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Category Archives: Titus 2

What’s So Amazing about Grace? — A Free Sermon Outline! (Part 3)

You may read a lot of books this year, but one little booklet that will change your life is called Ten Specific Steps You Can Take to Make Your Sermons and Preaching Better.  Yes, I wrote it.  But that’s not the point. If you preach or know someone who does or wishes you didn’t have to listen to another sermon by __, you’ll want to get this booklet.  It is guaranteed to alleviate the preaching blahs, or I’ll write your next sermon outline for you! (available on Amazon).

I’m passing on some of my favorite sermon outlines in these posts — with a few comments added.  Let me know if you find these helpful.  We are continuing with a sermon I wrote on God’s amazing grace.

What’s So Amazing about Grace?
(a study of Titus 2:11-15).

We’ve seen that —

I. God’s Grace Is a Salvation-Bringing Grace (v. 11)

We’ve noticed secondly that —

II. God’s Grace is a Teaching Grace (v. 12)

Let’s see, thirdly, that —

III.  God’s Grace Is a Waiting Grace (v. 13)!

I don’t know about you, but I hate to wait.  There are two kinds of waiting:  (1) wasted waiting and (2) worthwhile waiting.  Wasted waiting is when my wife says those seven most feared words any man can hear, “Let’s go shopping at the mall, Dear!”  And I forget to bring a book with me.  Or there’s no coffee shop in the mall.  And I have to wait.

Worthwhile waiting is when she says those feared seven words to me (“Let’s go shopping at the mall, Dear!”) and she reminds me to take a book with me, points me in the direction of the coffee shop, takes my credit card and says, “I’ll be back in a day or two.  Dear.”  That’s worthwhile waiting.  Kind of.

God’s grace prepares us to wait.  For what?  Really the question is, for WHOM?  The text says we are waiting “for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (v. 13).  What a tremendous verse on the deity of the Lord Jesus!  For how many individuals are we waiting as believers?  For only ONE.  And He is “our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”  HE’s worth waiting for, right?  And no credit card is involved. (to be continued)

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2018 in Titus 2

 

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What’s So Amazing about Grace? — A Free Sermon Outline! (Part 2)

I wrote the little booklet Ten Specific Steps You Can Take to Make Your Sermons and Preaching Better a while back to help preachers (like me) not continue to make the same mistakes we often make. This is available on Amazon and is guaranteed to improve your preaching or I will preach your next sermon for you (just kidding).

In these posts I want to give away some of my favorite sermon outlines — with just a dose of explanation along the way. So, let’s continue with a sermon I wrote on God’s amazing grace.

What’s So Amazing about Grace?
(a study of Titus 2:11-15).

We’ve seen that —

I. God’s Grace Is a Salvation-Bringing Grace (v. 11)

Let’s notice secondly that —

II.  God’s Grace is a Teaching Grace (v. 12)

I never thought I’d be a teacher, but the Lord had other plans.  I could have been a much better student in high school than I was, but, by His grace, I’ve served for a bunch of years teaching undergrad and seminary students the Word of God.

We all need to be taught.  And, thank God, His grace is a teaching grace!   Verse 12 tells us that this grace “teaches us to say ‘no’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”  Please notice that there is both a negative as well as a positive side to God’s teaching grace.  We need to deny ungodliness and worldly passions.  The world sees Christians as being primarily negative, don’t you think?

But we also need to be taught the positives of living a yes-kind of life!  That affirmation lifestyle focuses on self-control, uprightness, and godliness, which the world desperately needs to see lived out!

Notice also that this kind of affirmative living is to take place, not in heaven, but “in this present age.”  The expression is really “in the now world.”  Right now.  Where you live.   Right now you and I are to be living out the grace of God in positive, attractive ways.

Are you letting the grace of God teach you?

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2018 in Titus 2

 

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What’s So Amazing about Grace? — A Free Sermon Outline! (Part 1)

I’m a big believer in preaching.  We need the Word of God expounded, explained to us systematically and enthusiastically!  Regularly.  And carefully.  That’s part of the reason why I wrote the little booklet Ten Specific Steps You Can Take to Make Your Sermons and Preaching Better!  I promise you that the mistakes I have made and learned from you can learn from to!

But I want to give away some of my favorite sermon outlines — with just a dose of explanation along the way.  So, here goes a sermon I wrote on God’s amazing grace.

What’s So Amazing about Grace?
(a study of Titus 2:11-15).

I.  God’s Grace Is a Salvation-Bringing Grace (v. 11)

This grace has “appeared . . . to all people.”  In what sense?  Has the gospel gotten to everyone in the world?  No!  And that’s why God calls missionaries to share the Good News about the Lord Jesus Christ.

So, then, what does Paul mean by this grace “has appeared”?  He may be referring to the coming of the Lord Jesus to die for our sins.  HE is the grace of God come down to give His life a ransom for sinners (Mk. 10:45).

John Piper’s book God Is the Gospel makes this point quite effectively.  Listen to a few quotes from that powerful little book:

“Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God. And people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God. It’s a way of overcoming every obstacle to everlasting joy in God. If we don’t want God above all things, we have not been converted by the gospel.”

“The critical question for our generation—and for every generation— is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there? ”

“Long looking with admiration produces change. From your heroes you pick up mannerisms and phrases and tones of voice and facial expressions and habits and demeanors and convictions and beliefs. The more admirable the hero is and the more intense your admiration is, the more profound will be your transformation. In the case of Jesus, he is infinitely admirable, and our admiration rises to the most absolute worship. Therefore, when we behold him as we should, the change is profound.”

Piper says many other things in that little book, but essentially his point is:  When you believed the gospel, YOU GOT GOD!  God’s salvation-bringing grace redeemed you.  (to be continued)

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2018 in Titus 2

 

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Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 15

This is our final post in our study of the Christian life as we look at Titus 2!

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AM11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 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, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

God’s SAVING grace is also a TEACHING grace (vv. 11-12).  As a WAITING grace (v. 13), it helps us wait for Jesus to return for us. We’ve also seen that Christ gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify us (v. 14).  The kind of people Jesus wants are those who are eager to do what is good, whenever and wherever we can!

These are powerful concepts which, if properly communicated, will have dramatic effects on those who pay attention to them.  The Christian gospel (the saving grace of God) not only redeems people, but tutors us in godly living. And we learn to be patient as we serve Him, waiting for His return.  But we are not to be waiting around — we are to be turning away from wickedness and focusing on being purified by that grace.  An eagerness to do good ought to mark the child of God.

If Titus 2:11-14 is a summary of what God’s grace does and is doing in the Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 6.08.09 AMbeliever’s life, then what do we do with these truths?  We teach them to others!  We do not let those who don’t believe them discourage us or push us into silence about what GOD has said! These things we should TEACH.  We should use these truths to ENCOURAGE and to REBUKE WITH ALL AUTHORITY!  We can’t prevent people from despising us or the message — but we can keep their unbelief from silencing us.

A few questions:

1.  Have you received this salvation-bringing grace for yourself?

2.  Are you a student of God’s grace, allowing it to instruct you in both the negative and the positive aspects of following Christ?

3.  Are you waiting for Christ to return, busy in His work, Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 6.13.37 AMand rejoicing in His full deity?

4.  How’s it going with the good-deed-doing?

5.  This touchy matter of purity — are you making progress in that whole area of growth?

6.  Do you look for opportunities to pass these truths on, to gently but clearly apply these first to yourself, then to those God gives you to influence?

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2015 in Titus 2

 

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Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 14

Let’s continue our study of the Christian life as we look at Titus 2:

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AM11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 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, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

God’s SAVING grace is also a TEACHING grace (vv. 11-12).  As a WAITING grace (v. 13), it helps us wait for Jesus to return for us. We’ve also seen that Christ gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness (v. 14).

But He also gave Himself for us to purify for Himself (καθαρίσῃ ἑαυτῷ) a people that are His very own (v. 14).  A holy God deserves a pure people.  He did not give Himself just to redeem; He gave Himself to purify!

We notice today that He gave Himself to purify a special kind of people:  “a people Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 7.25.07 AMthat are His very own, eager to do what is good.”  We belong to Him– and He wants us to do good!  I love what John Wesley said.  He said, Do all the good you can by all the means you can in all the ways you can in all the places you can in all the times you can to all the people you can as long as ever you can.”

We can't save ourselves by our good deeds -- but we have been saved to DO good deeds!

We can’t save ourselves by our good deeds — but we have been saved to DO good deeds!

We have been saved to do good as His special people.  A writer by the name of Mary Lyon said,  “Trust in God and do something!” (to be continued)

 

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2015 in Titus 2

 

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Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 13

Let’s continue our study of the Christian life as we look at Titus 2:

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AM11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 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, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

God’s SAVING grace is also a TEACHING grace (vv. 11-12).  As a WAITING grace (v. 13), it helps us wait for Jesus to return for us. We’ve also seen that Christ gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness (v. 14).

We learn today that He not only gave Himself to redeem us from all wickedness, but He also gave Himself for us to purify for Himself (καθαρίσῃ ἑαυτῷ) a people that are His very own (v. 14).  A holy God deserves a pure people.  He did not give Himself just to redeem; He gave Himself to purify!  A merely redeemed people is NOT what He wants.  He wants a purified people!

Do we already think that we are pure?  This term καθαρίσῃ  is used in this form twice in the New Testament.  The term is used here in Titus 2:14 but also in I John 1:9 where we read, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  The Savior not only FORGIVES; He also PURIFIES.

Other forms of this word καθαρίσῃ are used 31 times in the New Testament.  The verb καθαρίζω can be translated as “to make clean, to cleanse” (from physical stains or dirt, Mt. 23:25; for cleansing of a leper, Mt. 8:2; or to remove by cleansing, Mt. 8:3).  In a moral sense, the word καθαρίζω can mean “to free from the defilement of sin and from faults; to purify from wickedness” (2 Cor. 7:1; Acts 15:9).  It can also refer to the idea of freeing from the guilt of sin (I Jn. 1:7, 9; Heb. 9:14; Eph. 5:26).

Gotten scrubbed recently?

Gotten scrubbed recently?

Has it dawned on you, Christian, that Christ gave Himself for you to PURIFY you?  to cleanse you from the defilement of sin?  to free you from the guilt of sin?  Salvation is only the start!  As Paul instructs husbands to love their wives, he says in Ephesians 5:  25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

Gotten washed recently?  That’s part of the reason that Christ came and gave Himself! (to be continued)

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2015 in Titus 2

 

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Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 12

We continue our study of the Christian life as we look at Titus 2:

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AM11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 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, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

We have seen that God’s grace is a SAVING grace (v. 11).  It is also a TEACHING grace (v. 12) that helps us learn what to deny and what to affirm.  We have also seen that God’s grace is a WAITING grace (v. 13), assisting us to wait for God the Son to return for us.  In thinking about the Son, we have seen that He is the One who gave himself for us (v. 14).

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 7.15.29 AMBut why did He give Himself for us?  The text is quite clear: to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own . . . (v. 14).  We needed REDEMPTION!  The term λυτρώσηται is from a word group that means “to release by paying a ransom, to redeem.”  It is used three times in the New Testament:
(1) In Lk. 24:21 we read of Jesus meeting the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.  They were devastated because their Rabbi had been executed.  They say to the risen Jesus (not knowing that He had conquered death): “we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel . . .”

(2) In I Pe. 1:18-19 we read: “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

(3) Here in Titus 2:14 we read that Jesus “who gave himself for us to redeem Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 6.24.37 AMus from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own . . .”

Slaves get redeemed.  Those who don’t see themselves as slaves don’t need redemption.  Jesus declared in John 8- “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (v. 34).  That includes everyone.  Everyone is a slave to sin — and needs to be redeemed out of that slavery.

Notice:  He redeems us from all wickedness.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 6.54.56 AMThe term ἀνομίας is a simple word meaning “no law.”  It can be translated as “lawlessness” or “iniquity” and describes the condition of one without law, either because ignorant of it, or because violating it.  The term is used 15 times in the New Testament.  Here are a few of those uses:
Mt. 7:23-  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ οἱ ἐργαζόμενοι τὴν ἀνομίαν (literally, “the ones practicing the lawlessness”).
13:41- The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. καὶ τοὺς ποιοῦντας τὴν ἀνομίαν (literally, “the ones doing the lawlessness”).
Rom. 4:7- “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered. Μακάριοι ὧν ἀφέθησαν αἱ ἀνομίαι καὶ ὧν ἐπεκαλύφθησαν αἱ ἁμαρτίαι, (“transgressions” [literally, “lawlessnesses”] can be forgiven!
2 Cor. 6:14-  Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  Μὴ γίνεσθε ἑτεροζυγοῦντες ἀπίστοις· τίς γὰρ μετοχὴ δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ ἀνομίᾳ, ἢ τίς κοινωνία φωτὶ πρὸς σκότος; (here the term is translated as “wickedness”).
Heb. 10:17- Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts
 I will remember no more.” καὶ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν αὐτῶν καὶ τῶν ἀνομιῶν αὐτῶν οὐ μὴ μνησθήσομαι ἔτι·  (here the term is translated as “lawless acts”).
I Jn. 3:4- Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.  Πᾶς ὁ ποιῶν τὴν ἁμαρτίαν καὶ τὴν ἀνομίαν ποιεῖ, καὶ ἡ ἁμαρτία ἐστὶν ἡ ἀνομία. (literally, here we are told that everyone doing sin is “also doing lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”).

In our text, the expression is ἀπὸ πάσης ἀνομίας and can be translated as “from every lawless deed . . .”

One of the questions that occurs to me is this:  Is Jesus redeeming us from the wickedness of the world — or the wickedness in ourselves? (to be continued)

 

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2015 in Titus 2

 

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Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 11

We continue our study of the Christian life as we look at Titus 2:

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AM11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 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, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

God’s grace not only saves us; it teaches us how to live, which involves both denying (ungodliness and worldly passions) and affirming (living soberly, uprightly, and godly in this present world).  We are to seek to influence our culture, not impose our values upon it.

But God’s grace is also a WAITING grace, as we saw in our last post: “while we wait for the blessed hope . . .” (v. 13).  We are waiting for none other than God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, “our great God and Savior.”

This WAITING grace reminds us that Jesus “gave himself for us” (v. 14).  The self-giving of the Son of God is a major theme of the New Testament.

Jesus makes it abundantly clear in John 10 that He will “lay down [His] Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 6.49.41 AMlife for the sheep” (v. 15).  He clearly states two verses later that “I lay down my life, that I might take it again.”  Then He says in the very next verse of John 10:  “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

It is one thing to give oneself to another; it is quite another to give oneself FOR another.  Jesus gave Himself for us.  This certainly is a strong argument for what theologians call the “vicarious penal view of the atonement.”  “Vicarious,” of course, means as our substitute.

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 6.52.54 AMThe vicarious penal view of the atonement is under much attack these days, specifically by Sharon Baker in her book Executing God.  Biblical Christianity teaches that our sin put us under God’s wrath.  And we can only be rescued from that wrath by the Son of God taking our place and bearing that righteous wrath for us.  And that’s what the Lord Jesus did. (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2015 in Titus 2

 

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Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 10

We are learning a great deal about the Christian life from the Apostle Paul in Titus 2.  There he writes —

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AM11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 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, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

God’s grace not only saves us; it teaches us how to live.  And this Christian life involves both denying (ungodliness and worldly passions) and affirming (living soberly, uprightly, and godly in this present world).  Christians are not to impose their values on the world in some militaristic way, but to seek to influence culture as salt and light.

Today we move on and notice that God’s grace is not only a SAVING grace and a Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 5.51.29 AMTEACHING grace.  It is also a WAITING grace.  Notice what verse 13 says, “while we wait for the blessed hope . . .”

I don’t know about you, but I hate waiting.  Unless the person or reason I am waiting on or for is worth it!  And Jesus is worth it!  We are waiting “for the blessed hope — the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ”!

Whenever my wife says those four most feared words to me any husband can hear (“Let’s go shopping, Dear!”), she knows that I will be spending some time waiting for her.  She makes sure I take a book to read (maybe several), finds a coffee shop in the mall, takes the credit card, and says, “I’ll be back in a few days, Dear.”  I don’t mind waiting for her.  We Christians are waiting for our Savior to return.  And ours is not wasted waiting. It is worthwhile waiting, for He is coming back for us!

Ours is not wasted waiting!

Ours is not wasted waiting!

By the way, for how many people are we Christians waiting, according to verse 13?  We are waiting for one Person, the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice how He is described here: “our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ”!  What clearer statement of His full deity could there be?  Are you keeping busy for Him as you are waiting?

(By the way, the Apostle Paul is our example in godly waiting.  Take a look at Acts 17 for what Paul does as he waits for his companions). (to be continued)

 

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2015 in Titus 2

 

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Back to Basics (A Study of Titus 2): Part 9

The Apostle Paul has much to say about the Christian life in Titus 2:

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 8.15.29 AM11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 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, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

Thus far in our study of Titus 2 we have seen that God’s grace not only Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 6.13.32 AMbrings salvation, but it teaches us how to live.  Negatively, it instructs us to deny ungodliness and worldly passions.  Positively, it teaches us to live soberly, upright, and godly, in this present age!  Right now!

In our last post, we said that our world hates Christians “imposing” their values on culture.  It also criticizes Christians for being “so heavenly-minded that they are of no earthly good.”  The world can’t have it both ways!  Perhaps the following chart may be helpful: 

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 6.07.27 AM

It seems to me that we Christians have three options when it comes to how we live in this world. We may live a private life of INSIGNIFICANCE, a life we live to ourselves, by ourselves, without any effort to impact our culture. We may seek to live a life of IMPOSITION in which we strive to take over the world for Jesus, getting angry because our culture is becoming more and more ungodly, and thinking that we will Christianize our society for the Savior. These two options, it seems to be, lack biblical warrant.

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 6.23.09 AMJesus calls us to a third option — to be salt and light in our world. Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 6.24.42 AMWe are to seek to INFLUENCE our culture for good. Salt preserves what is good; light illumines the darkness. Both preservation and illumination are important in a just and good society. Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Mt. 5:16) (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2015 in Titus 2

 

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