Summary: Relationships in Christ, Discipleship, Examples, Encouragement
GROWN UP CHRISTIANS – Family Relationships
Titus 2:1-15 (p. 835) May 24, 2015
A couple of weeks ago Kari and I were doing Home Communion and visiting with the sweetest lady you’ll ever meet in your life named Sienna...Sienna is in her 90’s and completely blind...
You have to mash up the communion bread and mix it with water so Sienna can drink it...so Kari did that and then gave Sienna a drink of the water on her tray to wash it down...and when she did Sienna gently said, “Wooo, that’s hot!”
And Kari said, “No it’s cool I can feel it in my hands.” And Sienna said, “It burns!”
I thought, “Oh No! My wife has poisoned this poor elderly blind lady!” My second thought was...”I’ll visit you in jail, but I’m not going down for this... “Run!”
Kari tested the liquid and laughed...”It’s Ginger Ale.
Immediately I though “Oh thank you Jesus!”
But Sienna said, “I don’t like ginger ale!” with a little laugh and a smile.
We prayed together, finished up putting things away...and I thought what a wonderful lady...what a wonderful spirit of gentleness, goodness and kindness. Even after Kari almost poisoned her (lol) she expressed all those beautiful encouraging attitudes. 90’s, blind, and in a nursing home...filled with God’s joy.
Loving Sienna is easy, because she almost automatically loves you in return...whether you are 18, 55, or 95.
When Paul wrote to Timothy he mentioned the faith of Timothy’s grandmother and mother as an example of sincere faith.
Now Paul is writing to Titus in our text this morning...He calls him “My true son in our common faith.” (Titus 1:4)
Paul has left him in Crete to finish unfinished business...the first priority:
I. DEAL WITH LEADERSHIP AND REBELIOUS PEOPLE
“Appoint Elders in every town as I directed you” chapter 1 verse 5 says... And then Paul talks about what kind of characteristic a leader displays...and on the heels of that in almost the same breath he writes: “There are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception...they must be silenced because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach.” (Titus 1:10-11)
He sums up this group... “As people who claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him.” (Titus 1:16)
Getting along with someone like Sienna is really easy because she looks for the good through kind eyes...even though she is physically blind.
Getting along with rebellious people...who stir up trouble in people’s hearts...some of whom make money way too important according to the Apostle Paul isn’t so easy...Paul gets real by saying “Rebuke them sharply so they will be sound in the faith.” He doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the spiritual health of the family of God...He tells Titus...“They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” (Titus 1:16)
If you had a cancer that could be surgically removed would you ignore it and hope it got better....or would you want a surgeon to take a sharp scalpel and cut it out?
Spiritual immaturity always show itself in selfish, worldly tests...I don’t like something or I get mad at someone and instead of privately seeking reconciliation...I talk to my “circumcision group” cause households to be disrupted....Why? because each of us is rebellious by nature...it’s sinful...and it’s worldly...and if we are not in Christ...or are babies in Christ...it’s how we deal with people and things we don’t like.
Maybe in Crete some of these folks had money and influence. So, instead of spiritual accountability and growth being expected and taught...dishonest gain took precedent and money became more important than the health of the body of Christ.
That’s why leaders were essential...Titus’ first responsibility!!!! So things could be put right...unfinished things could be finished.
The word “elder” denotes spiritual maturity. The Bible never gives a physical age requirement...In Roman times your life span was about 35. Our life span now is around 77. When you look at an elder’s qualifications they have lived some life, had a family, grown to be trustworthy, unselfish, humble, teachable and able to share their faith...they are courageous and think of the overall health of God’s church more than making individuals happy or comfortable.
Titus and Timothy were asked to discern leaders who showed these characteristics and attitudes. So they could be “examples and shepherds of the flock...to encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” (Titus 1:9)
Titus was a godly leader...Timothy was a godly leader...but unless they had spiritually mature, grown up Christians helping, loving, encouraging, teaching, holding accountable the family of God...trouble would divide the family like the Hatfields and McCoys.
It’s a hard job...and those who do it well are worthy of “double honor” according to 1 Timothy 5:17. Why is it so hard?