Faithlife Sermons

Are You and Heir to God?

Lovin' Our Neighbors 2018  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Good and Loving God not only saves people but He gives them everything!

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Introduction
Attention (Why should they listen to you?) Imagine one day hearing a knock at your door. You go to answer and you see a rather distinguished gentleman, finely dressed with an elegant letter in his hand. He, with a regal voice declares that this letter is for you. He hands it to you and suggests that you read it and follow the instructions down to the last detail. After he has given it to you, he turns and promptly leaves.
Attention (Why should they listen to you?)
You run into your home and you open the letter that is sealed with a wax embossed seal. As you read the letter you come to realize that you are an a distant heir of a King from a foreign land you have never heard of. The King has passed and now everything that was his is now yours.
Do you believe it? Do you follow up on this? Or do you ignore it and throw the letter away thinking it is too good to be true.
The gospel is so important. It tells us how we can avoid and eternity in Hell.
But the gospel’s message is so much more than that! When communicating the
ospel, many fail to understand the tremendous, eternal benefits of a relationship with God...
Gospel, many fail to understand the tremendous, eternal benefits of a relationship with God...
But when you read the Scriptures you find out some amazing truths about God and His relationship with His Children. And it is my hope and purpose today to help you cross the line of faith so that you too can enjoy living in Hope for what is yet to come!
What do the hearers need to know? You must understand! God loves you and desires to give you everything!
Main Sermon Idea: God is So Good and Loving He Not Only Saves People, He Gives them Everything!
Main Sermon Idea: God is So Good and Loving He Not Only Saves People, He Gives them Everything!
Interrogative: Seriously? God wants me to have everything? Well, yes! He wants you to have Him and in Him is everything that is worth having!
Transition: Titus is a letter written by the Apostle Paul to his young disciple who has been tasked with church planting on the Island of Crete...
In this particular passage, Paul instructs Titus on the beautiful benefits of the gospel...
1. God Saves People Because He is Good, Loving and Merciful (vs. 4-5a)
Lead in…This is the character of our great God! He is not some cosmic ogre who desires to make our lives miserable! No, God is working, even through the bad stuff to draw us to Him. Paul wants Titus to understand very clearly the character of the God he serves...
Titus 3:4–5 ESV
4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,
Titus
Verse 4 - The apostle Paul wants Titus to teach the people of his church and all the churches of the island of Crete, something profound.
First, there is a God! Paul doesn’t argue about it, he assumes it.
Second this God isn’t an evil despot. He isn’t wicked and mean. Imagine if God were all-powerful and evil! Wow, this world is bad enough, I can’t imagine what it would be like if that were the case. No, He is not evil, rather he is full of goodness and loving kindness...
And this Good and Lovingly kind God set out to save people.
Well, this begs the question, saved from what? Two things, really...
Saved from ourselves -
Saved from the wrath of God -
Verse 5a - (Stop at “mercy”) It is interesting to see what Paul says next to his young son in the faith. “he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness...” This would be impossible if you understand what the bible says about everyone’s individual righteousness. We have none...
Romans 3:10 ESV
10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;
And lest you think this is a New/Testament concept, it is not. The Apostle Paul is quoting from the OT in and 53.
This “No righteousness” condition that we suffer from has been around since Adam and Eve first disobeyed God and ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Since then, humankind has had a rough go of it. Our hearts became darkened and the edenic/perfect life God planned for mankind was now replaced with a sinful existence from both without and within! This is what Jesus was talking about in...
Matthew 15:18–19 ESV
18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
This lack of righteousness is also known as the sinful condition that we all suffer from...
Romans 3:23 ESV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Sin is breaking God’s moral law.

The history of the human race as presented in Scripture is primarily a history of man in a state of sin and rebellion against God and of God’s plan of redemption to bring man back to himself. Therefore, it is appropriate now to consider the nature of the sin that separates man from God.

We may define sin as follows: Sin is any failure to conform to the moral law of God in act, attitude, or nature.

Well, the topic of sin certainly isn’t politically correct. People do not like to discuss this. But the reality is, when we truly understand our sinful condition, we can truly understand the need for a cure from it.
Think about it this way, Let say you go to the doctor and she tells you that going through your routine tests she found something unusual and she wants to do some further testing. The long and short of it, she diagnoses you with cancer. Now what? Do you dismiss your self from her office and simply go home with no plan for addressing this looming issue? I mean if you do not do something about this diagnosis, the cancer will grow and you will die from its complications.
Of course you address it! of course you pursue a treatment plan. No doubt you may get a second opinion, but the bottom line is you are going to listen intently to every word the doctor says and be committed to doing what you are told so you can have the opportunity of more life!
Ladies and gentlemen, consider me your doctor and listen to my diagnosis of your soul. Everyone one of us is born with a sin-sick soul that needs only one treatment plan. And that plan is a touch from the great Physician, Jesus Christ to gain the spiritual healing we all need. Why? Because, dying with the sinful condition doesn’t just mean physical death, it means eternal spiritual death.
Romans 6:23 ESV
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Hebrews 9:27 ESV
27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
And once we come to terms with this reality, we are open to a potential cure. And the Bible, God’s hold Word, gives us the cure! Jesus!

The history of the human race as presented in Scripture is primarily a history of man in a state of sin and rebellion against God and of God’s plan of redemption to bring man back to himself. Therefore, it is appropriate now to consider the nature of the sin that separates man from God.

We may define sin as follows: Sin is any failure to conform to the moral law of God in act, attitude, or nature.

John 11:25–26 ESV
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
It’s Jesus that does the saving for those who will listen to Him.
The first thing you need to hear and believe is that you are a sinner and you have offended a holy God in thought, word and dead...
Second, you need to believe that God is good and full of loving kindness -
2 Peter 3:9 ESV
9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
God desired the Cretans to come to repentance and He wants the same for you! That’s why the Father sent the Son into the world. Jesus appeared on this earth for the soul purpose of being the cure for your sin sick soul!
Now, sometimes there can be confusion on this issue. Jesus did come to this earth from Heaven as the perfect sacrifice who hung on the cross in your place to save you from God’s eternal wrath and punishment. He took the punishment for you.
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
But sometimes people think they have to earn or work their way to heaven. They have to do a certain number of things to make God happy with them. But this cannot be the case. Because there isn’t enough works that one can do to appease the punishment of God.
Let me explain - When someone breaks the law, we demand justice. Our culture and country is built on the rule of law. So, if someone commits a serious crime, like theft or murder, they must be punished. It doesn’t matter how many good things they did before they broke the law, or how many good things they do after the broke the law. They must pay for their crime. Period. The criminal cannot stand before the judge and point to his record and say look at all theses good things I did before I broke the law, Judge! Please, have mercy on me!
No, a good judge is a judge who is impartial and gives the appropriate punishment for the crime.
God is the the greatest judge of all time! He created the law. He created everything, even morality! He is the one who determines what is good and bad, evil and righteous, right and wrong.
And when we break this Judges’ law, we must pay the price in eternal prison.
So you can see, no matter how many works we do, they are never enough to pay for the crimes we committed. It simply is not how it works. Our works don’t cut it. So that’s not why He offers us salvation...
Titus 3:5 ESV
5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,
God saves us because He is Good, full of loving-kindness and MERCY! Yes, because He is just he must punish for sin, but He would much rather extend His mercy to each one of us!
Mercy = withholding deserved punishment! He gave me mercy for many years before I became a follower of Christ!
Illustration -
Illustration -
Argumentation - Listen, the bottom line that Paul is telling Titus and us today is this. God must punish sin, but He would much rather you and I respond to his merciful offer of salvation.
Think of how ridiculous it would be if you were swimming in Lake Michigan and you began to grow weak and you started to drown. Fortunately for your sake, the Grand Haven Coast Guard happens to be on patrol and they see you struggling. Because they are good and concerned for you, they rush over in their boat and offer you a merciful hand of rescue. Sure they could stand there on the boat and chid you say, “Why in the world are you swiming in this deep of water? Didn’t you know you’d get tired and start to drown? What’s wrong with you?” NO! They do everything they can to pull you out! But imagine if you refuse their help? How stupid!
They want you to take their merciful offer of rescue! You’d be a fool to refuse it and try to save yourself.
God knows you have no chance of saving yourself and getting into heaven on your own. You don’t have a chance...
Ephesians 2:4–9 ESV
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Application - Would you reach out your hand to the savior this morning? He is good! He loves you and He wants to pour His everlasting mercy on you today! He wants to save you so He can have a sweet relationship with you!
Review - God is So Good and Loving He Not Only Saves People, He Gives them Everything!
1. God Saves People Because He is Good, Loving and Merciful
2. God Saves People by Changing People (vs. 5b-6)
Lead in…Okay, so we’ve established that all are in need of salvation because all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. We also leaned that God must punish sin because He is a just judge. But we also learned that He doesn’t want to punish you, He’d much rather save you! The question is, how does He accomplish this? Well, verses 5 and 6 give us a clue
Titus 3:5–6 ESV
5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
Text -
Verse 5b - There is a whole lot that goes into the saving of an individual soul and its really quite beautiful what God accomplishes through His work on our behalf. (he does the work of our salvation because we can’t…)
There are two people involved in this process of changing people. This is what Paul tells Titus in this letter...
And the first person is the Holy Spirit...
It is the Holy Spirit who gives a thorough washing which is called regeneration
And this regeneration brings a renewal that could only come from the Holy Spirit.
This is exactly what Jesus was talking about in John’s gospel, chapter 3...
John 3:5–8 ESV
5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Regeneration means to be born again!
Verse 6 - The Holy Spirit is sent by God to do his work in the hearts of people who respond to God’s gospel call. And maybe that is you, this morning? God, since the Day of Pentecost, has Poured His Spirit out and regenerating and renewing those who by faith would repent/change there mind about theirs sin and see it from God’s perspective, and trust that Jesus is their only hope of eternal salvation.
Verse 6 -
That’s the second person Paul mentions to Titus...
“whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.”
Folks, there is no salvation without the ministry of the Holy Spirit and there is certainly no salvation without Jesus!
Jesus Christ’s name means the “God/King Saves!”
How does Jesus save?
First, as our wrath bearer...
Second as our death beater...
Jesus took God’s wrath so you would not need to!
Jesus rose from the dead so you could as well!
Why would Jesus subject himself to this kind of treatment? Why?
John 3:16 ESV
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
But in order for you to have a right relationship with the all holy God of the universe, you must be holy as well.
Habakkuk 1:13 ESV
13 You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?
You must be holy!
1 Peter 1:16 ESV
16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
But we lack holiness and righteousness! So we are in trouble with God unless we take on His righteousness/holiness!
After all, this is why He came...
Romans 8:3 ESV
3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
Galatians 3:13 ESV
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—
Romans 4:25 ESV
25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
Romans 4:24–25 ESV
24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
So Christ’s holiness can be our holiness if we simply trust that Jesus Christ death on the cross and his resurrection are sufficient/able to save and give eternal life.
The night I trusted Christ and He saved me...
He didn’t save me because I deserved it, He saved me because He loves me and desires for me to be His son.
I didn’t change God in order to be saved, He changed me!
He became like me so I could become like Him!
2 Corinthians 8:9 ESV
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
2 cor 8
No rich in money, but rich in Him!
God is only able to save you if He changes you. Yes, He will meet you where you are at today! But He will not leave you where you are at today.
He will not make you
more religious...
more intelligent...
more wealthy
more good-looking
more popular
But He will make you more and more like Jesus!
2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV
18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Timothy 1:8–9 ESV
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
Illustration - Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different… C.S. Lewis.
Argumentation - This is how God works in us. There is initially that point of decision - we must choose Christ. And from that point forward is a beautiful process of change.
Philippians 1:6 ESV
6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
God desires to change you into someone far greater than you could ever be on your own. He desires to change you, to wash you, to renew you, to regenerated you from a hopeless sinner to a Son or Daughter of God!
Application - Listen, I’m not sure what you are dealing with today but I can promise you this, God is at work in your life right now! Today! And He has allowed all the junk and hardship that you are facing to drive you to your knees and drive you to Him.
Would you confess your need for Him right now, in your heart? Would you confess that you have sinned against Him over the years in your words, in your actions, even in your thoughts? Would you confess to Him right now that you want Him to change you - doesn’t that sound refreshing?
Review - God is So Good and Loving He Not Only Saves People, He Gives them Everything!
1. God Saves People Because He is Good, Loving and Merciful
2. God Saves People by Changing People
3. God Saves People and Gives Those People Everything (vs. 7)
Lead in…I’m sure we have all had dreams of winning the 500 million dollar lottery or coming into a huge inheritance. If we could just have a large chunk of change, then all of our troubles would evaporate. Well, I hate to break it to you, but rich people have just as many troubles as poor people...
But God, has something far more that He wants to give those who have become His children. Look at verse 7...
Titus 3:7 ESV
7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Text -
Verse 7 - Now, I’m going to teach you a little bit of theology this morning. Don’t glaze over on me and tune me out...
“so that being justified” - What is justified mean?
Justification (the formal term) - “The instantaneous declaration of your innocence based on the righteousness of Christ.”
This was accomplished, not by something you and I did, but by His grace.
Grace - “Receiving something you do not deserve.”
God, though Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross “Justified” those who believe...
Romans 3:28 ESV
28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
Romans 5:1 ESV
1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The only way we can have peace with God is by being justified by faith through Jesus. This is all because of God’s grace.
What is the result of God’s gracious act of justification? You get to be declared a son or daughter of God. You are, at the point of Justification, adopted into the family of God! Not everyone is in God’s family. The Bible teaches that it is only those who are justified are Children of God.
And as His child, you are an Heir! What does this mean? You are given everything that God owns which is everything!
Galatians 4:1–7 ESV
1 I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
2 Timothy 2:11–12 ESV
11 The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us;
1
My dear friends, Heaven isn’t this unending church service where we sit on clouds and strum harps ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Nope! Heaven is you enjoying the infinate God forever in His infinitude...
Everything that is His will be yours if you are His Child.
Illustration - Whoever takes the Son, gets is all!
Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who, with his devoted young son, shared a passion for art collecting. Together they traveled around the world, adding only the finest art treasures to their collection. Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many others adorned the walls of the family estate. The widowed, elder man looked on with satisfaction as his only child became an experienced art collector. The son’s trained eye and sharp business mind caused his father to beam with pride as they dealt with art collectors around the world.
As winter approached, war engulfed the nation, and the young man left to serve his country. After only a few short weeks, his father received a telegram. His beloved son was missing in action. The art collector anxiously awaited more news, fearing he would never see his son again. Within days, his fears were confirmed. The young man had died while rushing a fellow soldier to a medic.
Distraught and lonely, the old man faced the upcoming Christmas holidays with anguish and sadness. The joy of the season, a season that he and his son had so looked forward to, would visit his house no longer. On Christmas morning, a knock on the door awakened the depressed old man. As he walked to the door, the masterpieces of art on the walls only reminded him that his son was not coming home.
As he opened the door, he was greeted by a soldier with a large package in his hand. He introduced himself to the man by saying, "I was a friend of your son. I was the one he was rescuing when he died. May I come in for a few moments? I have something to show you." As the two began to talk, the soldier told of how the man’s son had told everyone of his, not to mention his father’s, love of fine art. "I’m an artist," said the soldier, "and I want to give you this." As the old man unwrapped the package, the paper gave way to reveal a portrait of the son.
Though the world would never consider it the work of a genius, the painting featured the young man’s face in striking detail. Overcome with emotion, the man thanked the soldier, promising to hang the picture over the fireplace. A few hours later, after the soldier had departed, the old man set about his task.
True to his word, the painting went well above the fireplace, pushing aside thousands of dollars of paintings. And then the man sat in his chair and spent Christmas gazing at the gift he had been given. During the days and weeks that followed, the man realized that even though his son was no longer with him, the boy’s life would live on because of those he had touched. He would soon learn that his son had rescued dozens of wounded soldiers before a bullet stilled his caring heart.
As the stories of his son’s gallantry continued to reach him, fatherly pride and satisfaction began to ease the grief. The painting of his son soon became his most prized possession, far eclipsing any interest in the pieces for which museums around the world clamored. He told his neighbors it was the greatest gift he had ever received.
The following spring, the old man became ill and passed away. The art world was in anticipation!
Unmindful of the story of the man’s only son, but in his honor, those paintings would be sold at an auction. According to the will of the old man, all of the art works would be auctioned on Christmas day, the day he had received his greatest gift. The day soon arrived and art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on some of the world’s most spectacular paintings. Dreams would be fulfilled this day; greatness would be achieved as many claim "I have the greatest collection." The auction began with a painting that was not on any museum’s list. It was the painting of the man’s son. The auctioneer asked for an opening bid. The room was silent.
"Who will open the bidding with $100?" he asked. Minutes passed. No one spoke. From the back of the room came, "Who cares about that painting? It’s just a picture of his son. Let’s forget it and go on to the good stuff."
More voices echoed in agreement. "No, we have to sell this one first," replied the auctioneer. "Now, who will take the son?" Finally, a friend of the old man spoke, "Will you take ten dollars for the painting? That’s all I have. I knew the boy, so I’d like to have it."
"I have ten dollars. Will anyone go higher?" called the auctioneer. After more silence, the auctioneer said, "Going once, going twice. Gone." The gavel fell, cheers filled the room and someone exclaimed, "Now we can get on with it and we can bid on these treasures!"
The auctioneer looked at the audience and announced the auction was over. Stunned disbelief quieted the room. Someone spoke up and asked, "What do you mean it’s over? We didn’t come here for a picture of some old guy’s son. What about all of these paintings? There are millions of dollars of art here! I demand that you explain what’s going on here!" The auctioneer replied, "It’s very simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son…gets it all."
Puts things into perspective doesn’t it? Just as those art collectors discovered at this auction, the message is still the same: the love of a Father, a Father whose greatest joy came from His Son, who went away and gave His life rescuing others. And because of that Father’s love, whoever takes the Son, gets it all.
– Unknown
Argumentation - Whoever takes the Son, Jesus, gets it all. The world around us tells us, “He who dies with the most toys, wins.” But that is not true! Because “He who dies with the most toys, is still dead. Eternally dead.” But he who dies with the Son lives eternally! This is our hope!
John 11:25–26 ESV
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Application - So, I ask you this morning the same question Jesus asked Martha, “Do you believe this?” If you truly do, in your heart of hearts, the bible says
Review - God is So Good and Loving He Not Only Saves People, He Gives them Everything!
1. God Saves People Because He is Good, Loving and Merciful
2. God Saves People by Changing People
2. God Saves People by Changing People
3. God Saves People and Gives Those People Everything
Conclusion (Visualization)
Reiteration
Action
Invitation
Connection Group Questions / Reflection Questions
1. What stands out to you from this Scripture?
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