned where the book of Titus in located - in the middle of the NT, right after 1 & 2 Timothy, and right before Philemon and Hebrews. This letter is written by the Apostle Paul to one of his young protegés, a young Greek man named Titus. Paul had left Titus on the Greek island of Crete, a 160 mile long island in the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Greece - an island filled with pagans. But the gospel had come to this island, and in the midst of the idol worship, many churches had been established. These Christians were to be light in the darkness. Paul reminds Titus these Cretans were always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons - but the Christians were supposed to be different - they were supposed to stand out - they were supposed to shine!
Paul leaves Titus at Crete to fix a problem - the churches needed leaders. So Paul left Titus on Crete to appoint elders in every town. Why did the church need elders? Because elders are to set an example for all of us to follow. We are to follow the pattern of their lives and live our lives the same way.
Paul talks about the pattern for living in chapter 1 of what their lives should look like. In chapter 2, Paul give instructions for key focus areas for young men, older men, young women, older women, and for slaves, or in our culture today as the idea of employers and employees. And Paul reminds us here in 2:10 that when we live as we should, we make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.
The sad thing is that often instead of making Christ’s teaching attractive we turn people off to following Christ by the way we live our lives. We talked about that idea last week - that we have the greatest message: a grace that redeems us, a grace that reforms us, a grace that rewards us - but often because of the way we live our lives, the unsaved do not find our gospel, our good news, attractive. They don’t want to become a Christian, because they have known some Christians who were less than attractive messengers for Jesus Christ.
We talked about how grace redeems and rewards us -- but what then? Once we are saved, what should happen in our lives? Titus addresses that question in the verses we will look at today. I’m going to start at 2:14. (read 2:14 - 3:8) PRAY
Today, I want us to think about this idea of doing good works. It says here that we were redeemed and purified with a purpose. God wanted to create a special people, a peculiar people - and I’m sure you know many Christians who are peculiar - but the idea is that God wanted a people who were in a unique relationship with Him - but even more, God wanted a people who were “EAGER to do good.”
Think about yourself - can you say that you are “eager” to do good? The reality is that most of us here today are WILLING to do good. If there was an accident in the parking lot, and I crushed my leg - most people here would drive me to the hospital or at least call 911 for me. Most people in Owosso will help when needed. Many people will help when asked. If I called any one of you up and said, “I’m in reallystruggling emotionally right now - and I need someone to talk to - could you go out for a cup of coffee and let me process with you?” Most of us here would be willing to help when we are asked. And several of us would help when available - If I said, I’m going to be working on cleaning up the library next Saturday - if you have a few hours free in the afternoon, would you consider coming out and giving me a hand? I’m sure some of you would be willing.
But NONE of these are the idea that Paul is presenting. He writes that God’s desire is to create a people who are EAGER to do good. The KJV has the term zealous - which is a close match to the Greek word - zhlwthv - zelotes - from which we get the word zealot. The idea in our modern vocabulary would probably best be described as being “fanatical” about something or being “obsessed.” The meaning is someone who is “on fire” or “burning with passion” about something. So, once again, to evaluate yourselves, Are you burning up with a desire to do good, to help others?