Summary: It is possible to live a life that God approves of! But only because of what He has done. With God’s help we can live in such a way that God will get the attention! People should be able to look at our lives & say, “Look what the Lord has done.
Look What the Lord Has Done!
Titus 3:1-7 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. 3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Intro: I’ve heard people say, “I would become a Christian if it weren’t for Christians.” There have been times when I’ve seen the logic in that statement all too clearly. Sometimes Christians can be the meanest, most arrogant, and most selfish people around! How do I know that? Because I’ve been mean, arrogant, and selfish at times since I became a follower of Jesus. Shocking, I know. But how do Christians get this way? How can we follow a loving, forgiving Savior, but treat others as if they have no worth? How can we keep jumping back in the mud when God has made us clean?
-Well, it is not my aim to get into all the ways we can get off track with the Lord. But it is my aim to help us take steps to get back on track and honor Him with our lives! It is possible to live a life that God approves of! But it is only possible b/c of what He has done. With God’s help we can live in such a way that God will get the attention! People should be able to look at our lives and say, “Look what the Lord has done!” Paul gives Titus some reminders for the people of God in Crete to help them resist the influence of their culture and live for the Lord. Let’s take a look!
1. Remember How to Live
Titus 3:1-2 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.
-Live in a way that honors God and helps people see Who He is! (1-2)
2. Remember how you used to live! (3)
Titus 3:3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
1. Foolish. A foolish person lacks understanding, or literally, one who is senseless or “not having a mind.” A lost person is described in Ephesians 4:18: “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.” No matter how smart someone is, if they are not alive spiritually, they are considered foolish. Proverbs 10:23: “A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct, but a man of understanding delights in wisdom.”
2. Disobedient. A person apart from Christ is by nature rebellious, willfully disregarding authority. This word refers to one who refuses to be persuaded, or one who persists in doing what he wants to do, no matter what God says. Proverbs 14:19 tells us that “fools mock at sin.” To paraphrase Jonathon Edwards, every unbeliever is hanging by a thread over the fires of hell. And the only thing that keeps them from falling into the flames is the hand of God. Disobedience is like saying to God, “I dare you to let go.”
3. Deceived. This Greek word describes a wandering. We are all prone to wander. 1 Peter 2:25 says that before we were saved, we were “like sheep going astray…” Jeremiah 17:9 was written with all of us in mind: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Often our biggest problem is not with other people; our biggest problem is with our own heart. Satan, the ultimate deceiver, works at keeping people in the dark as stated in 2 Corinthians 4:4: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
4. Enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. Jesus taught in John 8:34 that those who sin become “slaves to sin.” The nature of sin is that it will make you its slave. Like the country of Crete (where Titus ministered), our culture is filled with “all kinds” of passions and pleasures, and these sins will enslave as 2 Peter 2:19 teaches: “…for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.” The phrase, “all kinds” refers to a manifold diversity of longings and unhealthy pleasures. “Pleasure” is from the root word that is translated “hedonism,” which is the belief that indulgence is the chief end of life. We hear this all the time, don’t we? People say things like, “I just want to be happy” or “I deserve to have fun” or “I just gotta be me!” Those who want freedom to do whatever they want will eventually end up in bondage to that which they are pursuing.