Summary: If we are going to be able to live Godly lives in a Godless world it begins with taking a stand for truth’s sake!
Text: Titus 1:1-4
Title:Take a Stand for Truth’s Sake!
Today we’re beginning a new series in the book if Titus entitled, “Godly living in a Godless world.”
It’s hard to imagine a culture less concerned about sin, or more enamored with material goods, individual rights, and all forms of ungodliness than the one in which we find ourselves.
Yet during these dark spiritual times, instead of our Christian way of life confronting the sinfulness around us, we have allowed worldly philosophies to find a home in our hearts and minds. As a result, the name of Christ is stained, and the testimony of believers rendered worthless.
It was into this exact kind of situation that the apostle Paul nearly 2000 years ago writes this very pointed and personal letter to his young disciple Titus. You can find some of the background to the book listed on your sermon notes but let me just add this.
The message that Paul is communicating to Titus is How to live a Godly life in a godless world. The idea is this: Truth must download into the way I live or it’s not really believed. It must show up in my day timer. It’s not enough to just talk about my faith, it must impact and change the way I live. Godliness must show up in our churches, in our homes and in our world.
Paul sets the tone for his letter in the opening verses where he says: [Read 1-4]
In these opening verses Paul makes an appeal for truth. Truth has fallen on hard times today. One of the greatest temptations the church faces today is that of watering down the truth to accommodate our culture. To that Paul says not! That’s not how the church is to live! The church is to live godly and holy lives. We are to live radically not apathetically! And it begins with standing up for truth’s sake!
And so what we want to do in the time we have together is take these opening verses and download them into our lives so we can take a stand for truth’s sake!
Four things, here’s the first one: If I am going to take a stand for truth’s sake then first…
I. I must know who I am (1a)
The subject matter here is one of identity, and more specifically our identity in Christ. At the very core of Paul’s being he understood who he was. He could of said: Paul a brilliant scholar—the highly educated Jewish leader, or Paul the Roman citizen. He could of said any of those things but he doesn’t. Instead he says: “Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ…”
The word servant doesn’t really get at it. The word Paul was using here was the word used for the lowest person in society. It describes a person who gives up their will for the will of another. Paul was saying that he had come to the place where he had humbled himself before God and totally surrendered his will over to Him. He had become a servant of God. But not only that he had submitted himself to Christ and His work in his life. For Paul that was becoming an apostle of Jesus Christ. That was his vocation. That’s what Christ had called him to do. The power of Paul’s life, the thing that made it possible for him to take a stand for truth was that he knew who he was. He was a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ.
And the question that comes back is this: Who are you? Have you come to the place in your life where you have surrendered your life totally to God and submitted yourself to Christ and his work for your life. Have you? Or are you just going through the motions. Because if you haven’t you won’t be able to take a stand for truth.
II. I must know what I stand for (1b-2)
Look at the end of verse one: “…for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— 2 a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time
The word faith here is not our confidence or trust in God as we saw it was last week in Ephesians 6, but rather, the faith Paul is referring to here is the body of truth, the doctrine, the main things that believe, the things we would die for, the things we stand for as followers of Jesus Christ.
And if you’re going to be able stand for truth’s sake you’re going to have to know what it is you believe. Not just a head knowledge but a knowledge that leads to godliness. A knowledge that changes your life.