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.

Titus 2:11-15 – Our teacher – “Grace”

TITUS 2v11-15

 

OUR TEACHER – “GRACE”

 

1. INTRODUCTION.

 

ILLUST: Reading the stories of  missionary outreach through the centuries It becomes evident that when a tribe or group of people accept the gospel of Christ it affect the quality of life in the whole community. Tribes that were adversely affect by immorality and abuses of various kinds begin to change. Family life stablizes and even the economy of the community improves because people work hard and act more honestly and so on.

 

In missiological jargon we speak about the “uplfting effects of the gospel”. This phenomenon should not surprise us in the least. God’s salvation doesn’t only touch our spiritual life but it touches evert aspect of our lives.

 

The dichotomy between the spiritual world and the physical world is not a biblical one.Its a hangover from Greek thinking that has permeated our Western culture.

 

All the instructions that we looked at last week – the instructions to older women and older men, to younger women and younger men and to slaves – these directives are not detached from doctrine, in fact, it is exactly the opposite:

[v.10b KJV] “… That you may adorn the doctrine of God

our Saviour in all things.”

 

Doctrine is not something you find in dusty books in a Theological Library. Doctrine is to be practised. Abstract doctrine is useless – doctrine, teaching, must affect our behaviour.

That is what vv.1-10 are addressing. Now Paul moves on to give the motivation for this Christian living. The doctrinal basis.

 

Paul has just mentioned God our Saviour in v.10 and immediately GRACE is linked to it. So often in Paul’s writings this is the case. He can’t think of salvation without thinking of grace – rightly so! – the two are inseparable.

 

2. THE GRACE OF GOD HAS APPEARED …. [v.11]

…to bring into being A SAVED PEOPLE.

A HOLY PEOPLE

A SPECIAL PEOPLE

A HOPEFUL PEOPLE

 

Grace, the undeserved, unearned, favour of God. Grace is God’s spontaneous goodness that intevenes to deliver and help people. Grace here is almost personified – it is personified in the person of Christ. The picture of grace appearing is the vision of light suddenly breaking out.

 

ILLUST: Sunrise services on Easter Day in RSA on the Beach. The ky would glow and suddenly the sun was on the horizon of the Indian Ocean.

 

The Appearing of the grace of God does not only referto Jesus’s birth but also to his life, death, resurrection and ascencion.

For the God who said,”Let light shine out of darkness”

made his light shine in our hearts to give us the

light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

[2 Corinthians 4v6]

 

3. A SAVED PEOPLE [v.11; 14a].

 

Because of God’s grace we are A SAVED PEOPLE. Salvation is only possible because of God’s gracious favour.

 

Salvation and redemption go together.

He gave himself to redeem us from all wickedness [v.14a]

 

To redeem or to ransom is to pay a price in order to release from slavery. It was the language of the slave market. Kidnapper seek a ransom – a release price. And that is what Jesus did, not with silver and gold but by his blood. He, himself, said he would! That is why he came.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served

 but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many [Mark 10v45]

 

There could be no redemption without blood

…the Son of God loved me and gave himself for me [Gal.2v20]

 

The emphasis is on the sacrificial act:

…the blood of Jesus God’s Son purifies us from all sin [1 John 1v7]

 

ALL MEN.  What does Paul mean by this?

(1) Those who would like us to believe that this proves universalism – that everyone will ultimately be saved. If that is so the every references in Scripture to Judgement, hell and separation from God must be erased. If all will be saved what’s the point of preaching the gospel – so all those parts of scrpiture must be removed.

 

(2) Does it mean that all have opportunity to be saved. Well it is God’s desire that all men will come to know him.

… God our Saviour who wants all men to be saved and

to come to a knowledge of the truth [ 1 Tim. 2v4]

 

(3) The principle of interepting the Bible is that you must take every passage in its context. Paul has just been speaking about young and old, men and women, slaves and masters. It makes most sense therefore to take the all to mean that God’s grace makes no distinction between age , sex or social standing. All means all kinds of people in this verse.

 

4. A HOLY PEOPLE [v.12]

 

Because of God’s grace we are to be A HOLY PEOPLE.

It teaches us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and

 worldly passions, and to live self-controlled,

 upright and godly lives in this present age.[v12]

 

Grace not only brings salvation it is also our teacher, trainer. It trains us to change our actions, our attitudes and our ambitions.

 

Negatively. It teaches us to say “NO” to ungodliness and worldy passions.

Saved we are cleansed and made pure in our standing before God. But we are not yet perfect and the old nature within us rises up and wants to control us.

The opportunities for sin are endless.

The temptation to say those hurtful words.

The temptation to quarrel, to be self assertive, to be materialistic [to want more and better possessions]

The temptation to flirt with the opposite sex and to entertain immoral thoughts.

 

Paul says we have to learn to turn away from those things. It is not easy. And we are going to fall because we are not perfect but the grace of God helps us say NO to these things so that we are not dominated by the longing for pleasure, power and possessions.

 

Positively. BUT living a godliy life is not just saying NO! NO! NO!

It is also saying YES!

(1) TO ONE’S SELF.  Self-control – selfmastery. Not all our desires and drives are sinful. By God’s grace they have to be trained in the right direction so that rather than controlling us we, by the Spirit’s power, control them.

(2) TO OUR NEIGHBOUR.  “upright” Our faith in not just a private matter. It must be lived out in the community of the saints and in the community as a whole. Our lives must be open and honest.

Let your light so shine before men that they

may SEE your good works and glorify your

Father in heaven [Matt   ]

 

Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me

All his wondrous compassion and purity

Oh, Thou Spirit Divine

All my nature refine

Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.

 

It is not easy – when we open our lives to people we are vulnerable – we can get hurt. And we probably will. Jesus said “I am sending out as sheep amongst wovles” Well that can be pretty dangerous. BUT we have the grace of God. It doesn’t take away the danger or the pain when we get hurt but it does help us cope.

 

(3) TO OUR GOD. godliness – devotion to our God. It means being self controlled an upright but also living in close communion with our Lord. In worship and prayer and study of His word and fellowship with his people.

 

IN THIS PRESENT AGE. Holiness and godliness is not only for the future it is also for the here and now. YES the world is a rotten place full of sin and corruption and immorality and selfishness. And it is here that God wants us to live godly lives.

The church is to have a preserving effect like SALT – how much worse would the world be if God was not present in his people. The world would self-destruct.

We can and we must influence the PRESENT AGE inwhich we live.

 

5. A SPECIAL PEOPLE. [v14b].

 

Because of God’s grace we are A SPECIAL PEOPLE.

 

…to purify for himself a people that are his very own…

 

In the OT God chose tha nation of Israel to be his special people.

Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth

the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession [Dt.14v2]

 

In the NT the church are the people of God His treasured possession

But you are a chosen people,

a royal priesthood, a holy nation,

a people belonging to God, .. [1 Peter 2v9]

God has chosen us and is now in the process of purifying us to make us more and more like Christ.

Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her

to make her holy, cleasning her through the

 washing with water through the word. [Eph.5v26]

 

The word of God and the Spirit of God alway work together. As we heard and study the word of God His Spirit uses that word to clean us and change us, so that we become mature people.

 

6. A HOPEFUL PEOPLE. [V.13].

 

Because of God’s grace we are  A HOPEFUL PEOPLE.

 

While we live in this present age this is not our home, the is not our goal, this is not our HOPE. Our hope is a BLESSED HOPE  – The glorious appearing of Christ.  Our hope is not in the Hope but in the OBJECT/PERSON hoped for.

 

The grace of God has already appeared [v11] when Jesus came the first time – we are waiting for the second appearing. Why is it a blessed hope? Because when it comes it will bring bliss, happiness, delight and glory.

 

When that hope is realised we will see Christ face to face and will be like him for we shall see him as he is [1 Jn.3v2]

 

We get excited when we are waiting at the airport for a loved one whom we haven’t seen for a long time. How much more for our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

Debate as to whether this phrase is Our great God and our Saviour or our great God and Saviour.

I prefer the second – (1) the grammatical structure – one article not two “our”

– (2) theological – Jesus is the one who will return – it is his appearing that we await. SO I think it refers to One person not two. BUT ultimately God is one always!!

 

Because by his grace we are His SAVED, HOLY, SPECIAL, HOPEFUL PEOPLE  we should be eager to do what is good.

We have a great salvation, let us, therefore, live lives that are worthy of our calling.

Titus 1:1-9 – To be an Elder

TO BE AN ELDER!

TITUS 1V1-9.

 

1. INTRODUCTION.

 

Who is Titus and why did Paul write to him?

Our information about Titus is very limited. It seem that he was brought to Jesus Christ by Paul himself – v4 “Titus my true son in our common faith”. He is from a pagan background. Gal.2v1-5 show that Titus travel with Paul to Jerusalem where an attempt, though unsuccessful , was made to circumcise Titus.

Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem,

This time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. [Gal 2v1]

 

Titus also features in 2 Corinthians. When the Corinthians Church seemed to be in crisis, it was Titus who was despatched as the bearer of Paul’s 1st letter to Corinth. He seems to have managed the difficlut situation very skillfully. Then he reported back to Paul during which time Paul wrote 2 Cothinthians and sent Titus back with the second letter.

 

It would appear from v5 that Paul and Titus had been in the island of Crete together.

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. [v5]

Paul had left Crete and gone to Greece leaving Titus to finish the task they had begun togther. Titus is now an apostolic delegate in temporary charge of the church in Crete. There was prbably more than one congregation on the island and Titus was to appoint leaders, among other things.

 

Why the Letter? Didn’t Titus know what Paul had taught? Probably a twofold reason. To remind Titus, but also to have down in black and white the apostle’s instructions so that there could be no argument. Also, of course, so that these instructions could be inscrpiturated so that the Church throughout history could benefit. Including us.

 

2. PAUL’S OPENING REMARKS. [1V1-4]

 

These first 4 verses are packed with wonderful truths.

 

* Paul’s sphere of ministry and what he hopes to achieve by it.

Paul always presents himself as a servant/slave of God. As we saw last week in Haggai, to be God’s servant is to be accorded the highest honour.

Paul deepest desire is “for the faith of God’s elect” Paul’s life is given to the preaching of the gospel and the building up of the faith of God’s elect.

In the OT Israel were God’s choosen people but now in the NT era that role has been inherited by the Chruch.

 

* The faith of God’s elect must be based on the truth.

Faith based on falsehood is, like a building build of unsound foundations, will eventually collapse. True faith, saving faith requires a true grasp of the Apostolic message.

Paul is also at this point laying a foundation for what is still to come in the letter when he warns Titus and the Cretan Christians of those who are spreading false teaching and unholy practices.

 

With his emphasis on the truth – and rightly so – Paul adds a qualifier “which goes with godliness”

ILLUST: We can if we are not careful get so hung up on truth – we spend much time defending the truth – that we forget to put it into practice.

We have probaly all met people like this. They are so correct and have all the right answers but they are a pain in the neck. WHY? because they have neglected the balance.

But grow in GRACE and the KNOWLEDGE

of our Lord  and Saviour Jesus Christ [2 Pet.3v18]

He [Jesus] was full of GRACE and TRUTH

[John 1 v14]

 

May God save us from becoming unbalanced Christians. We need the truth BUT we also need the practical outworking of that truth in godly behaviour.

 

* Hope of eternal life is another characteristic of the Apostolic message. While this hope is what sustains Paul. It is not to be limited to him. The hope of eternal life is something all Christians can look forward to. There are to aspects to eternal life:-

1) We have eternal life – NOW. When you become a Christian you are reborn [Born spiritually]. zwhs aiwnion – Life of the age to come. Not simply life that will go on forever but also a new quality of life. Life abundant. Life to the full.

 

2)  What we have now is not all that there is. We will receive a much fuller experience of eternal life when this life on earth has ended.  This is what we have as our hope and what Jesus prayed we would have.

Father, I want those you have given me

to be with me where I am, and to see my glory,

the glory you have given me because you

loved me before the foundation of the world.

[John 17v24]

We have eternal life now but when Jesus returns [or we die and go to be with him] we will have it in a much fuller way.

 

The grounding of Faith.

This hope is not an airy-fairy hope-so hope but a sure and certain hope. Sure because the God who promises is sure and certain. “God who does not lie promised it from all eternity”

God’s promises are certain because of who he is:

When God made his promise to Abraham,

since there was no one greater for him to swear by,

he swore by himself ….

Men swear by someone greater than themselves

and the oath confirms what is said and

puts an end to all argument

Because God wanted to make the unchanging

nature of his purpse very clear

to the heirs of what was promised,

he confirmed it with an oath.

God did this so that by two

unchangeable things, in which it is

impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to

take hold of the hope offered to us

may be greatly blessed.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul,

firm and secure. [Heb.6v13&16-19]

 

*Promised from eternity – manifested in time.  God’s promises are not abstract. He has fulfilled them in time. He promised before the beginning of time and has fulfilled his promises in history.

When the time had fully come

God sent his son …. [Gal.4v4]

 

God had a plan from eternity and when the time was right he put his plan into action. God has a plan from creation, He has a plan for the consummation of the world. When the time is right he will put his plan into action. NOT that God is waiting for time RATHER he is moving history to a climax.

 

* Preaching Faith  God’s word cannot be manifest in a void. It must have concrete expression in preaching. Paul here is emphasing not so much the act of preaching but the content of what is preached.

God was pleased through the foolishness

of what was preached to save those who believe. [1 Co.1v21]

 

In the past, OT era, their had been limited understanding of God’s purposes but now he has “Brought his word to light” through the gospel – the good news of God’s redemptive work in Christ.

Paul is thrilled that one as unworthy as he is had been entrusted with the gospel.

And so have we. We are not only the recipient of the good news we are also the bearer of the good news. What a privlege!!  [I am doubly blessed – I even get paid to do it]

 

* Common Faith – At last Paul mentions the person to whom he is actually writing.

Titus, my true son in our common faith [v4]

 

Paul is reminding Titus that all that he has written so far is not just for himself, Paul. It is true for Titus as well [and for us] This is the Faith that all who believe have in common. It does not matter what demoninational label we wear. Their is a body of truth that has been given to the Church and that is the only TRUE LABEL.

Jude writes:

I am very eager to write to you about

the salvation we share, I felt I had to write

 and urge you to contend for the faith

that was once for all entrusted to the saints [Jude 3]

 

The isseu is not; “Do I follow this Church or that Church?” Rather do I adhere to the Apostle’s teaching.

 

3. INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF ELDERS.

 

We can’t deal with all these characteristics individually.

Three groups: v6 – Family

v7 – negative characteristics [qualities an elder must not have]

v8-9 – positive characteristics [his deeds and his doctrine]

 

Before you switch off and think that this only applies to the elders, think again. All Christians are urged to live Godly lives.

“Be holy, for I am holy [1 Peter 1v16]

Be perfect even as your heavnley Father is perfect [ Matt.]

 

Jesus Christ wants us all to be godly people BUT those who aspire to be leaders in the church of God must be good examples of the believer. NOT perfect  but wholeheartedly following Christ.

 

This is an uncomfortable passage for me to preach as it probably is for all in leadership positions in the church. As I read the list I know that I fall far short. Like Paul I have to say “>>Not that I have already obtained all this but I press on”

 

(1) A good family man.

Don’t want to get into the place of women in ministry. And I believe that women have a vital role in the life of the church and I don’t just mean in the kitchen.

ELDERS however I believe must be men! Not because men are superior or more intellectual or more competent. There are many women who are more intelligent, more competent and better speakers than I will ever be. So that is not the reason.

Elders are men because of the creation mandate of male headship and because nowhere in scripture do I find a case of women to be elders.

[You are free to disagree with me but this is my view]

A faithful husband and a good father.

The family is the foundation of the church. Elders must model the gosepl in their own homes.

Loving your wife as Christ loved the Church. Managing their children with a balance of Love and Discipline.

Husband of one wife – meaning? One wife at a  time??? No living a godly life with one woman in a life commitment. Being Faithful until death do us part

Their is a vital role for the wives in this ministry. A man with an unchristina wife or a wife who is malicious or gossipy can himself be an elders. {Would you have called nme to be your pastor if Janet was not a Christian}

In the same way their wives

are to be women worthy of respect

not malicious talkers but temperate

and trustworthy in every way [1 Tim.3v11]

 

In order for us to model the gospel we must have open homes [all of us] as we spend time together we must talk about the gospel. {NOT PREACH} talk about life through the grid of the gospel. Hospitality is mentioned in v8.

Hospitality is more than entertain some to a meal. It is making them feel welcome and at home in your home.

 

(2) Negative Characteristics.

summary: not dishonest and not out of control. Must not be someone who can’t control his habits [drinking, gluttony or anything else that is to excess] control his actions; not physically or verbally violent.

Not overbearing: We all naturally want our own way. We have to learn to “consider others better than ourselves”

Church work is team work [or it should be]. It is very difficult working with someone who is pushy and arrogant and always wanting their own way.

I am deeply grantful to God for have men like John and Alan to work with!!!

 

(3) Positive Characteristics.

Good deeds and good doctrine.

In attitude and behaviour we must be wanting to benefit others for thier good.

Open heart and open home – therefore the wife must be with him in this as it is her home too.

These charateristics are not just for Church life but for all life.Church, Home , Work and every other area of life. ABOVE REPROACH [blameless] so no one can point a finger and say “HYPOCRITE” we all fall and make mistakes but the over all tenor of life must be above reproach.

 

GOOD DOCTRINE – we must know what we believe [v9]

For two reason – to teach others and to refute falsehoods.

 

Some say “All this talk about doctrine! we just want to worship God in simple faith”

 

The gospel is simple [children understand] but it is not simplistic and we need to know what we believe. Without sound teaching our worship of God is hindered.

Calvin – “The end of theology is not knowledge but worship”

            Elders are given the pastoral oversight of the church but they need a knowledge of God’s word to do it because it is only the gospel that can bring salvation and help people to live godly lives.

 

We have received a great salvation and now we need to live up to it with God’s help. READ 3v11-14