Summary: titus 1:8
JUST BE JUST
One Sunday a cowboy went to church. When he entered, he looked around and noticed that he and the preacher were the only ones present. The preacher kind of felt a little awkward so he asked the cowboy if he wanted him to go ahead and preach.
The cowboy said, "I’m not too smart, but if I went to feed my cattle and only one showed up, I’d feed him."
So the minister began his sermon. One hour passed, then two hours, then two-and-a-half hours. The preacher finally finished and came down to ask the cowboy how he liked the sermon. The cowboy answered slowly, "Well, I’m not very smart, but if I went to feed my cattle and only one showed up, I sure wouldn’t feed him all the hay..."
I will try not to feed you all the hey this morning.
We are continuing our study into the book of Titus. We are in Titus chapter 1 verse 8. If you would please turn with me there, that is page 1032 in your pew Bibles. In this verse we are given the positive qualifications of and elder.
Titus 1:8, "but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,"
Last week we began to discuss what it is to be just. There were four areas of being just which I wanted to give to you. We discussed the first two last week. The first way was that there must be a full recognition of the freedom of others that we have in Christ. We spend a bit of time on this subject because I felt it to be an important one.
Remember that motto from the church in Massachusetts "In essentials unity; in non-essentials liberty; in all things charity."
The second way in which we are to be just was that we must not cast stumbling blocks in the way of others. We saw how our freedom can cause others to stumble, something Paul states needs to be avoided. We also read the stern warning which our Lord gives us in the gospel of Mark against making a believer stumble in their spiritual walk with the Lord.
Today I want us to examine the last two areas of how we are to be just. I also will remind you that while the context of the verse deal specifically with Elder and the leaders of the church. These are principals of qualities that can be applied to all of us.
The third area in how we are to be just is that we are not to show partiality for any reason. When it comes to this church, which is the Lord’s church, we are to open our arms to all who would enter.
I want you to please turn with me to another passage this morning and that is James 2:1-4, That is page 1045 in your pew Bibles;
"My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, "You sit here in a good place," and say to the poor man, "You stand there," or, "Sit here at my footstool, have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?"
In that particular passage James is speaking of showing partiality to those who are wealthy. Now while we may not realize we at times show partiality. The thing about it is, is that it is easy to do.
I think we all to some degree will show favoritism based on outside appearances. We gladly welcome some people above others. Yet that is not what being just is all about.
There is a certain story I want to tell; It was a beautiful Sunday morning. People were filling the church to its fullest capacity! As they entered, each were given a bulletin filled with announcements, topic of today’s sermon, what songs they would sing and who to pray for. At the end of the line stood an older man. His clothes were filthy and you could tell that he had not bathed in days. His face was covered in whiskers where he had not shaved
for a very long time. When he reached the usher, he removed his tattered old brown hat in respect. His hair was a long, dirty, tangled mess. He had no shoes on his feet, and wore only soiled, black socks.
The usher put his fingers to his nose and glared at the old man and said, "Uh, I’m sorry sir, but I’m afraid we can’t let you in. You will distract the congregation and we don’t allow anyone to disrupt our service. I’m afraid you’ll have to leave."