Faithlife Sermons

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*Extreme Makeover – Heart Edition (Titus 3:3-7) *
/Preached by Pastor Phil Layton at Gold Country Baptist Church on August 31, 2008 /
www.goldcountrybaptist.org
“Extreme Makeover – /Home/ Edition” is one of the top-rated TV series over the last four years in the US, and it is also shown overseas in Portugal, Spain, Latin America, Germany, The United Kingdom, and Australia.
Many of you are familiar with the format:  
-They pick people in great need of hope and a home more safe and suitable to their needs, which are often great needs
-particularly if their case is desperate, their living conditions deplorable, or if there has been some tragedy, or if there is a rare illness in the family, or something that moves the compassion of powers that be to help a particular family
-the crew will suddenly appear in the morning with loud speakers announcing to the chosen house and family who they are and what they are there to do, which is either radically renovate or replace entirely their home
-they will meet with each family member to find out their interests and desires and with the help of many sponsors, volunteers, and often the family’s friends and neighbors, their whole new home will be done in a week while the family is away on a vacation fully paid for by someone else
-the dramatic moment comes when they see the new and improved house as they exit the bus and they say in unison with Mr. Pennington: “Driver … move that bus” – it is often an emotional moment to see the transformation of the home as well as the faces
/Titus 3:3 gives us a picture of such a *spiritual* radical makeover: /
*3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
**4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and /His /love for mankind appeared, **5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, **6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, **7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to /the /hope of eternal life.
*
Verse 3 gives the “before picture,” our desperate tragic deplorable condition that shows our great need, our incurable illness of sin.
But v. 4 has God’s kindness and love appearing just as suddenly and unexpectedly as the loud speaker wake-up call received by the people on the show.
Sinners who have been sovereignly chosen by the Producer of our salvation are similarly unaware until awakened by grace, which then comes into every room and compartment of our life.
It’s not just a makeover, it’s a total heart /takeover.
/
This is not mere renovation or dressing up the outside, the old house must be demolished and rebuilt completely new, which is how 2 Corinthians 5:17 summarizes regeneration: /he is a new creation, old things have passed away, all things have become new /The beautiful new creation and transformation (inside and out) is  even more astounding than any physical home, and it should impact us emotionally, and should impact our watching neighbors
There are some similarities but there are also some differences:
-Before this spiritual makeover, there is no interview to find out our desires of what we want the “new us” to look like in each room – in fact our transformed spiritual home is the exact opposite of what our flesh naturally desired before
-Also this is no team effort – this work of salvation in Titus 3 is done by God and God alone from start to finish, as v. 5 emphatically says it is not at all by anything man does
-This is not a process that takes seven days, the change takes place immediately at salvation in God’s eyes, but it also has continual implications and grows /more beautiful /in time
-The riches poured out in v. 6 are not material but spiritual
-On TV, you can understand why they would pick particular people to help as they play the video of their plight, but when verse 3 plays the video on our condition, I can’t understand why God would choose to save me or you; there is nothing in this picture that deserves grace and nothing in our fallen nature that even desires grace left to ourselves
\\  
*#1: Our Past Degenerated State *
*3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
*
This is our past degenerated state, and it’s not a pretty picture.
CONTEXT: Paul begins this chapter telling Titus to remind the believers of their duty to the unbelieving world around them.
Titus 3:1-3 (NASB95) 1 Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, 2 to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. 3 For we also once were …
Paul reminds us not only of our need to submit to government and to stand out in our behavior and to seek to be salt and light in our world, he also reminds us in out text today of our nature before Christ.
If we find it hard to live godly with ungodly people, Paul says don’t forget what you once were as well (just as lost as anyone else).
You not only “once were” just as ungodly and lost in God’s eyes, you still /would be/ but for the grace of God (v.
4-7).
Don’t be so upset when sinners act like sinners, and don’t think that changes your duty as a saved sinner before them.
Don’t be surprised when pagans live like pagans, but you should live in a way /to surprise them/ that you don’t live like them all the time anymore.
Why? God’s amazing grace saves wretches like us!
There is very much a gospel motive in the way we live before our authorities and government and those we work with and for, as chapter 2:9-10 says leading into the gospel.
Our home life and our family life is also very much a gospel witness as chapter 2 says, and this section in chapter 2 flows right into the gospel as well.
Look at Titus 3:1-2 with this context in mind:
-We can put up with fellow sinners because God put up with us, as v. 3ff says.
We can show mercy and kindness and love and grace, because we have received all that and more from God despite far worse offenses on our part toward God, far worse than the lesser ways people offend us.
-We must not curse our fellow men as verse 2 says, because they are made in the image of the God we love, whose Son became a curse for us on the cross, maligned by men for us, so that our lips need not malign, but can magnify God! 
-We can be peacable with others because the Prince of Peace made peace with us and God, and gives us His peace -We can be gentle, and humble or considerate with all men because our Lord /exemplifies /those traits and /enables/ them
If Titus found himself frustrated with the Cretans (and if you find yourself frustrated with people around you), Titus needed to remember and we need to remember that we too were once like them, and in some ways we still are like this picture, and but for the grace of God we would still be there with the worst of them.
There seems to be intentional contrast with the seven duties in a sinful society, while remembering seven marks of our own sinfulness apart from God’s grace toward us:
| v. 1 “Be subject” | v. 3 “foolish” (Rom. 1 says when they didn’t submit to God, their foolish hearts darkened) |
| v. 1 “Be … obedient” | v. 3 “disobedient” |
| v. 1 “Ready for every good deed” [othersfocus] | v. 3 “enslaved to” [sin and pleasure-seeking, self-focus] |
| v. *2* “malign no one”  | v. 3 “malice” (root of slander) |
| v. *2 *“be peacable” | v. 3 “envy” (not at peace) |
| v. *2 *“gentle” | v. 3 “hateful” |
| v. *2 *“showing every consideration” ~/ humility | v. 3 “hating one another” |
 
William Hendriksen writes: ‘what a sorry spectacle it is.
Here “we” come: the glutton and the toper, the miser and the spend-thrift, the mad-cap and the dotard, the sports-worshiper and the sluggard, the fraud and the fop, the sadist and the rapist, the “tiger” and the “wolf” (Cf.
Rom.
1:18-32; Gal.
5:19-21).
Some serve one master, some another, but by nature all are slaves to those terrible “drives” which they have never learned to control, and which, according to some modern psychologists they should not even try too strenuously to hold down!’1
God’s Word says (v.3) our problem is deeper than sinful choices at times, it says sinners are “enslaved to various lusts and pleasures.”
The Greek word for “pleasures” is the root of our word /hedonism, /the pleasure-seeking that so marks our culture.
The word “enslaved” is the verb form of the word /doulos /we saw in Titus 2:9 for literal bondslaves or in Titus 1:1 for spiritual slaves.
We are in bondage to sin and as Luther wrote in what he felt his most important book and only
one worthy of publication, our sin causes /Bondage of the Will.
/We are not as free as we think.
-Our very desires are enslaved, according to Titus 3:3.
-In the words of Jeremiah 17:9, the very heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked,
incurably sick -In the words of God Himself in Genesis 6:5, every inclination of fallen man’s heart is only evil continually -In the words of 1 Corinthians 2:14 “a natural man *does not* accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; *and he cannot* understand them” -In the words of Ephesians 2:1, we are all dead in our sins, lifeless, motionless, hopeless, helpless, godless
Sinners may be dead to the things of God, not moving towards God, but they are certainly not inactive in the things of this world:
*v. 3 “… spending our life in malice and envy” *
I read this week of the long history of these two sins from early Genesis on, beginning with Eve envying the forbidden fruit: ‘It was envy [then malice] which caused the murder of Abel, threw Joseph into a pit, caused Korah, Dathan, and Abiram to rebel against Moses and Aaron, made Saul pursue David, gave rise to the bitter words which “the elder brother” (in the Parable of the Prodigal Son) addressed to his father, and the Crucified Christ.
/Love /never envies (1 Cor.
13:4).’2
*“… hateful, hating one another” *
These last two are the result of the two before, malice and envy.
This twofold two-way hatred that marks fallen man is in contrast to the love of God in v. 4 that comes unexplainably unilaterally unconditionally from God, and regenerates hearts that naturally hated God and others, enabling them to love God and others.
We can only love, as 1 John 4:19 says, because God first loved us.
Remembering our /degenerated past state/ should humble us and guard us from hating those who are sinful as we were and in need of salvation as much as we did.
Rather than hate, we should love as Jesus loved the rich young ruler who rejected the gospel.
We should be patient and longsuffering as God, not desiring any perish We should not look down pridefully on sinners, but should look on them as Jesus looked on Jerusalem, with compassion and tears for their lostness, and a desire that they repent and be saved as well
/This moves us from our first point, *Our Past Degenerated State *to /
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*#2 – GOD’S AMAZING GRACE *
*4 **But when the kindness of God our Savior and /His /love for mankind appeared, **5 **He saved us *
Just as there were seven duties for Christians in a sinful society (v.
1-2), and seven sins that mark unbelievers (v.
3), there are seven aspects of God’s amazing saving grace here (v.4-7).
KINDNESS – It is God’s very nature to be kind to the lost, and one way we show we have His nature and are truly children of His is when we show kindness to those who don’t deserve it, or hate us
In Luke 6:35 Jesus said “But love your enemies, and do good … and you will be *sons of the Most High*; for He Himself is *kind* to ungrateful and evil /men.”
/
Romans 2:4 tells us not to “think lightly of *the riches of His kindness* and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the *kindness of God leads you to repentance*”
I know it was the kindness of God that led me to repentance or I would still be in verse 3.
As we saw last week, even repentance is a gift granted by God.
When you understand how truly lost we were, grace is truly amazing.
God found us!
While blind He made us see!
Everything in this passage is initiated by God – in fact is any text clearer than these verses that salvation is all of God and by God?
4 But when the *kindness of God* our Savior and */His /love* for mankind appeared, 5 *He saved us*, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to *His mercy*, by the washing of regeneration and renewing *by the Holy Spirit*, 6 whom *He poured out upon us *richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified *by His grace* we would be *made heirs* …
As you read verses 4-7, someone might ask “with all Paul’s emphasis on God’s part, where is man’s part in salvation?”
The answer: our part is in verse 3 - sin.
That’s what we brought to the table, that’s our “great contribution.”
As the young boy who I told you about before articulated his testimony “I did my part, God did His part.
I did the sinning, He did the saving.”
As you read verses 4-7 it’s all God’s initiative, God’s work, God – God – God.
And that’s Paul’s point, just like it is many other passages.
Romans 8:30 says it this way “these whom *He *predestined, *He* also called; and these whom *He* called, *He* also justified; and these whom *He *justified, *He* also glorified.”
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