Titus

Titus 3:1-15 – Good deeds from salvation, not for it

TITUS 3v1-15.

 

GOOD DEEDS FROM SALVATION, NOT FOR IT.

 

INTRODUCTION.

 

ILLUST: Newspaper article – “Surrey Advertiser”  –NEW AGE SHOP OWNER ANGRY AT ‘WITCHCRAFT’ HARASSMENT – evangelical, born-again Christian harassing and accusing the lady shop owner of evil and witchcraft.

 

Is this how Christians should behave towards those they don’t agree with? We will find the answer in this passage of scripture.

 

ILLUST: John Nichols quoted from “Christianity Today” – A printing Co. in USA who would only do work, cash up front, for anything that had a Bible text on it because Christians had such a bad payment record.

 

ILLUST: If you disagree with government legislation do you have the right to break the law? eg VAT on fuel.

 

It is not good being a citizen of heaven if by our behaviour in this world we discredit the king to whom we say we belong.

 

1. OUR PUBLIC BEHAVIOUR [V.1-2]

 

The Cretans had a reputation for not being the nicest people as Paul points out in 2v12 quoting one of their own prophets “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes and lazy gluttons”

Remember, also, that the Cretans were smarting under Roman occupation. They were not a happy group of people.

 

REMIND the people to be subject to rulers and authorities,

to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,

to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate,

and to show true humility toward ALL men. [v1-2]

 

The fact that they are to be reminded shows that this is something that they already knew but were probably not doing.

Isn’t a lot of our teaching simply reminding. It is not that we don’t know but rather they we neglect to do what we know. We all need constant reminders.

 

ILLUST: How many times as a child were you reminded to “Put away” “Sit up straight” “Don’t chew with your mouth open” …..

As God’s children we need constant reminders!!

 

Just as Paul’s instructions for elders were that they be “blameless and above reproach” so it is true for all Christians.

 

Not only must we do these things mentioned but we must do it with the right attitude. Be ready [eager] to do what is good. This is a tough one!! Doing good to those who treat you well and to those who don’t!  Doing good to that unreasonable BOSS, that impossible relative, that rude, difficult neighbours, that argumentative, critical fellow Christian.

 

It is obeying the government and local authority without grumbling. Easy for us??!! What of those in countries were democracy is unknown.

 

QUESTION: “Do we always obey the authorities no matter what?”  Apply principles of Acts 5v29.

Peter and the others apostles had been brought

before the High Priest and his associates and

commanded not to preach about Jesus any more

Peter and the other Apostles replied,

“We must obey God rather than men”

The principle is always that God’s authority is higher than man’s. If we make such a stand we must first be certain that it is God’s word we are standing on and not our own ideas and secondly that if we make a stand we are prepared to endure the consequences.

 

ILLUST: If your company, Boss, asks you to do something dishonest will you stand for the truth and risk losing your Job.

 

Honesty is NOT always the best policy in terms of personal benefit BUT it is the RIGHT policy.

 

God is not just asking us to refrain from evil -which we must do – BUT he urges us to be eager to do good. Doing what is good has both a negative and a positive side.

 

This doesn’t mean that we don’t speak out against New Age teaching. It doesn’t mean that we back track on the truth in case someone is offended by what we teach. But we need to treat with kindness and consideration even those who disagree with us and who are our enemies.

 

The cross in an offence to those who are perishing [1Co.1] If our message is an offence, and it will be to those who reject it, BUT we are not to add to that offence by our own pride and stupidity.

 

The climax of the reminder of the things that we must DO is the last phrase of v.2 “show true humility toward ALL men.  {HUMILITY} as in 2 Tim.2v25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentence leading to a knowledge of the truth”

 

Mildness or humility or gentleness. [Hendriksen] – “Showing ALL mildness toward ALL people.

Showing some mildness toward some people might not be so difficult. Or showing all mildness to some people or even some mildness to all people BUT all mildness to all people even those Cretans ‘liars, evil brutes and lazy bellies’ – an assignment impossible to fulfill apart from the grace of God.”

 

2. THE MOTIVATION FOR DOING GOOD TO OTHERS. [V.3-7]

 

We have absolutely no right to treat others disdainfully. We need to remember, as Paul reminds the Cretans, what we ourselves used to be. We are what we are only by God’s grace and therefore have nothing to boast about. We need to remember what we were before God saved us.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient,

decieved and enslaved by all kinds of passions

and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy,

being hated and hating one another. [v.3]

 

Before we were saved it was not that we were just without understanding [ that we did not know] we were unable to understand [we could not know]

 

The man without the Spirit does not accept

the things that come from the Spirit of God,

 for they are foolishness to him and

he cannot understand them, because they

are spiritually discerned. [1 Co.2v14]

 

It is only because of the kindness and love of God that we are no longer in that state!

 

READ V.4-6

 

We have such a striking contrast betwen vv 3 and 4!!

 

On the one hand man’s inhumanity to man being hated and hating one another on the other hand we have God’s love and kindness.

 

BUT also our dark sinful past is contrasted with our present regenerate state in Christ and our future hope of glory.  What a contrast!!

 

Paul is not simply speaking theologically, although he is that, but he is speaking out of a deep personal experience.

Paul was still breathing out mudereous threats

against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest

and asked for letters to the synagogues in Damascus

so that if he found any of those who belonged to The Way

whether men or women, he might bring them in chains to Jerusalem

[Acts 9v1-3]

That is what Paul was until he encountered the Kindness and love of God his Saviour. That is why he could write in Gal. 2v20 that the Son of God loved ME and gave himself up for ME.

 

You and I need to remind ourselves what God has done for us! When we consider what we were in the past and what now, by God’s grace, we have become we will do good to others who have no yet experienced the grace of God.

 

These verses are jam packed with the salvation that God has given us in Christ.

HE SAVED US [x2 – v5]

HOW?? springing from his LOVE and KINDNESS  but NOT because of anything we have done BUT because of [OR ACCORDING TO] his mercy. according to tells us something of the wideness and magnitude of God’s mercy.

Fredrick Faber”s old hymn; “Souls of men why will you scatter”

 

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy

Like the wideness of the sea;

There’s a kindness in his justice,

which is more than liberty

 

He saved us according to his mercy and he also saved us through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives – REBIRTH.

The Holy Spirit imparts new life and washes us clean. He deals with our sin on the basis of the death of Christ on the cross. This work of the Spirit in us is not just the bear minimum!

The HS is generously poured out.

 

Jesus on the great day of the feast.

On the last and greatest day of the feast

Jesus stood and said in a loud voice

“If any one is thirsty let him come to me and drink.

Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said,

RIVERS of living water will flow from within him.

By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who

believed in Him were later to receive [John 7v37-39]

 

The same HS who cleansed us from our sin and justified us before God, is still in the process of of sanctifying us and giving us the hope of eternal life.

 

Already seen this pattern in chapter 2.

We were ungodly but have been saved from that and now in the present age are trying to live godly lives as we wait for the Blessed Hope.

 

We are HEIRS. Not only have we been justified by the JUDGE but also adopted by our heavenly Father and are heirs together with Christ. His eternal inheritence is ours because we are in Him.

 

 

3. THE SECOND REMINDER TO DO GOOD [V.8]

 

This is a trustworthy saying. And I want

you to stress these things, so that those

who have trusted in God may be careful

to devote themselves to doing what is good.

These things are excellent and profitable

for everyone [all people] [v.8]

 

If we understand what God has done for us and what awaits us in glory this should spur us on to do good to all. In the light of what God has done for us is there anything more important than that men and women should hear and respond to the gospel.

 

If they don’t see our good deeds how will they glorify God.

Let your light so shine before men that

they may SEE your good works and

glorify your father in heaven

 

If the gospel is true for us then it is true for all people. God does not have two agendas. There is only salvation through Christ and ALL need to hear that. We need to devote ourselves to doing what is good. That includes living above reproach in the midst of a corrupt world. Not that we are perfect but endeavouring to be honest and helpful. BUT we must speak and tell why we are what we are and do what we do. VISUALISATION AND VERBALISATION.

 

THIS VISION BEGINS IN THE LOCAL CHURCH AND EXTENDS TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH. It is excellent and profitable for ALL people. If we keep our salvation to ourselves we have missed the point

This gospel is for YOU and YOUR CHILDREN

and for ALL who are afar off [Acts 2]

 

5. OUR BEHAVIOUR MUST NOT CONTRADICT OUR BLIEFS. [V.9-11]

 

READ VV.9-11

 

Our behaviour is not just our individual behaviour but also our corporate behaviour.

 

ILLUST: FIEC Caister – We hire a 4-seater bike – signed for it NO DEPOSIT required from us Assistant said “It is not necessary from youfolk because we never have any trouble but unfortunately not all are like that”

 

BUT unfortunately this is not always the case, is it?

 

Therefore disagreements about trivia only serve to discredit the church. The devil is very skillful at sidetracking the Church. Satan is happiest when the church is preoccupied with its internal affairs. When a church turns in on itself and loses its missionsry vision then Satan is happy.

 

ILLUST: Russian Orthodox Church 1917 – debated the colour of robes while the Bolsheviks plotted the revolution.

 

Arguments about pew cushions; colour of the paint and the style of worship divide churches.

 

Very few Churches split over major issues. It is usually minor issues and personality clashes.

That discredits the church therefore Paul warns that if anyone in the body is causing division he must be warn BUT if he  or she refuses to listen then they must be excluded.

WHY?  Because the name of Christ is dishonoured in the community if the church is in division.

 

Positively we need to love each others

A new commandment I give unto you

that you love one another as I

have loved you.

By THIS shall all men know that

you are my disciples if you have

loved for one another [John 13v34-35]

 

Being constantly reminded of what we used to be and what we now are becasue of Christ and of waht we will be when he comes – in view of all this we must do good to all.

 

1 Peter 2v11 – 12

 

Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and strangers

 in the world, to abstain from sinful desires

 which war against you soul.  Live such good

lives among the pagans that, though they

accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your

good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

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