Faithlife Sermons

What How and Why-Part 2

Foundations  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  32:21
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Pray
Please open your Bibles to Titus chapter 2. I will being at verse 11, and continuing through chapter 3, verse 8
Titus 2:11–3:8 NIV
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 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. These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you. Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
Last week we started with this statement-
Authentic faith in Jesus Christ must result in a changed life that reflects God’s character.
We discussed what a changed life looks like. It should be self-controlled, not submitting to our worldly passions and desires. A changed person will reflect Jesus Christ.
We talked about How to pursue that life. You pursue that life with the help of the Holy Spirit and the church community.
I challenged you to. Search-Run-and Ask
Search your heart
Run to the cross with ways in which your life needs to change
Ask for prayer from people in the community
Today we are going to look at why.
Why? - Why should you reflect God’s character?
Reason # 1-When you become a Christ follower-your life is part of a community, and what you do affects the whole community.
Ephesians 2:19–22 NIV
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:26 NIV
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
Romans 12:5 NIV
so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
As we are together-part of a community, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. We are not isolated. Each of us has a responsibility. A responsibility to urge one another on. A responsibility to model a life reflecting Christ to one another. If we don’t there are consequences. Consequences that have an effect on the church community and consequences to the Gospel. What we do individually, impacts others in the church and it even impacts those that are not yet part of God’s family.
Let me explain. We are supposed to be reflecting God. But people outside of God’s family do not know what God looks like. They do not know who He is, they do not know His character. But they see us. One way they see God is by looking at us-his reflection. If the reflection is damaged or poor, the people that don’t yet know God see Him poorly.
Paul in chapter 2 of Titus shows us three ways that our reflection of Jesus has an impact on the church community.
Titus 2:3–5 NIV
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. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 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.
What we do in our homes is important. Make the home the center of biblical values, so that no one will malign the word of God.
We touched on this last week. The world is watching, us they are watching our families, and now with reality TV-millions are watching so-called Christian families. People who may have little to no connection to Christianity, see problems in Christian families. When they see the problems, they blame the word of God.
You know the problems.Horrible problems of abuse or neglect. You know the stories from the papers. Some of us have friends or relatives that have experienced this. Some of you may have even experienced this first hand.
Unfortunately people with pride not yet yielded to Jesus take God’s good, healthy and loving word, and they twist it. They twist it to justify their worldly desires, and passions. Satan uses their pride, and they justify their sins of abuse, or neglect by claiming God’s word. They have no self-control. They rule households with an iron fist not out of the love, and goodness that God’s word intends. That has an impact on how people view God’s word.
People point at God’s word-Perhaps you have even thought this- There is horrible abuse in a home, when a man doesn’t follow God’s word-yet he claims he does- and then God’s word appears outdated, not in touch with modern times. Sometimes evil has used God’s word to justify oppression, so people think God’s word is oppressive or overbearing. Then the world says God’s word doesn’t have any relevance to todays culture.
This is not true. It is the evil in the person that misused God’s word. It is the evil in the heart of man that committed the abuse. God’s word does not abuse or oppress people-People abuse people.
Instead brothers and sisters, know this-
God’s word is Life! in Matthew 4:4. God’s word gives us hope and encouragement in Romans 15:4 In Isaiah 40:8, God’s word endures forever! And in Hebrews God’s word is living and active in and it is a lamp unto our feet, in Psalm 119.
The world is watching, and it isn’t only those who have no prior opinion. Sometimes people who oppose Christianity look to our behavior to oppose us as well.
Titus 2:6–8 NIV
Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
Act in such a way that the world will see us and say-How can you oppose those people? There is nothing wrong with them. They are not hurting anyone. How can you oppose them? Right here right in our community we should so be reflecting Jesus, even those that oppose Christians will be won over.
Look at what Peter has to say about it.
1 Peter 2:12 NIV
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
Don’t do it not to be high and lifted up yourselves, but do it so that the opposition-those that are against God-will glorify God! Show God’s goodness, God’s love and God’s mercy to the world that those who oppose God will be turned to glorifying God. That may seem difficult.
Sometimes, we might just want to be satisfied that we don’t turn people away. We say, “At least I won’t put a negative light on God”. So, we try and hide our sins. I will keep my struggles under-wrap, so I don’t cast a negative light on the Church right?
But God’s word calls us higher. Not just to not cast a negative light on the gospel but, to actually make the gospel attractive.
Titus 2:9–10 NIV
Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.
We ought to be so reflecting Christ, that even when we are in the workplace- even when we step outside these doors-our lives should make the Gospel attractive! Not just meh, they are a good worker-but so much so that the gospel is attractive. Think about that.
Think about your performance at work-Would people find the gospel attractive because of how you are at work? What about your social media posts-Would people find the gospel attractive or would they be turned away?
Christians should be so trustworthy, so honest, so loyal so humble, so compassionate, so reflecting of Christ that people will want the Gospel. They might not be able to exactly put a finger on what they want-But they should know something is different.
They should see that you. Because- unlike them you are not in bondage to greed, and that will appear strange. They should see that you-unlike them are not chained to self, but instead are looking to others. They should notice that you are not caught up in the web of deceit and hatefulness that tangles them daily. And they will wonder how to be free. You should demonstrate kindness and compassion instead of division and pride-and it will appear refreshing.
People may even ask why are you different? What is the reason for the hope that you have? Peter wrote,
1 Peter 3:15 NRSV
but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you;
It will happen. As you more and more reflect Christ people will ask you why. Why aren’t you bothered by this, why are you so nice to him, why don’t you take what they take.
Reason #1
Why do we live a life reflecting God’s Character-
Because it impacts the Church
does not malign God’s word
Opposition has nothing bad to say
Makes the Gospel attractive
That was reason #1, of why we live a life reflecting Christ-because It impacts the whole church community. It impacts the church community in three ways. So that no ones maligns the word of God, so that no one talks bad about the community, so that we make the Gospel attractive.
Reason #2 Why do we live a life reflecting God’s Character-Because it is who you are
We could think of that first reason as being an external motivation. Our behavior has an impact on the community external to us. Paul says there is another reason. We do not want to base our christianity on those external factors of community- It may work a bit at first, but if we did, we would be no different than a social club, or a support group. The difference is not that it is solely those external reasons, there is a real internal difference when you are a Christ follower. The real joy comes, not because you are reflecting Christ not because that is what you are supposed do, so as to not cast Christ in a negative light. The real joy comes from reflecting Christ because that is who you are. It is no longer externally motivated. It is in your DNA-It is your nature.
Titus 2:11–12 NIV
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
-For the grace of God has appeared- We live godly lives because of God’s grace!
Because the grace of God has appeared. Because Jesus Christ has come. The grace of God appeared to offer salvation. Salvation from our sins. Jesus offers us salvation from the bondage of self Jesus offers us salvation from our sin nature, and to a new nature. Jesus offers us salvation to make us a Child of God. Jesus offers us Salvation from the bondage of sin, salvation from bondage to worldly passions and desires, and freedom to live our lives for him. right now-today.
Kent Hughes explains this really well. He starts with an illustration, then moves on to explain it.

When El Nino’s rain deluged Southern California one recent winter, the potential dangers of mudslides became a real nightmare for one family. While the family was still in their home, a wave of mud tore through the house, severing it and sweeping a sleeping baby out into the night. The parents began to search through the darkness for the child. Tromping through the mire that had descended upon their whole neighborhood, they searched, dug, and called for their child throughout the long night—without results. When morning came a rescuer, himself covered in mud, came to the parents with a mud-caked bundle in his arms—the baby, filthy but alive. You know what the mother then did. She clung to her child despite its filth, washed the muck away, and determined to keep the child out of the mud in the future.

The account helps me understand concepts in this passage that are so opposed to our common thought about the nature of God’s grace. Grace, we know, annuls our works as the means of securing or maintaining God’s affection. The natural human inclination, as a result, is to suppose that if our good works do not determine God’s affection, there is no reason to do them. Why be concerned about godliness since we are saved by grace? Because, say the Scriptures, when the filth of my sin was sweeping me in my helplessness to eternal death, my God covered himself in the muck of this world to rescue me, embraced me despite my filth, and now wants me to remain out of the mud. Such grace should make us so in love with God that we cannot stand whatever in our lives re-soils us and offends him. Biblical grace makes us intolerant of evil in our lives. The apostle here underscores this truth, saying that the grace of God “teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions” (vv. 11, 12).

Grace—rightly perceived—compels holiness. This is not a natural logic, we must confess. In the popular mind those who are full of grace are supposed to say, “Okay, that’s all right. Fine. Never mind. Go ahead.” But for the apostle, grace means we say no. What kind of grace is this? The apostle tells us by disclosing the power of Christ’s rescue, the nature of his requirements, and the character of his redeemed.

Titus 2:13–14 NIV
while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 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.
This grace-offered through the gospel ofJesus Christ-The grace that has offered us salvation-The grace that has freed us from our worldly passions and desires that grace did not just appear once-He will appear again.
So while we wait for that moment, while we wait for him to appear again, while we wait for HIS GLORY to appear while we wait for Jesus to be fully revealed in His full glory as our Great and magnificent God and savior. While we wait for that moment-those that have been redeemed, those that have been purchased and bought by His blood on the cross are are being purified.
We are being changed we are being transformed from a people who are controlled by our sinful nature to a people with a new nature who are eager to do good.
Jesus redeemed us-he bought us out of that wickedness,. Jesus bought us out of that sin nature, by his blood so that He could have us for himself! He did it to make us a pure and holy people. To make us his people- A people eager to do what is good, a people reflecting him.
Titus 2:15–3:2 NIV
These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you. Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
Sometimes we have a problem. The world we live in creeps in on us, and we have lived in the ways of the world of so long that we are more comfortable with following the old ways rather then living as the new children we are. So Paul tells Titus, teach them about the gospel-Encourage them, rebuke them when they go back to the old ways, and remind them. We are a forgetful people- We need reminding often, we want to fall back.
So these verses remind us. This book reminds us. This is why as a Child of God we spend everyday in prayer and God’s word.-Not because you are somehow earning God’s approval-You have that-through grace, but to remind you of who you are-To remind you of what Christ looks like so that you can reflect that. To remind you of your new nature.
Then, in chapter 3, from verse 3 through to 8 Paul sums up the gospel in a beautiful summary.
Titus 3:3 NIV
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
All of us here, at one time or another-did not know God or follow him. We foolish-disobedient-We were blinded by this world we were enslaved to passions, desires and pleasures. Do you remember when that was you? What were the passions and pleasures that enslaved you? Maybe you know someone who is enslaved. Maybe that is you? If that is you you can be free. You can be free right now. You can be free today.
Titus 3:4 NIV
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,
But when The kindness and love of Jesus. When Jesus came …For God so loved the world he sent his one and only son. Jesus came not to condemn the world but to save the world.
Titus 3:5 NIV
he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
Jesus came and saved us. He saved us by His death on the cross. By His death for our sins. For the wages of sin is death-But God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin-He couldn’t He is God our Savior to be Sin for us(To die in our place), so that in Him (Jesus) we might become the righteousness of God. A new people eager to do what is Good-reborn according to the Holy Spirit.
We call this being born again- In John 3 Jesus said, “No one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born with water and the spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh and spirit gives birth to spirit-You should not be surprised at me saying that you must be born again.
Brothers and sisters-YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN.
Do you remember when that happened to you? Do you remember when you were set free? Remember it and live like it! Has it happened to you? Do you want to be free of being enslaved to worldly passions and desires, Do you want to free to live a new life a transformed life, a life as a child of God as an heir of Christ?
Acts 2:37–38 ESV
Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
What must we do to be saved-Peter said Repent, and be baptized. Repent- to turn from your sins, to turn from your worldly passions and desires and turn toward Jesus Christ. Placing your faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Trusting and relying on His payment of sins by his death on the cross, and believing that he was dead, buried, and rose from the dead. If you do that you are born again.
Then you make a public confession of that usually through the sign of water baptism which symbolizes the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
Titus 3:7 NIV
so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
When you have done that, when you have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ like I just described you become heirs. You now have the sure and solid hope of eternal life. You now begin living a life set apart for Jesus Christ eager to do good, and eager to reflect Him to others
If you want that freedom. If you want that life I talked about-If you have never done that. Today, right now you must repent- Today is the day of your salvation. turn and be forgiven.
Usually I pray the end of the message. Today I will have a moment of silence for you to pray. I will ask the worship team to come forward, This is your opportunity to turn from your worldly passions and desires and to turn toward the Lord Jesus Christ, confess your sins to him, and ask Him to remove them from you.
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