Sermons

Summary: Faith and knowledge go together, for you have to have some basis for faith. Faith is trust in somebody or something, and you have to have knowledge of persons or truth in order to trust them.

Over the years I have read the mail of many people. It is because

it is because I buy a lot of old books and people leave letters and

postcards in these old books. Seldom have I found anything worth

reading, but the fact is, much of the best reading in history is found

in reading other people's mail. The joy of reading other people's

letters is that you do not have to answer them.

In the book, A Treasury Of The World's Great Letters, you can

find letters from Alexander the Great, Christopher Columbus,

Leonardo DaVinci, Michelangelo, Thomas Jefferson, George

Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and just a host of famous people all

through history. Only one Bible author made it into this book and

that was the Apostle Paul. He wrote more of the world's most

famous letters than any human being who has ever lived. Nearly

half of the New Testament is composed of his letters. When you

read the New Testament you are reading a lot of other people's mail.

Most of it was written to the church however, and was intended to

be read in public. But 4 of Paul's letter were written to individuals

as private mail. But they were so instructive and valuable for the

whole church that God guided the church to include them in the

New Testament.

We want to begin the study of the letter to Titus. He was one of

Paul's key troubleshooters. He sent Titus into the church at Corinth

where it was going through great turmoil and strong criticism of

Paul. It was a delicate mission calling for tact and wisdom. Titus

was able to calm the waters and return to Paul with a good report.

Paul considered Titus a good friend, but he gave him the dirtiest

jobs because he was gifted to handle them. He left Titus in Crete

because it was a hard place to grow a church. The people were a

bunch of lying, lazy gluttonous brutes. I am not making this up.

Paul says so in verse 12 and 13. They had a bad reputation and they

deserved it says Paul. This was not the place for his most tender son

in the faith-Timothy. This was a job for tough Titus. Paul left him

there on the island of Crete and took off. This letter is one he sent

back to Ttius to instruct him in the management of this difficult

local church.

In the very first paragraph of this letter Paul makes it clear that

there are 2 key ingredients in a body of believers becoming a church

that brings honor to Christ, and those are faith and knowledge.

Paul says that is why he was chosen to be a servant of God and a

Apostle of Jesus Christ. It was to impart faith and knowledge to

God's elect. These 2 paths lead even the toughest of people to a life

of godliness. Without faith and knowledge people live in fear and

ignorance, and that is why they are so ungodly. Show me crude and

rude ungodliness, and I'll show you people who live in fear and

ignorance. Show me poor or rich Christians who live a life pleasing

to God and I will show you people who walk in the light because of

faith and knowledge. The individual and the church that pleases

God and fulfills His purpose in history is one where these two pillars

are conspicuous.

How do you get the church in Crete to be a better church? You

increase faith and knowledge. Both of these are expandable and

capable of growing from lesser to greater. Faith comes in all sizes.

Just as you can get a small, medium, or large cone, so you can get a

great variety of sizes of faith. In Mark 4:40 Jesus said to His

disciples who feared the storm was going to sink them, and they

would drown, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

That is the least amount of faith you can have, which is none. The

mustard seed size looks pretty good compared to this. So what we

see is that a Christian can have anywhere from no faith, to little

faith, to great faith. Jesus said to them on another occasion, "Oh

you of little faith." It was so little that it did little to overcome their

doubts.

Then you have the account of the Centurion who had a severely

ill servant, and he told Jesus he did not have to come to his house,

but just say the word and he would be healed. Jesus was astonished

and said in Matt. 8:10, "I have not found anyone in Israel with such

great faith." Here was a man with a ton of faith. The Bible gives

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