Summary: If we don't pursue godliness, we are pursuing ungodliness!
Open your Bibles to the Letter to Titus, Chapter 1……
Read along with me v1-5…..
And so we note as led by God the Holy Spirit;
In v1: the writer of the letter was Paul the Apostle, servant of God.
Let us just briefly note that Paul was a special servant of God; only he and the first 12 disciples were given the special calling with the title apostle. What makes an apostle unique? Here’s what we can note from scriptures: Apostles were called and taught directly by the Lord Jesus Christ!
There are some Christians today who proclaim themselves to be apostles; they will say it is their spiritual gift. We need to be careful. We must never force anything that the Bible does not say. If you study the word apostle in Scriptures it will always refer to the first 12 disciples or Paul. Luke, the writer of a Gospel and Acts, was never called an apostle. Timothy or Titus were never given the title apostle. We must always follow what the Bible tell us and never force what the bible does not really say!
And what are we looking at this morning, we note in v4, we have a letter addressed to Titus, who did not have the title apostle. Who was Titus?
Paul calls Titus a true son in the common faith who has the same God the Father and Savior Jesus Christ. In other words, v4: Titus became a Follower of Christ through Paul.
And what do we read in v5? Titus was a Pastor in Crete! Titus was never called an apostle but he was an overseer and minister for a whole island!
As we study this letter, because Titus was a Pastor of the Church in Crete (show map), we will learn much about the Christian faith, the church, and how to minister. In preparation for our celebration of Communion, let us note our common faith from v1-4.
Verse 1 actually tells us one of the reasons the letter was written. Look at v1 again: It is for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth. By the way, if you are a Christian, you are part of God’s elect! This letter was not just for Titus, it is for all Christians, including you and me! And so, the letter is for faith and knowledge of the truth of all Christians! And what is to be the result of faith and knowledge of truth?? - Godliness!
Let me ask another question: Why should we be godly??
Let me make this simple thought; If we’re not godly, were ungodly! And who is the most ungodly being??
And so, if we are not pursuing godliness, we are pursuing evil and all its ungodliness!
How do we pursuit godliness? The pursuit of godliness starts with faith and the knowledge of truth! Faith and truth always go together. And what is truth? Verse 2 tells us God does not lie!
Truth is what God says, His Word, the Bible!
And what is faith? If faith is trust which produces action, for faith without works is dead, faith is a trust on something (say again). You see, you can have faith in many things. You can have faith in your family and friends; you can have faith in your car; you can have faith in your coffee; you can have faith in your smartphone; you can have faith in a statue! Can we go to heaven just because we have faith in whatever we trust?
But God says we are saved from our sins by faith! And again faith and truth always go together according to God. And so, what is godly, saving faith? Godly, saving faith is taking action in belief and trust in God’s Word!
In v3 we note that the truth, God’s word came to light from God the Savior. And in v4 we note that Jesus Christ is the Savior! The pursuit of godliness starts with faith and the knowledge of truth. Truth is God’s Word and God’s Word states that we must be first cleansed of our ungodliness in order to pursuit godliness. We must be first saved from our ungodliness! And who is the Savior??
Now, what does it mean to be cleansed form ungodliness then pursue godliness? The bible is clear that a person is saved from ungodliness through Jesus Christ; but then the Bible also tells us that a Christian still living on earth is being saved through Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and God’s Word; and the Christian will be completely saved by God by being resurrected!
Let us grasp and remember 2 important verses: Acts 16:31 - Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. 1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he (Jesus Christ) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.