A.Open your Bibles if you would please to Titus chapter 3:1-11 this is going to be our text for today.
1.So far we have study in Titus about the qualifications of elders
2.We learned a little about the Cretan people themselves and of their attitudes.
3.In chapter two Paul discussed about how Christians should act among themselves.
4.And finally here in 3:1-11 Paul goes over how a Christian should behave in their present world.
B.This is going to occur in two section here with how a Christian should act toward the world and what a Christian should avoid in the world.
A.In this section Paul tells of two different situation how one should act toward government and how one should act toward the people in this world
1.First let us look at how we should conduct ourselves toward the government
a)Paul opens up with the phrase “remind them” this is in connection with the Christians there in Crete.
1)He wants Titus to tell these things to them as a reminder, to refresh their memories of who they are and how they should act.
2)We are always in need of reminding, if we had no need of it then that would mean once I learned something I would never need to go back and refresh my memory of it.
3)Guy is always reminding me of things he has already said, but he knows I need it and that it will take time for it to sink in.
4)So this reminder is to help them keep those things which are important for them.
b)The first reminder is that they are “to be subject to rulers” and “to authorities”
1)We saw Jesus do this when He paid taxes to the Roman government and when He paid taxes to the temple.
2)That’s right we as Christians are obligated to pay our taxes and to follow the rulers that being the President whoever is elected and to follow our city leaders.
(a)This does not mean that we condone abortion or homosexuality as our government may do.
(b)But we are to subject ourselves to it unless it transcends the Word of God.
3)The Cretans too are to follow the law of the land and to obey their “police men” whoever they may be.
c)Paul continues by saying that they are “to be obedient”
1)This is to those rulers and authorities mentioned already.
2)It is like being pulled over by the police for speeding. You can do one of two things.
(a)Either a, you complain to the officer that you were not speeding and that he is overstepping his authority.
(b)Or b, you subject yourself to him and accept the ticket that he gives and then if you believe it is wrong then take it to the judge.
3)In this way we are being obedient to the government and to its laws.
d)Finally Paul says “to be ready for every good deed”
1)We are not to isolate ourselves from the world, but to be ready for every opportunity to do a good deed.
2)Like Paul preaching the gospel wherever he found himself. Either in a courtyard or in a court room.
3)How we present ourselves to this world will make a big difference on how we are received.
4)If we scoff at them and act as if the rules do not apply to us because we are Christians then they will not look very kindly upon Christians as a whole.
5)We need to be prepared for any and all good deeds that we can do in this world.
(a)These good deeds can be just by the fact that we obey the laws and pay our taxes
(b)These good deeds are that we do not protest and throw rocks at elected officials, but we pray for them that they will do what is right.
2.Now here in verse 2 Paul turns towards the people in the world
a)First we are “to malign no one”
1)The word malign is the same word translated as “blaspheme” in other places in the Bible.
2)Typically we see this in reference to God, but here it is in reference to man.
3)We as Christians are not to heap curses upon other men or speak ill of them
b)We are “to be peaceable”
1)Not engaged in fighting, but calm, peaceful toward our fellow man
2)A Christian who is always fighting with his neighbors is not a good reflection of Christ.
c)We are to be “gentle”
1)Just as Christ was gentle with those who had leprosy and those who were blind.
2)We too need to have this spirit of gentleness with those around us.
d)“Showing every consideration for all men”
1)Jesus put our needs above Himself by leaving heaven and walking this world as a man and then to died upon a cross for our sins.
2)What are we doing as Christians to help our fellow man who is lost in sin? We sometimes must make sacrifices so as to help them know God.
3)What do you have to miss in order to have a Bible study? What do you have to give up to go door knocking?
3.Someone brought you the good news if you did not get it directly from the Bible yourself then someone gave up something in their life to bring it to you and there is a reason why they did this.
B.Here in verses 3 to 8 Paul gives two reasons why Christians are to conduct themselves this way in the world.
1.The first reason is that we were once like those in the world
a)When we were in the world we did not know the truth we were foolish and as a result we were disobedient to that truth. We deceived ourselves because of a lack of understanding.
b)Therefore we were enslaved to the things of this life.
c)The world had set the standards and we followed after them and tried to achieve the things of this world
1)We spent our life trying to outdo everyone around us. If our neighbor got a new car we got a new car. If the neighbor spruced up his lawn, we spruced up our lawn
2)We see a commercial for the new Amazon Kindle and ohhh we just have to have it!
d)Envy, malice, being hateful and hating others around us was once each of us was once the Christians at Crete, but now no more. Now we walk by a new standard.
2.The second reason is because of our preset condition, look here at verses 4 to 8
a)This kindness of God was that He sent His Son Christ to die for our sins.
b)This kindness was not brought about because of any good deeds that we have done or any great work that made us righteous.
c)It was because of His mercy for us
1)If God would have looked to our works to see if we could be justified we would have never been saved.
2)God looked to save us according to His mercy He looked upon us with pity and sent His Son out of His own kindness.
d)According to this passage God saved by three things listed here
1)One we already looked at and that is “according to His mercy”
2)Secondly by the “washing of regeneration”
(a)Washing means to literally bathe in water, hence baptism
(b)Regeneration means rebirth. Something that was already in existence has been restarted, given a new beginning
(c) This is how God saved us! Not by a “picture” of baptism, but by our literally getting into the water and being dunked completely under to come up to newness of life.
3)And thirdly, the “renewing by the Holy Spirit”
(a)Baptism was an instant act of regeneration, as soon as we went under our sins were washed away.
(b)Renewing is a progressive act, something that occurs over time and this renewing is done by the Holy Spirit.
(c)What is it that we do after we become Christians that causes us to grow over time? It is our study of God’s Word.
(d)This right here is how the Holy Spirit renews us today.
4)These are things that have already happened to the Cretans.
e)Paul says here in verse 6 that God poured the Holy Spirit out upon us richly through Jesus Christ.
1)We think back to the day of Pentecost when the Apostles received the Holy Spirit and all the things of Christ were brought back to their remembrance.
2)Well, no receives the Holy Spirit that way today, but there is a way for us to know all that Christ did for us and how we are to live as Christians!
3)God’s Word! The Word is full of everything we need to live our life.
4)The apostles went out preaching all these things… pouring out all that they knew of Christ upon others.
f)Verse 7, “so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life”
1)Being found guiltless because we were baptized into Christ and are living a new life in Him
2)This is by the grace of God, that unmerited salvation
3)God made us heirs of what? Of the inheritance and that inheritance is the hope of eternal life.
4)This is that inheritance that was promised first to Abraham back in Genesis that all the nations would be blessed through his “seed” that being Christ.
g)And finally verse 8
1)“This is a trustworthy statement;”
(a)Everything just stated is true, Paul states this to give assurance to his readers.
(b)That we are saved and that we do have a hope of eternal life.
2)“and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently,”
(a)Now Paul turns to Titus in his writings
(b)Concerning everything written from 2:1 to 3:7 Paul wants Titus to speak about these things with confidence and not in an unsure way.
3)“so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds.”
(a)Paul wants Titus to speak confidently of these things so that these Christians will excel themselves in these good works and not be dragged along by Titus.
(b)Careful: To think through, to be thoughtful of
(c)Engage: To preside over, as opposed to engaging in bad deeds which was their past life.
(d)Do we run in danger of engaging in bad deeds today?
4)“These things are good and profitable for men”
(a)All the things put forth in this letter, they are good for men to hear and Titus needs to go out and boldly speak these words to them
(b)They are profitable for them to follow for they will make them stronger in the Lord.
C.Now there is a way for a Christian to live in the world, just as Paul was describing in verses 1-8
1.We are to obey the rulers and laws of this land and we are to live in peace with all men.
2.We do this because first we were once just like them, lost and moving in the wrong direction in life
3.Also because Christ sacrificed much for us and we are to sacrifice much for others as well.
A.First, avoid foolish controversies and genealogies
1.Avoid! When you come upon one of these things do an about face and walk away from it.
2.Controversies such as debates, now this in itself is not what Paul wants us to avoid, but it is the foolish ones.
3.Paul is referencing people that are asking foolish questions about things that amount to nothing.
4.Such as foolish genealogies: This has a strong connection to the Judaizer since for the Jews a person’s genealogy was very important to them.
5.They may be asking foolish questions about their descendents
B.Avoid strive and disputes about the Law
1.Strife are those who are debating about the Law and disputes, or battles you over things concerning the Law
2.Avoid these things because they useless to the Christian. We have nothing to do with the Law therefore why are they wishing to argue about it now?
C.Finally Paul tells Titus to reject those who are factious
1.A factious man is the one who wants to debate and question you about things that are unprofitable and worthless
a)Reject this person after giving them warning of the impending rejection two times
b)Does rejection mean to “disfellowship”? Perhaps, it just means to have nothing to do with that person.
c)The Greek word for “factious” is αἱρετικός [hairetikos hahee•ret•ee•kos] from which we get our word heretic
d)This is a person who disregards the scriptures in favor of his own opinions
2.knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning,
a)This person is not living and seeing in a straight line, but they are crooked they are living in sin
b)What makes his sin even worse is that he knows it is wrong and yet does it anyway.
c)Therefore they are “self-condemned” this man has had the truth and he rejected it in favor of his own will.
A.In today’s world we are condemned when we point out sin and say that we should live in such a way.
1.In such ways as homosexuality. For us to condemn that practice is considered to be uncompassionate!
2.But is that true? No, we are trying to win that persons soul back to God.
3.If they do not know it is sin then they cannot repent of it, that is “AVOID” make an about face and change their direction into the direction of God.
B.The Cretans Use to live a life full of lies and back biting, but now they are to live their life as Christ lived his.
1.To do this it required a change, that same change that took a hold of them and caused them to be baptized into Christ.
2.And that was the conviction of sin. When one realizes the sin in their life they will either make things right or pretend it never happened.
C.Which are we? If there is sin in our life don’t we want to repent of that sin and make our life right with God once again?
1.There are things to avoid in this world because of who we are and there is a way for us to act in this world, because of who we are
2.If we have not been living up to the expectations of God’s Word and we have sin living in our life that needs to be repented of we offer you the invitation to do that now as we stand and sing.