A.Today we are going to finish out the letter written to Titus from Paul so open up to Titus chapter 3 and look here at verses 12 to 15.
B.In this letter we have seen Paul discuss the need for leaders among the congregations there in Crete
1.Paul talked a little about the social attitude of the Cretans about how they are lazy and are liars
2.In chapter two Paul turned his focus over to how the Cretans who have become Christians needed to change their way of life and how they need to conduct themselves as Christians.
3.In chapter 3 Paul goes into how they should conduct themselves as Christians in this world
4.Now finally we come to what many of our versions title as “personal concerns” from Paul.
C.The big thing in Crete was that they were liars and therefore you can only trust yourself
1.The Christians living there were once like this as well and that is why Titus is there and why Paul wrote this letter to help encourage them to be more like Christ.
2.So when we look at these last four verses we need to ask ourselves what can I learn from this passage?
3.I think Paul is giving an example to the Cretans of how you need to trust one another and work together.
D.Today we are going to break up this section into four points that will center on the teamwork principle between Paul and Titus.
I.First God intends for us to work together look here at verse 12.
A.In the first part of this verse we see that Paul is intending to send Artemas or Tychicus to Crete.
1.Now Guy has his internship program here at Durango and I cannot help but wonder if he got the idea from Paul.
2.Here we see Paul sending more men into the mission field
3.I get this because of what we know about one of these men, namely Tychicus because we just don’t know anything about the man Artemas.
4.But Tychicus is mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament.
a)He was with Paul in Macedonia and Greece Acts 20:4
b)We learn in Ephesians 6 that Paul had sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
c)Paul also sent him to Colossae in Colossians 4:7
d)He is also mentioned in the letter Paul wrote to Timothy II Timothy 4:12
5.This man was an intern under Paul and now he might be ready for some tough work in Crete.
6.We can see Paul working with these two young men to train them like he did Titus and Timothy.
B.Here in the last part of verse 12 Paul wants Titus to meet him in Nicopolis
1.Now we see why Paul is going to send one of these two men, it is to free up Titus for some other work perhaps !
2.Paul wants Titus to “make every effort” to get up to Nicopolis and if you look up here at our map you can see Crete here and Nicopolis right here on the South West part of Greece.
a)This “make every effort” is that when Titus has finished up his work, whatever he was working on when one of these two men arrive.
b)Titus is to find passage up there to Paul.
3.Now why would Paul pull Titus from the work there in Crete?
a)I think it is because Paul has another church plant for Titus to work on, these two make a great team!
b)Paul knows how well Titus works with new Christians otherwise he would not have sent him to Crete.
c)Look over just a page or two to II Timothy 4:10, Titus is to go to Dalmatia.
d)Again look here at our map and you can see Dalmatia is here just North of Nicopolis.
e)This city is a great staging point for whatever work Paul has in mind for Titus.
C.What are some ways we work together as a congregation, like Paul and Titus here?
1.Well the first thing that I am sure is popping in everyone’s mind here is the internship program.
a)Of the 13 graduates from the program here in Durango 12 of them are still active in the work.
b)And many of them still call Guy for help, answers, and advice concerning the work of God.
c)You help out in this work by supporting it and encouraging the interns while they are here and I know that some of you go out to visit them on occasion.
2.This is teamwork, we all work together to seek out truth and to seek out the lost.
3.Paul and Titus work together for the same reason, they are helping the lost find truth and to find Christ.
II.The next teamwork principle we see is that we are to support those in the mission field, verse 13
A.Paul calls on Titus to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos
1.“Diligently”, that is hasten to help these men passing through to their destination.
2.Where they are going Paul does not specify, but we can conclude that they are on their way to do a work for the Lord.
3.Again, just like with the previous verse the same here, we know only one of these men mentioned, Apollos.
a)Over in Acts 18:24 we learn this of Apollos, “Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures”
b)Paul speaks of him often in the letter to the Corinthians, specifically that he “watered” what Paul had planted, I Corinthians 3:6.
4.These two men are men of God, missionaries going out to do good deeds and Paul wants Titus to help them out while they are there in Crete on their way.
5.Now it is not said what these needs are, but we can conclude that they will need a place to sleep and food.
6.Titus is to outfit and to expedite these two men for a journey (Lenski), therefore they are to lack in nothing.
B.What are some ways we can and do help missionaries?
1.First and foremost it is done with the full support of the internship program and with their housing.
2.It is when we support the “Workshop in the Word” helping preachers better understand the Word of God.
3.When preachers are coming through Guy may let them preach here and we give them a place to stay for the night as well as food.
4.Paul wants Titus to do these things for Zenas and Apollos he wants us to do these things today, because we are brothers and sisters who want to win souls for the Lord and who want to know God’s Word together as a team!
III.Paul next calls on the churches in Crete to contribute to the work as members of a team
A.Paul says that they need to “learn” two things from helping these two men
1.First “to engage in good deeds”
a)Paul calls helping out these missionaries a “good deed”
b)This is something that Paul says “out people must learn”
c)That is the Christians there in Crete are to be learning how to “engage in good deeds” and they do this by seeing Titus do them.
d)This chapter opened up with a call on the Cretans to do “good deeds” in verse 1
e)Also in verse 8 Paul calls on Titus to “speak confidently” about God’s Word so that these Cretans will carefully engage in good deeds.
f)And now here at the end of the chapter Paul is concluding with examples of good deeds for them to witness.
2.Next the Cretans are to learn “to meet pressing needs”
a)Zenas and Apollos had pressing needs! They are arriving into Crete perhaps with very little.
b)They are going to need a place to stay, food, but more importantly they will need support from their brothers and sisters.
c)Another way they could help these men would be to raise a collection for them to help them on their work beyond Crete.
3.By doing these two things the Cretans will be standing on the front lines, helping with the spread of the gospel.
B.The Cretans need to do these good deeds so as to not be unfruitful
1.Being unfruitful would mean that they would sit around and do nothing! When Zenas and Apollos arrived they would not meet any need they had, therefore unfruitful, unproductive in their Christian lives.
2.But to be fruitful they would have to get up and take the lead and do these good deeds unto these men
3.Now if it was just Titus doing all the work then the congregation as a whole would not grow.
4.But if more became active then seeing this unity would encourage others
IV.The last point we have is here in verse 15, don’t get so caught up running the race that you forget the others around you
A.There is always a lot going on in the work of the church and it can be easy to get so caught up in the work that you forget about your brothers and sisters.
1.Well here is Paul’s last few words to the Cretans were all those who are with Paul greets them.
a)The word “greet” means to welcome another and in this case they are welcoming fellow Christians
b)Sometimes we can become so focused upon the work we are engaged in that we neglect our surrounds.
c)Paul is a man who is a busy worker always working the Lord’s will even while in prison, but he never neglects to greet his fellow brothers and sisters and to remind others to so also.
2.So Paul and his companions let the Cretans know that they are welcomed in their sight.
B.Their greetings go out to them and it should go out from them as well
1.“Greet those who love us in the faith”
2.Paul and his companions did not neglect them and nor should the Cretans neglect each other.
a)The ones Paul asks them to greet are those who share in the same gospel, those “who love us”.
b)Not a love of the just the person, but one who loves the faith that Paul has and the work he does which is in accordance with God’s Word.
c)Would this then exclude anyone? Yes, the Judaizer is exclude from this greeting and so would anyone else who was not following after the Lord.
C.Paul opened his letter with grace in 1:4 and here we find him closing the letter with the same, “grace be with you all ”
1.Grace is when we receive something that we did not deserve. As Christians that grace we received is the forgiveness of sins and the opportunity to spend eternity with God in heaven.
2.And for a Christian this is so important, it reminds us that God not only forgave us of our sins, but He continues to do so even now.
3.Paul is praying that God’s grace never leaves the Cretans, but that they always remain faithful to the Lord God.
A.We are in a race today, a race that leads us all the way to heaven and each of that runs this race to the end will receive a crown of life.
1.In our race we need to remember that we are not alone, but we have a team that is with us, all the other Christians.
2.And when are paths cross one another are we helping each other out like we see Paul encouraging the Cretans to do here?
B.There are many ways we can help out our brothers and sisters.
1.One is to support them finically as they work in the mission field.
2.Here in Durango you have the internship program that not only helps out starting preachers but it also helps out the congregation we may end up at as well.
3.But in our works let’s not forget about one another here in Durango, don’t forget that we have needs here as well
C.Let us all run the race together and to finish the race together as well.
D.If you need the prayers of the congregation today we want to extend to you the invitation now as together we stand and sing.