Sermons

Summary: Paul begins this letter to Titus by making it clear that he is a servant of God and an Apostle of Jesus Christ for the purpose of increasing the faith of God's people.

Jerold Kennedy, the great Methodist preacher, was surprised to

learn of the new business called Proxy Pickets. If you want to

protest and picket a place, but it would not be convenient for you,

and would break into your routine, for a price they will do it for

you. They will send pickets to march and protest and do whatever

you are willing to pay for. It is a crazy world we live in where you

can get somebody to do almost anything for you. If you want to

fight a war, but don't like the mess of it, and you can't get the time

off, you can hire mercenaries who will fight your war for you. If you

would like a baby, but you can't have one yourself, or would prefer

not to put on the weight, you can hire a surrogate mother to have

your baby for you.

Right along with a do it yourself craze is the don't do it yourself

trend. 450 years ago King Louis XII of France had a prime minister

who was capable, and so he let him take over more and more of his

responsibilities. His name was George, and that is where the saying

got started, "Let George do it." If you have got the money, there is

some George today who will do for you whatever you want done but

don't want to do yourself. There seems to be no limit to how far

man is willing to carry this thing, but there is a limitation set by God

in that no man can pay another to have faith for him. Believing in

and trusting in Jesus Christ is so personal that nobody can do it for

another. In the realm of faith it is a matter of doing your own thing,

or it just will not get done.

I cannot believe for you, nor can you believe for me. This does

not mean we cannot be helped by others to have faith, but they can't

have it for us. Paul begins this letter to Titus by making it clear that

he is a servant of God and an Apostle of Jesus Christ for the purpose

of increasing the faith of God's people. Paul could not have faith for

them, but he could aid them in growing in faith. He could be a faith

builder. Some other versions differ. The RSV says, "To further the

faith of God's elect." Today's English Version has it, "To help the

faith of God's chosen." The Living Bible says, "I have been sent to

bring faith to those God has chosen." Williams has, "To stimulate

faith in God's chosen people." Goodspeed has, "To arouse faith in

those whom God has chosen."

Paul can't have it for us, but he can help us have it for ourselves.

This means that if we are to benefit from Paul's being selected by

God to be an Apostle, we must by his influence become people of

increased faith. That is what God selected Paul for. If you want to

know what an Apostle is for, it is simple. He is for motivating and

stimulating faith in the people of God. This letter, and all of Paul's

letters, are faith builders, for they give us a basis for our beliefs, and

what we believe determines the degree of our faith. Faith comes in

all sizes. You can have little faith, medium faith, or big faith, and

what you believe makes the difference.

A number of tests have shown that if a man is hypnotized and

told that he is weak he will only be able to squeeze a gripping device

with one third the pressure he usually does. On the other hand, if he

is told he is strong his grip will go up in strength by 40%. In other

words, they have demonstrated scientifically the biblical truth that

as a man thinketh in his heart so is he. The strength of your faith

can vary tremendously depending on what you believe, and on the

intensity of that belief. Paul believed this or he would not have spent

so much of his life writing letters like this one to Timothy, and

urging him to teach the true doctrines of Christianity, and to refute

heresy and rebuke those going after Jewish myths, that they might

be sound in the faith.

He could not have faith for them, nor could Titus, but both of

them, and other godly leaders, could do and teach and live so as to

increase the faith of weak Christians. Paul was a faith builder, and

Titus was a faith builder, and all the leaders were to be faith

builders. Every Christian was to be this, for being a faith builder

and being a good Christian are, for all practical purposes,

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