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Colossal Truths from the Letter to the Colossians! Spiritual Maturation! (1:28-29)

Of the many, many blessings in my life is my friend Frank. We’ve been friends for decades and even though he lives in the pagan land of New Jersey, he seeks to be a shining light in a dark place. [I live in the pagan land of South Carolina, but at least we talk slower, say nice things to strangers, and drink sweet tea]. Frank and I have been doing a kind of online Bible study with each other — and we’ve recently been going through the incredible letter to the Colossians.

There are a number of prominent themes in this four-chapter epistle. The next theme we want to notice is Paul’s commitment to spiritual maturation. We read in Chapter one:

28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. (Ch. 1)

Notice Paul’s goal in life: to present everyone fully mature in Christ! Please notice the key to spiritual maturation: the Person of the Lord Jesus! “He is the one we proclaim.” Notice Paul’s commitment to encouraging spiritual maturation in everyone: “To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.” We are not to sit idly by and watch each other stagnate in spiritual infancy!

What efforts, my friend, are you taking to admonish and teach others to grow in God’s grace? Are you striving to present everyone over whom you have some influence fully mature in Christ? Do you see such a mission as a battle — a strenuous contention to allow Christ’s power to work through you?

A challenge: what younger believer comes to your mind who could greatly benefit from a kind of informal mentoring relationship with you?

 

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2019 in spiritual maturation

 

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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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How Do I Get Spiritually Healthy? (a study of Titus – Part 10)

PreviewScreenSnapz065The GLUTE MACHINE works on your, uh, glutes.  When I mentioned this machine in an earlier post, I misspelled it GLUT.  A glut machine would be something quite different!

This machine teaches you how to kick backwards against a great weight.  You have to balance with one knee on a little padded step, hold onto the handles, then kick backwards like a donkey against a weighted part of the machine while not losing your balance or hurting anyone else in the process.  Then you switch knees and kick with the other leg.

Just getting ready to do the GLUTE machine gets me tired.

"Your glutes have too much glut."

“Your glutes have too much glut.”

The reason I’m doing all these exercises is to please my wife.  And to get healthier.  And to use words like “reps” and “glut” and “pain.”  But really these are a metaphor for SPIRITUAL HEALTHINESS, kind of.  Which brings us to today’s study.

We were looking at several questions from Titus 2.  Those verses read:

3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Here are my preliminary responses to those questions —

1.  Who in his right mind would ever call any woman an “older” woman?  This is FirefoxScreenSnapz760dangerous territory, but Paul is speaking, perhaps, to those women who are mature in the Christian faith.  Titus is charged to teach them as well.  Put into your own words what his lesson plan is to be with these “older” women:  Paul’s “lesson plan” is that they disciple younger women in godly living.

2.  I’ve heard some preachers say that husbands are commanded to love their wives, but wives are never commanded to love their husbands (but to submit to them).  How do these verses challenge that view?  Older women are to teach younger women to “love their husbands and children” (v. 4).

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 3.57.28 PM3.  Do you see older women in the Christian community mentoring, discipling, teaching the younger women these qualities listed in verses 4-5?  Often not.  And the problem is on both sides: older women not seeking out those they can mentor and younger women not letting older women know they wish to be so helped.  (same with men, by the way).

4. What is the danger of a younger woman not following the advice of the older women in verse 5?  What does it mean for the word of God to be “maligned”?   The danger is that these women will not be marked by self-control, will not live pure lives, will not be busy at home, will not be kind, will not subject themselves to their husbands, and the word of God will be maligned.  I looked up the word “malign” and it means: “to speak about (someone) in a spitefully critical manner, to defame, slander, libel, smear, vilify, denigrate, disparage, abuse, or revile.”  Wow.  That’s how important it is for this group, these “older women,” to follow God’s Word!

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2014 in spiritual health

 

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