Summary: The need for teamwork
Teamwork - Titus 3:12-15 - November 13, 2011
** Start with Johnny & Chachi “Teamwork” movie
I hope this morning that you love “teamwork” more than “all getout”, just like Chachi. We want to talk about teamwork today, and to do that, I’d like you to turn to the book of Titus, chapter 3. It’s in the middle of the NT, right after 1 & 2 Timothy, and right before Philemon and Hebrews. This letter is written by the Apostle Paul to one of his young protegés, a young Greek man named Titus. Paul had left Titus on the Greek island of Crete -- a 160 mile long island in the Mediterranean Sea, just south of Greece -- with a job to do: to appoint elders in every town. Why did the church need elders? Because elders are to set an example for all of us to follow. We are to follow the pattern of their lives and live our lives the same way.
Paul talks about our pattern for living in chapter 1 & 2, and Paul reminds us in 2:10 that when we live as we should, we make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. We have the greatest message of all: God has given us a grace that redeems us, a grace that reforms us, a grace that rewards us - but often because of the way we live our lives, the unsaved do not find our gospel, our good news, attractive. They don’t want to be like us.
Once we are saved, what should happen in our lives? The book of Titus goes on to teach us that we should be eager to do good works. It should not be what we do, but who we are. Then in chapter 3 we saw last week that we need to shun controversy - people who want to argue about foolish topics and people who are divisive and want to divide the body of Christ.
Today, we finish up the book of Titus, and look at Paul’s closing remarks to Titus. I’m in chapter 3, starting in verse 12. Read 3:12-15 Pray.
A newspaper photographer wanted to get pictures of a local forest fire so his newspaper agreed to charter a plane for him. When he arrived at the airport, he was running a few minutes late, but fortunately the plane was already on the tarmac with the engine running, waiting for him. So he jumped into the plane and yelled, “Take off!” Once in the air, the photographer directed the pilot towards the smoke of the fire and then yelled to the pilot to make two or three low passes over the fire. The pilot asked, “Why do you want me to do that?” The photographer replied in an irritated voice: “Because I’m a photojournalist and I need to take pictures of the fire. Get me as close as you can!” To which the pilot answered in a very shaky voice, “You mean you’re NOT the flight instructor?”
Sometimes we are in such a rush to get to where we want to go that we often fail to ask some important questions. And sometimes we want to look at the “meat” of bible books, and we read right over closing remarks as though they were insignificant. But there are several thoughts for us to consider in these verses than can really impact our lives. The verses we read today are Paul’s closing remarks in his letter to Titus. And they speak to us a lot about teamwork. The first thing we learn is this:
1. We Are Part of a Team - We run the race together. And in the church we realize that people will constantly be moving in and out of our lives. We rejoice with those God sends to us, and we rejoice together with those who move on to other areas. Sometimes it is easy to resent the fact that people move away or make changes. But when we do that, we show that we are more focused on ourselves than we are focused on them.
In the church, we want to make sure that we don’t come together with a “consumer” mentality - “I want everything to be the way I like it!” Instead we focus on working together for the sake of the whole body. In fact, that is the analogy that Paul uses several times in scripture. We are a body.
That is true - we ARE a body, the body of Christ. But just like a physical body, each of us plays a different part in the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12 - we find an extended picture of this metaphor:
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body. So it is with the body of Christ . . . If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am only an ear and not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? Suppose the whole body were an eye--then how would you hear? Or if your whole body were just one big ear, how could you smell anything?