Sermons

Summary: The stability of the church depends on the leaderships commitment to the Word of God. The orthodox doctrines, or teachings that come from Christ and his Apostles is the foundation that can never change.

Rusty Stevens, a Navigator Director, tells this story. He was

pushing the lawn mower around his yard trying to get done before

supper was on the table. His 6 year old son Mikey came out and

stepped in front of him, grabbed the handle of the mower and

started to push. The father quit pushing and the mower slowed to a

stop, for Mikey did not have the strength to push it, but he wanted

to help. Dad had the impulse to say "get out of here. You are in my

way", but instead he said, "Son, I'll help you." So he began to push

with his legs spread apart to avoid hitting his son. He was now

moving slower and less efficiently with Mikey's help.

It suddenly dawned on him that this is the way God works with

us. As our heavenly Father he could get the work done of building

his kingdom so fast and efficient alone, but he wants us to help. Out

help is often a handicap, for we only slow things down and are less

efficient. But God's plan is to let us help. We see this so clearly in

Paul's letter to Titus. Paul does not say, "Just choose who you will,

or call for volunteers to be leaders and pastors of the churches. Paul

does not teach that it makes no difference who is leading because

God in his sovereignty will make it all work out no matter what you

do. Instead, Paul says it makes a world of difference who you

choose, for God does not build his kingdom, and Christ does not

build his church without the help of men and women who are

channels of his will in the world. If excellence only depended on God,

then their is nothing to worry about, for God is always excellent.

But if excellence depends on men, then the qualifications of those men

makes a lot of difference in the outcome. the quality of a church depends

upon the quality of its leaders. The pastor and lay leaders form the character

of the church. We have looked at all the things they should not be,

and most of what they should be. This message brings us to the 9th

verse of chapter one where the issue is doctrine. The leaders of the

church of Christ must be people of sound doctrine. they must hold

firmly to Biblical truth, and be able to teach it to others, and be able

to refute those who oppose it.

The stability of the church depends on the leaderships

commitment to the Word of God. The orthodox doctrines, or

teachings that come from Christ and his Apostles is the foundation

that can never change. It has to be passed on from generation to

generation. When their is a shift from this foundation to some other

source for guidance you get a corrupted Christianity. The big

corruption that Paul is ever fighting in his day is legalism. the

Jewish Christians keep going back to the Old Testament law and

they try to impose it on the Christians who have been set free in

Christ from that bondage. He urges Titus to fight this perversion of

the faith by sound doctrine.

This battle is never ending and that is why Christian leaders need

to be educated in doctrine. The cults are deceiving untaught

Christians by the thousands in every generation. Many cults

specialize in enticing Christians who do not know their own

doctrines well enough to know the difference between true

Christianity and clever imitations. This letter of Paul is focus on the

intellectual battles of the church. In his letter to the Corinthians he

deals with the emotional issues. But we need to recognize that the

Holy Spirit works in both the mind and the emotions. Sometimes

what the Christian needs is a great lift and an emotional high. But at

other times they need a solid rock of truth that can weather any

intellectual storm that comes.

Craig Larson says that power can be used in two ways. It can be

unleashed, or it can be harnessed. If you throw a match into a ten

gallon container of gas, you will unleash its power in a great

explosion. but if you take that same ten gallons of gas and put it into

your car, it will by controlled explosions propel you a couple

hundred miles. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit came like tongues of

fire, and the church of Christ exploded on the stage of history with

3000 Jews being saved in one day. But not every day in the life of the

church is a day of explosion. Most days are days like Paul deals with

here. They are days of a need for the power of the Holy Spirit to be

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