Saved To Serve
Before I became a pastor I was in management. In those years I hired many people. During that time I never hired anyone just to give them benefits. I hired them to do a job that would benefit the company. Once they were hired and began to work they did however receive many benefits. They were provided with Health insurance, Dental insurance, Vision insurance, Holiday pay, Two weeks vacation and several other benefits.
Each week they received a salary that enabled them to Pay their mortgage, purchase a car, put gas in it, maintain it and insure it. Because of the wages they received they could feed and clothe their children. But ultimately they were hired to do a job.
For those who are children of God their are many benefits. We are provided with salvation and eternal life, we have a relationship with the Father, we are adopted into the family of God, we are joint heirs with Jesus, we have a home in Heaven and we have the opportunity for an abundant life while we are here on earth. These are just a few of the benefits of being a child of God.
But God did not just save you to keep you from Hell. He did not redeem you simply to give you a home in Heaven. Our ultimate purpose in this life is to bring honor and glory to our Heavenly Father. If that is true (and it is) then it is safe to say that you were SAVED TO SERVE!
If you look at the life an ministry of the Apostles it becomes clear that Jesus had a plan for them. Yes, they received many benefits from following the Savior. But they were called, commanded and commissioned to share the Gospel for the remainder of their lives.
In our selected text we find that this was not just the case for the original 12. It is the case for everyone who is "in Christ". I would like to look at the first four verses of Paul's epistle to Titus and see that we are "Saved To Serve". In this passage we see that:
i. Paul was saved to serve
ii. Titus was saved to serve
iii. You were saved to serve
- Let's begin in verse 1 and see that:
I. Paul Was Saved To Serve - In the church's infancy there were not many people who were feared more than a man named Saul of Tarsus. He was a devout Jew... a self described "Pharisee of Pharisees". He spent his days persecuting Christians and seeking the complete destruction of the Church. When Stephen was stoned to death, Saul was there consenting unto his death. What Saul of Tarsus did not know was that God had chosen him for a specific task. He would soon become one of the greatest leaders & missionaries in this church that he fought so hard to destroy
- Consider if you will:
A. Paul's Calling - v1a Paul, a servant of God
Paul refers to Himself as a "servant of God". The Greek word is "doulos", meaning a slave. Paul's proclaims that his life was no longer his own. He belonged to God and his Savior Jesus Christ. How did this happen? What brought about this transformation? Well, back in Acts Chapter 9, this great persecutor had an encounter with the Savior. Saul was headed to Damascus with the intentions of bringing Christians bound back to Jerusalem in order to persecute them. There on Damascus Road, Jesus appeared to Saul and changed his life forever!
Why did Jesus confront Saul? It was not to give the churches rest from their persecution (though this was one of the results). In Acts 9:15 Jesus shares His plan with Ananias. Jesus said "(Saul) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel"
Do you see that? ....Paul was SAVED TO SERVE, and serve He did. In fact, millions of people all over the world are still benefiting from his service. After he was called, Paul spent the remainder of his life serving Jesus Christ.
- Let's examine that for a moment. Consider:
B. Paul's Ministry - v1b an apostle of Jesus Christ
An Apostle speaks on "one who is sent". Specifically one who is sent by Jesus Christ. Jesus chose 12 men and entrusted them with the organization of the Church and the proclamation of the gospel. We know that Judas betrayed Christ and eventually killed himself. I believe it is evident that his position was filled by none other than the Apostle Paul.
In 1 Corinthians 15:8 Paul says that he was "one born out of due time." This means that Paul was placed into this position in a different time and in an unusual manner. After he was called Paul traveled for the remainder of his life preaching the gospel that he had tried to destroy!
The Bible tells us that he ministered in places such as
Arabia, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tarsus, Antioch, Seleucia, Cyprus, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, Syria, Macedonia, Troas, Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia, Greece, Tyre, Caesarea, Rome and beyond.
Paul went to these areas preaching the Word, he established new churches and strengthened others. Innumerable souls came to Christ because of his ministry and many others matured in the faith as well. But Paul didn't just preach... he suffered! He was constantly arrested and imprisoned. He was beaten, stoned and eventually gave his life for the cause of Christ. He faced all of these hardships willingly. Why? Because he knew that he was SAVED TO SERVE!
Paul's ministry was more than an obligation... it was his passion. Notice if you will:
C. Paul's Desire - When you read the epistles you can see Paul's heart. This is a man who was concerned about the spiritual condition of everyone he encountered.
1) He Desired To See Lost People Saved- v1c "according to the faith of God's elect"
The fact that Paul desired to see lost people saved is evident in the following passages:
*Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
*I Corinthians 10:33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.
In Romans 9 Paul states that he would be willing to be forever cut of from Christ if that would bring salvation to his Jewish brothers and sisters. The fact that he spent his life telling people how and why they could be saved proves his desire to see lost men come to know Jesus. Not only did the Apostle desire to see lost people saved...
2) He Desired To See Saved People Mature - v1d and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
Saving faith, moves us to a full knowledge of the truth, This results in a new life of godliness. Christians are to live sanctified, holy, pure, righteous and godly lives. When the truth of the Gospel impacts us, others will see Christ in and through us.
Paul desired to see the new convert mature in the faith. His epistles teach us how to live in Christ. He not only planted new churches but he longed to revisit them and help to strengthen them in the faith. This was his hearts desire.
- As we move into verses 2 & 3 we see:
D. Paul's Assurance - v2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; 3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;
Paul states that we can be confident and secure in Christ. How is this possible? It is possible through God's promises. God cannot lie... If He said it, THAT SETTLES IT. Paul even proclaims that the promise of eternal life was given before the world began. He was confident in God's promises. He found assurance in God's Word. The message that Paul shared was God's... not his own. Therefore those who Paul ministered to, could have that same security in God's promises. And we can have that same assurance as well.
It is evident when you look at Paul's calling, ministry, and his desire that he was SAVED TO SERVE. It is also evident in this passage that:
II. Titus Was Saved To Serve - In fact, Paul's story and Titus' was intertwined. It seems that Titus was converted as a result of Paul's ministry. Notice that:
A. Titus Was Introduced To Jesus - v4a "To Titus, mine own son after the common faith"
Here Paul introduces us to the recipient of this letter. His "fellow laborer" a man named Titus. Titus was a non-Jewish convert to Christianity. Titus was what we may call a "strong man" or an "enforcer". We will see in verse 5 that Paul instructed Titus to "set things in order" in the local church. Titus was also instrumental in correcting the errors of the Corinthian church. It is evident that Paul had great confidence in him to get things done.
Here in verse 4 Paul calls Titus "mine own son after the common faith". Paul used this same expression for Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:2. This suggests that Paul led both of these men to faith in Christ. We don't have the details but somewhere, sometime in the past, Paul introduced Titus to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Titus met Jesus and everything changed for Him.
- Titus Was Introduced To Jesus, and as a result:
B. Titus Was Transformed By Jesus - v4b "after the common faith"
These two men shared a common faith. Their experience was the same. Titus may not have been a great persecutor of the church as Paul was, but he was saved the same way! He was transformed by the power of the Savior. Titus soon realized after coming to faith in Jesus that he too had been SAVED TO SERVE! His was not simply faith in word only... but in deed and action!
- It is also apparent that:
C. Titus Was Surrendered To Jesus - v4c "Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior"
Surrendering to Jesus is more than a prayer of faith. It is complete submission the will of God. Titus surrendered himself completely to Jesus Christ. Notice that Paul uses the phrase "LORD" and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus was Titus' Lord, his ruler, his Master, Jesus was the supreme authority in his life and he dedicated his life to serving his Lord.
Titus was with Paul and Barnabas at Antioch, he was influential in reaching Gentiles with the Gospel, he was also with Paul and Timothy at Ephesus and Paul sent him to minister at Corinth for a time. At this point in his ministry, Titus was instrumental in the organization of the church in Crete. Paul left him there to "set things in order". He spent his life sharing the good news to lost man and helping to disciple new converts. Titus truly was saved to serve!
Paul & Titus were very different men with very different backgrounds. But they both came to Jesus the same way and for the same purpose. If you are born again, you were saved the same way that they were. And if you are saved you have an obligation to serve the Lord!
- I would like to conclude by examining the fact that:
III. You Were Saved To Serve
- Adrian Rodgers used to say that "many church members come down the aisle of the church, get baptized, then come Sunday after Sunday and just sit, soak, and sour. God did not call you to sit, soak and sour...HE CALLED YOU TO SERVE!"
Like Paul & Titus:
A. You Are Called To Be A Disciple
In Luke 14 a large crowd was assembled before Jesus. As He addressed this crowd He revealed the requirements of discipleship. There were many people following Jesus, but many were following for the wrong reasons. Some wanted to see the miracles, some desired a healing of their own, and some hoped that Jesus would overthrow Rome and establish God's Kingdom.
As Jesus preached to that crowd the number of followers began to thin out. What was His message? Listen to what He said in - Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
Three times in the course of this message in Luke 14, Jesus used the phrase, "cannot be my disciple." In other words, Jesus was laying out some absolute requirements for discipleship. Yes, God wants you to be delivered from your sins.... Yes, God wants to rescue you from the torments of Hell.... Yes, God wants to have a personal relationship with Him.... Yes, God wants you to spend eternity with Him in Heaven, but ultimately God wants you to be a disciple of Christ! If you are saved, you were saved to serve!
- Not only are you called to be a disciple...
B. You Are Called To Make Disciples
Consider the Great Commission for a moment: Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
The phrase "teaching all nations" literally means to "make disciples". This involves more than sharing the gospel. It is not simply "making converts".
Consider for a moment the difference between a convert and a disciple: Converts are believers who live like the world. Disciples are believers who live like Jesus. Converts are focused on their values, interests, worries, fears, priorities, and lifestyles. Disciples are focused on Jesus. Converts go to church. Disciples are the church. Converts are involved in the mission of Jesus. Disciples are committed to it. Converts cheer from the sidelines. Disciples are in the game. Converts hear the word of God. Disciples live it. Converts follow the rules. Disciples follow Jesus. Converts are all about believing. Disciples are all about being. Converts are comfortable. Disciples make sacrifices. Converts talk. Disciples make more disciples. - (Source - http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/were-called-make-disciples-not-converts)
Making disciples speaks of teaching, training and investing in others. The Christian life can be summed up in the phrase... Be a disciple who makes disciples! What about you? Are you doing your part? Are you making disciples?
We often use the term "inactive church member" to describe those who have quit attending church. Sometimes we refer to those who attend but simply fill a spot on the pew as "inactive". But there is no such thing as an "inactive church member". You are either building up the church or tearing it down.
We are seeing some amazing things take place in our assembly. Can you imagine how much more we could do if we have more faithful servants? Are you faithful to the Kingdom work? If you have a position in the church, are you devoted to it? Can others depend on you to carry out your responsibilities faithfully? If you neglect your responsibilities you are not only letting the church down...You are not only letting your brothers and sisters in Christ down....You are saying to your Lord that serving Him is not as important as whatever is keeping you from doing your duty. There is a job for you to do. If you really believe that, then you must acknowledge the fact that ...if you are not serving, you are either backslidden or you are not saved!
You are either obeying the command of Christ, or you are living in open rebellion.
1) Paul was saved to serve
2) Titus was save to serve
3) You were saved to serve
If you are not saved, you can be today. surrender your heart and life to Christ. Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him. When you do you too will find that YOU ARE SAVED TO SERVE.