Saturday, August 18, 2007

Titus: Stuff We Do

Welcome back to ICCS's Sermon Blog. I really don't know if anyone is out there reading this stuff but I like getting the Word out there anyway. Hope you enjoy--by letting the Spirit of our Lord change and use you--this next sermon.

Main verse: Titus 3:8 (NIV)

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.

How do we do the things we do?

I would guess each of us has asked the question: Why am I here? Or What is my purpose in this life? Paul addresses those common questions in this short letter to a young leader on the island of Crete.

Paul's letter challenges both Titus and those he ministers to have a wider view of what life is all about. It is far more than just the individual. It is way beyond that, especially for the Believer.

We can become a vital part of what God wants to do in this crazy fallen-apart world. It is the way to do stuff. How to be. What to do. And it is covered in this short three-chapter letter. It is repeated so many times (5) [in 1:8, 2:2, 2:5, 2:6 and 2:12. To be self-controlled!

How we behave is more important than it appears. How others see us acting out our Faith in a self-controlled way is important. And along with that self-controlled life-style, we are to be kind (2:5), as well as doing what is good (2:7, 3:8, 3:14.

“Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.”)

In fact, if we do not behave that way, Paul gives us a warning in 1:15-16

15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

so that no one will malign (slander) the word of God.

Why? To be an example of what it is like to have God's love alive in us. To know His forgiveness and to life in light of that knowledge.

It makes a difference.

Quickly, look at the whole letter:
Chapter 1: Get organized.
Preach the Word
Ordain qualified leaders
Silence false teachers

Chapter 2-3: What we do
Older saints
Younger saints
Christian slaves
…as citizens
Problem people

All dealing with having a healthy church.
Get sleep, when needed, exercise whenever possible
Eat a well balanced diet
Take meds as prescribed
Read the Word

Biblical Christians are by definition in a predicament, a dilemma, a quandary. Christians must live in this world, but they are not to be of this world. As the Father sent Christ into this world to minister, so He sends believers to be ministers in the world (John 17:14-18). God has US affect our community.

14 I have given them Your Word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the Truth; Your Word is Truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

Now, to what Paul thinks about the existence of Grace in the Fellowship

Grace Redeems Us 2:11, 14a -Saves us.
11 For the Grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
14a who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness…
a. Everyone is in the same boat. “to ALL men”
b. Grace is there for all
c. Grace is defined in 14a HE GAVE. Came from Him

Grace Reforms Us. 2:12, 14b -Changes us.
12 It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
14b to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good.
a. Lessons to learn
b. Possible major changes ahead-doing good maybe unusual for you…
c. His Grace to bring a people who are pure & eager to do right-from that way to this way. Change direction.

Grace Rewards Us. 2:13 -Gives us hope.
13 while we wait for the blessed Hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
a. Sometimes the answer is wait/yet we (have) hope
b. By Grace, He will return
c. His rewards for those who wait with a Crown of Glory AND forgiveness-for eternity

---------Note, Sunday Service starts at 10:00 AM.

Come and Worship the Living Lord!