Summary: How was Titus going to "straighten out what had been left unfinished" in Crete? It was an evil land and he was only one man. How did God expect him to do such a daunting task?
How many of you have ever heard of a television show called “This Old House” (the majority raised their hands). It is a popular home improvement show that is now in its 36th season – that’s 36 years it’s been on TV. It’s popular because people are intrigued with how this team of experts take older homes and show how repairs can be made to different challenges.
On one of their episodes, they showed a remodeling project in San Francisco. The home-owners were remodeling an old church into a private home. When the crew went into the basement what they found shocked them - the central beam of the building was sitting on a one foot block of wood; and that block of wood sat on a 6 inch block of concrete; and that block of concrete sat on a half-wall along the foundation.
Now the reason this shocked them was that this is not the way to build a house. That kind of foundation would be unstable at the best of times, but we’re talking San Francisco here. What’s San Francisco known for? Earthquakes! It sits on a major fault line and is a major earthquake zone. Any kind of significant tremor would have dropped that old church building like a house of cards.
Now think about this: the church that built that building that failed to build their building on a firm foundation.
(From a sermon by Gregory Dawson on sermoncentral.com “By This Baptism”)
This sermon series is called “God’s Building A Church”, and - as you might imagine – God is very interested in how His church is built. God wants HIS church built HIS way so that it won’t be shaken up by the tremors of a world built on a fault line of sin.
Now that brings us to the book of Titus we’re reading this morning.
Titus was sent by Paul to the isle of Crete to strengthen a church in an evil land.
In Titus 1:10-12 Paul tells Titus “… there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach— and that for the sake of dishonest gain.
Even one of their own prophets has said, "Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons."
So Paul tells Titus “The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished…” Titus 1:5
Now, how’s he going to do that?
How’s Titus going to straighten everything out?
I mean - he’s just one man.
How is one mere man going to straighten out a church that existed in such a mess of a society - such as Crete obviously was?
Well, here’s the deal.
God didn’t expect Titus to do this all by himself.
That would have been like building a house on a one foot block of wood, set on a 6 inch block of concrete, set on a half-wall along the foundation
It would never work.
God never intended His church to be built around one man - one pastor.
I know a lot of churches do that, but you cannot do what God wants done doing it that way!