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Tag Archives: Titus 2

Getting Ready for My Next NJ Trip! (Part 1)

I will be preaching at Cedarcroft Bible Chapel in New Jersey on March 31st and April 7th. I will also be teaching Sunday School on both Sundays. When I was there last (Feb. 26-March 4), we looked at the topic “Why Should We Believe Anything at All?” For these two Sundays we will look at the subject “Why Should We Behave as Believers?” We will be studying Titus 2:11-15 on March 31st and 2 Peter 1:3-11 on April 7th.

The truth is we are being watched — and we had better behave ourselves!

The Scripture we will look at on March 31, Titus 2, is filled with challenges to live for Christ because of God’s grace! Here is that passage:As you look at that amazing text, what is one reason you see there to encourage believers in Jesus to live godly lives? (Feel free to leave a comment below).

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2019 in behavior

 

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Stay Spiritually Fit and Healthy — Until You Are Dead! Part 5

How’s your health?  I mean your spiritual health?  And how do you measure your fitness before the Lord?  We’ve been looking at the little epistle to Titus which uses the word “sound” (or healthy) several times as Paul instructs Titus in the Christian life.

Let’s continue our study with the next section
of chapter two:

Now.  You need to know that this section is one of my most favorite passages in all the Bible!  In fact, I have posted on this text in a series entitled “Back to the Basics” which began on July 20, 2015! I also covered this section of Titus 2 in a post called “What’s So Amazing about Grace? A Free Sermon Outline” on August 16, 2018.

If I want to get and stay spiritually healthy, I need to deeply appreciate God’s saving, teaching, waiting, purifying, and encouraging GRACE!  And so do you.

It might help to think about what spiritual sickness looks like.  If I’ve somehow lost the joy of my salvation, I’m suffering from an illness.  A spiritual illness.  And I need God’s saving grace.  If I seem to be wandering aimlessly in my life (not allowing God’s teaching grace to guide me), I’m suffering from a malady which only His grace can cure.  If I’m impatient for the coming of the Lord, I’m missing out on His waiting grace and I need healing.  If I find my life is becoming conformed to the morally pathetic world around me, I need to recover the purifying grace which God gives.  If I walk around like I’ve been baptized in lemon juice and seem discouraged all the time, I need a fresh dose of His encouraging grace.

What does your spiritual thermometer say about your present condition before the Lord?  How would you rate your health in those five areas?  (to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2018 in spiritual health

 

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Stay Spiritually Fit and Healthy — Until You Are Dead! Part 4

I’ve wanted to do a study of the little epistle of Titus for a long time.  And now is my chance!  We are looking at the question, how do we attain spiritual health?  How should spiritual health be defined?  What practices or disciplines contribute to our spiritual fitness?

This morning we move into chapter two.  Let’s notice what the Apostle Paul says there:

Here we have Paul’s third use of the term “sound” in 2:1 – “you must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.”  We are all in need of good teaching! The fourth use of that term “sound” is in 2:2 where “the older men” are encouraged to be “sound in faith.”  In 2:8 “the young men” are challenged to be marked by soundness of speech.

Paul gets very specific in his suggested lesson plans for various groups.

Notice that he deals with “the older men” (v. 2), “the older women” (vv. 3-5), “the younger women” (vv. 4-5), “the young men” (vv. 6-8), and “slaves” (vv. 9-10).  Here’s a preliminary chart I’ve put together of Paul’s advice to these five groups:

Several observations occur to me as I look at this chart:
1. Paul focuses on five specific groups, encouraging Titus to “teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine” (v. 1).
2. It seems that the group (“the young women”) is a sub-category of the group (“the older women”).
3. Three out of five groups are encouraged to be self-controlled.
4. There are reasons given why certain groups should behave in certain ways: regarding the young women (“so that no one will malign the word of God”), regarding the young men (“so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us”), and slaves (“so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive”).

How do I stay spiritually fit and healthy until I’m dead?  I listen to and obey Paul’s admonitions in this section of Titus!  (to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2018 in spiritual health

 

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

This should be the last advertisement for my little booklet Ten Specific Steps You Can Take to Make Your Sermons and Preaching Better! (available on Amazon), but it’s not!  No preacher really wants to be told that his sermons and preaching can get better.  But they can. I know.  I know.  Your mother said you were special.  But even your mother would like some of the issues we discuss in this short preaching refresher.  She would.

Now that that appeal is over, we’ve been looking at one of my favorite sermon outlines.  I want to briefly summarize what we have seen (with a few homiletical notes included):

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

Sermon titles are important.  They orient the listener to the topic and may, just may, help him or her remember your message after the service!  This title, of course, serves as Phil Yancey’s book title on grace.

I’m a big believer in a keyword, that is, a word that guides the preacher (and the listener) through the passage and helps deliver the specific points of the sermon.  The keyword for this sermon might well be truths.

The first truth we see in this text is from verse 11 and it is that God’s Grace Is a Salvation-Bringing Grace!  (I usually re-read the verse to show I’m not making up my point).   God’s grace — in the Person of the Lord Jesus — has appeared — and that’s great news!

Not only is God’s grace a salvation-bringing grace (I try to repeat my points throughout my message), it is also a Teaching Grace (v. 12).  Reading over verse 12 we see it divides nicely into negative and positive aspects.  (Elaborate on those.  Do a word study of “ungodliness,” “worldly passions,” “self-control,” “upright,” “godly” and, especially the phrase “in this present age.”)

But let’s notice also that God’s grace is not only a salvation-bringing grace and a teaching grace, it is also a Waiting Grace (v. 13).  (Give an illustration showing the difference between wasted waiting and worthwhile waiting).  (I will sometimes include a cartoon on waiting if I am preaching using PowerPoint or Keynote.  I’m a big believer in using the eye-gate as well as the ear-gate).  (Don’t forget to point out the strong evidence for the deity of the Lord Jesus in v. 13.  You gotta get some theology in there!)

I would then say something like:  We’ve seen that God’s grace is a salvation-bring grace, a teaching grace, and a waiting grace.  Please notice the fourth truth that God’s Grace Is a Purifying Grace (v. 14).  (I would read over verse 14.  Notice that more could be said from that verse than just God’s purifying grace, but you don’t want to give too much material to your audience.  Many preachers fail exactly here.  They think that if they have a few extra minutes or so they should pile on more biblical truth.  No!  Illustrate your main point!).

I would summarize your previous four points and then introduce the last point which is that God’s Grace is an Encouraging Grace (v. 15).  Read that verse.  Talk about encouragement and how we all need it.  (I’ve made reference to Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages in a previous post).

Review your five points briefly and close (perhaps) with a good illustration of grace.  You do have an illustration file, don’t you?  (If not, drop me a note and I’ll give you my almost 300 page Word file of illustrations).  Thanks for sticking with me in this study!

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2018 in preaching

 

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What’s So Amazing about Grace? — A Free Sermon Outline! (Part 5)

On the other hand, I’m not sure my little booklet, Ten Specific Steps You Can Take to Make Your Sermons and Preaching Better! (available on Amazon), can help Joel Osteen.  He seems to have pretty good communication skills. It’s what he communicates that is the problem!  At any rate, if you want to have your best life now, then get this booklet!

Now that the commercial is over, we’ve been sharing some of our favorite sermon outlines and we’ve been looking at the topic —

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)

and that —

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

and that —

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

and also that —

IV. God’s Grace Is a Purifying Grace (v. 14)

Let’s notice lastly, that —

V.  God’s Grace Is an Encouraging Grace (v. 15)!

By God’s grace we are to encourage others to pursue the Lord and to turn away from the things in life that inhibit our becoming more like Jesus.  We should teach these things.  We should rebuke with all authority.  We shouldn’t allow other people’s opinions to keep us from living for the Lord!  We should encourage the people of God!

If you’ve not read Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages, you’re missing a very helpful way of looking at life.  We love and are loved in different ways.  The five love languages are words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, physical touch, and receiving gifts.  These describe both how we love and how we wish to be loved.

My love language (how I feel loved) is primarily words of affirmation.  My wife’s primary love language (how she feels loved) is quality time.  Some of us show our love to others in ways that don’t “fit” how they most feel loved.  It’s a bit complicated.  In summary, I feel most loved when others give me gifts, say nice things to me, and let me spend quality time (as an introvert) by myself.  (I’m kidding.  Mostly).

We all need words of encouragement.  And that’s what God’s grace gives us — a solid foundation to encourage others! (next post — conclusion)

 

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2018 in God's grace

 

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What’s So Amazing about Grace? — A Free Sermon Outline! (Part 4)

There’s this little booklet that will change your life.  It is called Ten Specific Steps You Can Take to Make Your Sermons and Preaching Better, and, yes, I wrote it. The point is if you preach or know someone who does or really want to straighten out Joel Osteen, you’ll want to get this booklet! It is guaranteed to alleviate the preaching blahs, and it just might get Joel to start preaching the WORD!

Some of my favorite sermon outlines will be here in these posts.  I wrote this one on God’s amazing grace — and we’ve seen three truths about that incredible topic —

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)

and that —

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

and also that —

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

The truth we see this morning about the grace of God is that —

IV.  God’s Grace Is a Purifying Grace (v. 14)!

Years ago there was a magazine ad that said: “In a world where politicians lie, celebrities strike policemen, and governments collapse, isn’t it good to know that there’s one thing that is pure — Mazola.  100% pure corn oil.”

God wants us pure!  And His grace begins that purifying process in us.  Notice the two results of His giving Himself for us:  (1) to redeem us from all wickedness and (2) to purify for himself a people that are his very own (v. 14).  He redeems us from all wickedness, not by evacuating us immediately to heaven, but by His Holy Spirit indwelling us and giving us the power to live God-honoring lives.  He purifies us by that same Spirit, using His primary tool, the Word of God, to mold us and shape us into the image of God’s dear Son.

But purification is not a painless process.  We need to submit to the filtering ministry of God’s Spirit who will show us what needs to be eliminated and what needs to be added to our lives.  And that takes God’s grace!

How’s the purification process going with you?  Feel free to share (in the comments section below) an area or issue the Spirit of God is working on — in you.  (to be continued)

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2018 in God's grace

 

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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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