Summary: focus on gospel
Titus 2:10-15; 3:4-8 October 23, 2011
Turn with me this morning to the book of Titus, chapter 2. I trust that by now you have learned where the book of Titus in located - in the middle of the NT, right after 1 & 2 Timothy, and right before Philemon and Hebrews. This letter is written by the Apostle Paul to one of his young protegés, a young Greek man named Titus. Paul had left Titus on the Greek island of Crete, a 160 mile long island in the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Greece - an island filled with pagans. But the gospel had come to this island, and in the midst of the idol worship, many churches had been established. These Christians were to be light in the darkness. Paul reminds Titus these Cretans were always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons - but the Christians were supposed to be different - they were supposed to stand out - they were supposed to shine! Do you ever feel like everyone around you is so ungodly and immoral? Don’t expect your unsaved friends, neighbors and co-workers to live like Jesus! They never will! They are “Born to Raise Hell!” Because they don’t have Jesus in their life!
So why does Paul leave Titus at Crete? There was a problem - the churches needed something straightened out: they needed leaders. Just like someone with a broken leg needs to go to the doctor and get the bone set, Paul knew that the churches were hurting because they needed capable leaders. So Paul left Titus on Crete to appoint elders in every town. Why did the church need elders? Because elders are to set an example for all of us to follow. We are to follow the pattern of their lives and live our lives the same way.
Paul talks about the pattern for living in chapter 1 of what their lives should look like. In chapter 2, Paul give instructions for key focus areas for young men, older men, young women, older women, and for slaves. Jim Case talked about they area of slaves last week, looking at how that applies in our culture today as the idea of employers and employees. And Paul reminds us here in 2:10 that we are to make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.
The sad thing is that often instead of making Christ’s teaching attractive we turn people off to following Christ by the way we live our lives. Do you know any Christians like that? They are always negative - always complaining and criticizing others - they are lazy workers - they shirk responsibility - their speech is improper and the unsaved hear them and say they’re no different than I am - they don’t give a testimony to anyone of anything Christ has done for them, but they’ll plaster the bathroom stalls with gospel tracts - that’s just what I’d want to see if I were unsaved . . . you sit down to do your business and reach for the paper and here’s a gospel tract: prepare for hell! - or do you know the Christian who gloats turn or burn - you’re headed for hell!` And then we wonder why the gospel is unattractive - why unbelievers don’t want to become Christians!
Paul tells us that we are to make the teaching about God our Savior attractive! So what is that teaching and why would it be attractive. Paul gives a summary of the teaching here in chapter 2 and 3, and we want to look at those verses together this morning. We’ll start in chapter 2, verse ll.
Read 2:11-15, 3:4-8 Pray
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good. These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 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, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.