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Summary: If you want to lead well in a bad world, you need to know your God, and what he's called you to do.

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Your God and Your Mission

SERMON #1 -

Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ 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,

3 and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,

4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.

Historical Background:

Crete is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean. It was an island 250 miles long, and about 50 miles wide that was home to about 100 cities, towns and villages in the first century. It had rich soil, a pleasant climate, and no poisonous/vicious animals.

We have no record of Paul going to Crete, only of him sailing past it on his way to Rome.

But most scholars agree that Paul was probably released from prison after the end of Acts, and traveled for about 3 years, doing ministry and planting churches. It would have been in this time that he went to Crete, and preached the Gospel & planted churches there. He left Titus there in Crete to manage and organize what was left, and to appoint good biblical leadership in every church. He wrote Titus around the same time as 1 Timothy, to give Titus encouragement and direction on how to complete his task. He planned to replace him (Titus 3:17) and have Titus join him again. But Paul was then arrested again. Titus was with Paul for a time during his second imprisonment & then was sent by Paul to Dalmatia. Paul mentions this in 2nd Timothy, written probably just a few weeks before his martyrdom.

The culture of Crete was one steeped in idolatry and Greek mythology. If you’ve read any Greek myths, it was the birthplace of Jupiter… and the king of Crete would, every nine years, go away to amend the laws of Crete. To help add authority to his amendments of the laws, he would tell the people that he got the instructions straight from the god Jupiter.

The culture was notoriously difficult, characterized by liars, insincere people, who were lazy, greedy, gluttonous and prone to get their way by brute force. (Titus 1:14?) This remind you of anything?

American culture:

 • 74 percent of high school students, in a 2002 survey of 12,000 respondents, said they had cheated on an exam at least once in the past year, according to the Josephson Institute of Ethics. In 1992, 61 percent of students reported having cheated. The latest craze is to use cellular phones to photograph exams and show friends in the following class.

 • After doing 3.8 million background checks, Automatic Data Processing Inc. announced in April that 52 percent of job applicants had lied on their résumés.

 Gluttonous: Do I even dare?

 We have very cultured ways of brute force. Sue someone. On the other hand, we have MMA, hockey,… and the helicopter circled overhead today until the cop brought a guy back to his car…

The key question facing us as we look at Titus is how do you lead in the face of that kind of culture?

Titus is Paul’s representative… he’s arrived on an island with 100 cities, with the instructions, “Put everything in order, and appoint elders in all the cities.”

So, get the feel for Titus’ task:

All he’s got to do is take 100 cities in a culture where things are steeped in idolatry, where people are in a culture that is inherently negative toward holy living, where people are liars, brutes and gluttons, and find several good men in each church, train them, put them in place, shut up the false teachers, rebuke some who are living in sin, and train all these people to live in godliness and holiness.

That’s all.

He has to take total chaos, and put it in order.

You ever look around and have that “WHERE DO I START?” feeling? I’m sure Titus had it.

Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ 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,

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