VANTAGE POINT: TITUS. TITUS 2018 Holland Davis

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1 INTRODUCTION: Titus was a Greek, a convert through Paul s ministry to the Gentiles When Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem to give a report to the Apostles concerning the Gentiles coming to Christ and receiving the Holy Spirit, Titus came to share his testimony As a result the council decided against requiring Gentiles to become culturally Jewish and thus come under the law including circumcision Titus became a member of Paul s traveling team and some years later when there were problems in Corinth, Paul sent Titus to look into what was going on and to collect an offering for the Christians in Jerusalem Titus then leaves Corinth and meets Paul in Macedonia where he gives Paul a report and in response Paul writes 2 Corinthians, gives it to Titus and sends him back to Corinth to prepare them for Paul s visit The next time we hear of Titus is 6-7 years later After Paul was released from his first Roman imprisonment, Paul went through Crete to strengthen the churches that were started after Paul was shipwrecked on the island on his way to Rome When he leaves Crete the second time, he leaves Titus behind to strengthen the churches and this is where we find Titus at the time of Paul s letter to Titus At the end of Titus, he will be asked to rejoin Paul in Nicopolis (Titus 3:12) and Artemas or Tychicus will replace him The last time we hear of Titus is in 2 Timothy 4:10 where it is unclear if Titus disserted Paul or if Paul sent Titus to Dalmatia (modern Croatia) to continue preaching the gospel. Tradition tells us that Titus eventually returned to Crete and became the bishop over the churches in Crete and continued ministering until he died at an old age 1 Timothy and Titus were written around the same time Both deal with similar subjects Timothy is a new pastor assigned to Ephesus and Titus is a new pastor assigned to Crete Thus the same topics are covered The qualifications of elders Beware of False Teachers and divisive people The Rapture of the Church The power of living godly lives

2 Titus 1:1 3 (NKJV) 1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior; Paul s opening statement about himself is one of the clearest descriptions of his ministry He didn t spend much time founding and establishing the churches in Crete as compared to Ephesus where he stayed for 3 years So his introduction serves as a reminder of his credentials as an apostle and to reinforce the understanding that Titus was there as a representative of Paul and not on his own accord In this opening statement, Paul gives us 5 core principles on which all ministry is built First he is committed to God s Lordship A bondservant is someone who willingly gives up their freedom to devote themselves completely to a Master whom they love The law states in Exodus 21 if you buy a Hebrew slave, he will serve you 6 years and in the 7 th year he will go free But if the slave says my family loves my master and we want to remain as salves, the master was to bring the slave to God and pierce his ear with an awl Thus the slave chooses to stay out of love for the master Paul is saying, I ve chosen to be a slave of Jesus Christ out of love for my master That is a core principle for all ministry we serve out of love for Jesus Second he is committed to God s mission To build up the faith of God s people To acknowledge the truth of God s Word To preach the hope of eternal life Third he is committed to God s message God s message is equivalent with His Word

3 This Word was committed to Paul by the commandment of God Those who are called to preach and teach are called to proclaim the Word of God and it s not something they can turn off or on, it s not something you retire from it s by the commandment of God Fourth he is committed to God s methods Paul said he was commanded by God to preach the Word It s the Greek word Kerygma which means to herald or to proclaim After a town council meeting, the town herald would proclaim the message from the council to the people this is the decision Paul saw himself as one who proclaimed God s message to the people Fifth he is committed to God s People Titus 1:4 (NKJV) 4 To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. As a Pastor I have to understand the who of my calling Who am I called to minister to? That is determined by God based on the vision he gives me as a leader and the people he brings me to minister to every week God doesn t give me the resources to reach the world But God does give me the resources to reach the people He puts in my path and it s the same for you Are you called to reach the world? Begin with the ones He brings into your life every day Titus 1:5 9 (NKJV) 5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. Paul mentions two types of leaders elders and bishops

4 Elders (Greek word presbuteros) which means administrators, we call them ministry leaders They must have a good reputation, blameless Nothing that they can be accused of by the community The husband of one wife, not divorced Having faithful children, kids that behave well Not accused or wild living or a big spender, but one who lives simply Not insubordinate, one who is under authority Bishops (Greek word episkopos) which means overseers We call them Pastors They must be blameless in the sense that no proven charges have been leveled against them There are times when people will make false accusations against the leadership of a church and these false accusations can be destructive because it creates a cloud of suspicion Paul says they must be clear of any proven charges Not self-willed because he s a steward of God s goods he must used God s resources for God s purposes, not his own Not quick-tempered speaks of a guy who has a short fuse, explodes Not given to wine Pastor Chuck interprets as not drinking Not given to violence someone who would hit someone else It s surprising how many church leaders abuse their wives Not greedy for money money should not be the motivation for ministry But hospitable someone who loves to make people feel welcomed A lover of what is good... drawn to good men, good people Sober clear headed and just someone who operates from a clear moral standard Holy which in this case is better translated morally pure Self-controlled which means they are under the Lordship of Jesus Holding fast to the faithful word they are a student of the Word and they live what they preach Able to exhort and convict those that contradict sound doctrine A Pastor needs to be ready at all times to give an answer for the hope that is in him Titus 1:10 11 (NKJV)

5 10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. It s tragic how false pastors creep in and you wonder how they do it? They do it by befriending people, inviting them over for dinner, being kind and nice to them, using flattery and generosity Then over time, they begin dropping their false teaching church isn t in a building, this is church right here at our dinner table That guy isn t a pastor, I m more of a pastor to you than your church pastor They do it to gain popularity, money, influence, power, a platform all for dishonest gain Titus 1:12 14 (NKJV) 12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons. 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. Now the Cretans did have a bad reputation They had the reputation that they would do anything for money It didn t matter if it was legal or illegal as long as it paid good money they would do it Thus the saying was never do business with a Cretan because they are dishonest in their business practices The word on the street was Cretans were liars, lived like a bunch of wild animals and were lazy slobs but here s the thing Paul says it s all true their own prophets say it s true So Paul says rebuke them sharply which means to expose their shameful ways that they may be healthy in the faith This is what a Pastor does Paul says tell them not to pay attention to the false teachers and their Jewish fables or their religious law I have several Messianic Jewish commentaries and quite often they will quote the Talmud or the Midrash, which are the Rabbinical commentaries on the Hebrew Scriptures

6 What is amazing is the number of stories, Jewish fables that the rabbis have invented to illustrate what the scripture means or how to apply the scriptures to a particular situation So the rabbi s would teach this story instead of the scripture and then you would have discussions about the meaning of the story and they would teach the meaning of the story Then they would have discussions about the meaning of the meaning and then teach the meaning of the meaning of the story By the time they were done they were so far from the scripture Paul is saying tell the Cretans not to listen to these false teachers Titus 1:15 (NKJV) 15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. But if your heart is pure before God You just want to know to love Him, to serve Him all things are pure But if your mind is defiled and you don t have that simple childlike faith in God then nothing is pure, you can t trust anything, it s all suspicious It s because your mind and your conscience is defiled The word defiled means stained and it means to be stained with guilt or with the dirt from the world I was thinking about this the other day There are experiences we have that change us they defile us When a friend or spouse betrays you it stains you When you sin or you ve been sinned against it stains you When you experience a life altering illness it stains you The church should be the place where we can come and be cleansed Cleansed through the washing of the Word of God Cleansed through the prayers of the saints as they lay hands on you and pray for you that s what the church is to be A place where people can receive the cleansing of the love of God Titus 2:1 2 (NKJV) 2 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;

7 Notice the effect of teaching God s Word what the older men become Sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, love and patience As Christian men, we are to be different from the world and we learn how to be different from God s Word Notice also what it produces in the older women Titus 2:3 5 (NKJV) 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine (it s okay for old ladies to have their wine), teachers of good things 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Something that is missing from the church today is the older women admonishing the young women to love their husbands This isn t something the young women are to pursue, this is something the older women are to pursue The older women have wisdom to pass on to the younger women Wisdom about loving their husband, loving their children, being discreet, faithful to the marriage, homemakers, good to be around, obedient to their own husbands that the word of God may not be blasphemed However when older women do get together, instead of teaching the young women to love their husbands, they complain about their husbands and expose their weaknesses If they are not careful, they diminish the respect of the man in the house Then the word of God is blasphemed there s no difference between a Christian wife and a pagan wife they re all the same Titus 2:6 8 (NKJV) 6 Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. Notice the effect of sound doctrine on the young men clear thinking

8 Clear thinking results in a life where no one can say anything evil about you Titus 2:9 10 (NKJV) 9 Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. Finally the effect of sound doctrine on bondservants or in our context employees You become a faithful employee with integrity, easy to work with Titus 2:11 14 (NKJV) 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Now some believe the grace of God is the freedom to sin But grace is the powerful presence of Jesus working in our lives to destroy any last remnants of bondage to sin it s frees us to love Jesus Grace teaches me to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts It empowers me to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present age How crazy to think after spending your life in a mud hole that grace frees you to go back to the mud for monthly treatments if you like Rather grace makes you zealous to serve Jesus Titus 2:15 3:2 (NKJV) 15 Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you. 3 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.

9 This is true Christianity don t speak evil of people, don t slander them, be peaceable, gentle, humble Titus 3:3 (NKJV) 3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. I think we forget where we came from and when you forget where you came from, it s easy to become judgmental, unloving, unkind Titus 3:4 7 (NKJV) 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. We didn t become right before God because we cleaned up our act We were made right before God because God had mercy on us Then He washed us, renewed us by the Holy Spirit that was poured out abundantly through Jesus When you need a washing or a renewing, just ask God for a fresh filling with the Holy Spirit Just receive the abundant outpouring of the Holy Spirit on your life Titus 3:8 (NKJV) 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. Paul says if you believe in God, you would take the lead in doing good things for the benefit of others Doing good things for others is the natural result of believing in God Titus 3:9 11 (NKJV) 9 But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. 10 Reject a divisive

10 man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned. Notice the ways division can come into a church foolish disputes, fighting over stupid things Genealogies (this is huge now), contentions (disagreements), strivings about the law literally arguing over the Bible Paul says they are unprofitable and useless a waste of time Then he addresses the divisive man, the person who uses these tactics innocently or purposefully Warn them once, twice this is to give them the benefit of the doubt If they continue, realize they are doing it on purpose, they ve been exposed as divisive and have nothing to do with it It s interesting how the Pastoral letters all include a section on divisive people probably because it s a common problem Titus 3:12 15 (NKJV) 12 When I send Artemas to you, or Tychicus, be diligent to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Send Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey with haste, that they may lack nothing. 14 And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful. 15 All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen. At this time Paul was collecting money to help the Christians in Jerusalem He is encouraging Titus to collect money for them so that they may continue good works and continue bearing fruit.

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