Titus 3:12-15 God's Blueprint for a Fruitful Church
In Luke 13 Jesus told a parable. There was a man who had planted a fig tree, and day after day he came to that fig tree looking for fruit. But day after day, he found none.
So he said said to one of his workers, “For three years I have come looking for fruit on this tree, and after three years, I still have nothing.”
Its not good. Cut it down.
But the worker said, “Sir, give me one more year. I’ll dig around it, put manure down, water it ever day. If it bears fruit great! If not, we can cut it down then.
Now Jesus told that parable about Old Covenant Israel, but here’s the principle. Whether Old or New Covenant God expects his people to be fruitful.
And that is the goal of God’s people, and that is the goal of every healthy church.
A healthy church is a fruitful church.
A healthy church is a fruitful church.
Now this begs the question: What does it mean to be a fruitful church? What fruit are we looking for? How do we know if we have it?
That is where Titus 3:12-15 comes in.
In this passage, Paul gives us three examples of fruit every healthy church should strive to see.
So let’s start with the first fruit we should look for in a healthy church and that is a kingdom focused heart, mindset, and service.
Point number 1…
I. A Fruitful Church is Kingdom Focused
I. A Fruitful Church is Kingdom Focused
Titus 3:12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.
As Paul usually does in his letters, he closes with some practical instructions for Titus.
And the key for understanding the biblical principle, what God has for us, in these verses is to ask “What is Paul wanting out of these practical instructions? What are his goals?
Because that will tell us what we need to be wanting and what our goals need to be as a church.
And in this first section, there’s really one big idea, that a fruitful church is Kingdom focused.
But there are several different aspects that go into Kingdom focused ministry.
So I want to focus on what those are by looking at the three groups of people Paul mentions in this verse, and then after that, tie them all together to drive home what that means for us.
Serious about ministry. Not just the church but every member of the church.
Paul says When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, when they get to Crete, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis.
Nicopolis was a five to ten day journey from where Titus was.
In those days, Rome was divided into provinces, and Nicopolis served as the provincial capital because it was a port city on the western coast of Greece.
There were two harbors, you could get to any city on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, making it an ideal location for trade.
All these things made Nicopolis a very strategic city for Paul which is why he wanted to spend the winter there.
Winter made travel and missionary work for Paul notoriously difficult. Remember this is after the Book of Acts, so Paul had already been in a few shipwrecks by this point and is probably wasn’t too keen on another one.
And elsewhere in the New Testament, Paul had a habit of making the most of his winters by spending them in strategic locations for the gospel.
If he couldn’t be traveling, how could he make the most of those months for the gospel? Where could he go to build up and encourage the church, or maybe start a new church to be a missionary hub to take the gospel to more and more people?
So Paul probably picked Nicopolis because it was a port city that could get the gospel out to western and northern Greece, but also because it probably helped Paul get to where he wanted to go next.
Nicopolis would put Paul further west than most of his missionary work had taken him, and we know Paul’s missionary heart said, I want to keep going. I want to go to places the gospel has not been preached so more people can be saved.
And Paul wanted Titus to come because Titus could be trusted to do the dirty work. To do the hard things that pioneer missions takes.
Now here’s the point, Paul was intentional about the gospel. Everywhere he went, in everything he did, Paul asked himself, how do I fulfill the mission here? What’s God wanting me to do? How is God wanting to use me to share the gospel and disciple Christians?
That mission dominated his whole life, and that mission should dominate our whole life.
Now that doesn’t mean you need to sell all you have and move to Africa. You may need to. God calls everyday Christians just like you to serve as pastors, church planters, church revitalizers, and missionaries.
But at minimum we know we are all called to be intentional where God has us now. Do we think intentionally? Do we think strategically about the gospel?
How am I serving the Kingdom. How am I as an individual and family living out the Great Commission?
Are you a member of the Church? Are you joined together with a body of believers to be discipled and make disciples?
The Church is God’s Plan A for the Great Commission. If you aren’t a member of a church can you really say you are being intentional about the Kingdom when you’re not even part of the mission of the Kingdom?
Is there someone in your life God wants you to disciple? Is there a coworker, family member, or friend he wants you to reach out to to share the gospel?
Should you be leading a small group to help disciple fellow church members and see them grow in Christ so that we can reach more and more people for Jesus?
What about your time?
Are you intentional about growing in Christ? Are there spiritual disciplines or is it all TV and hobbies?
Are you leading your family in godliness? What’s the weekly calendar look like? Does it look like a family that prioritizes Christ and his Kingdom?
Or does it look just like the world where church, community group, gospel ministry is great, but its the first thing to go when something better or more important comes up?
Let me boil it down to a single question. Do you ever look at your life and ask what does God want me to do? Am I living for him, his mission, his glory? Am I seeking first the Kingdom, or am I just living for myself?
If you want to be fruitful, you need to be intentional.
He Not Me
He Not Me
Go to Titus.
Paul tells Titus do your best, be zealous, eager, make every effort to come to me.
Now this is curious. Because Titus was left in Crete to do some crucial work. To establish the churches on sound doctrine and discipleship.
And it needed to be done because there were many false teachers on the island of Crete leading people away from the gospel.
But now he’s saying when I send to you Artemas OR Tychicus, I want you to leave that behind and come to me.
Put yourself in Titus’ shoes. Don’t you think that would have been hard to do?
I mean you do all this heavy lifting. You get these churches healthy. Everything’s going great. You’re respected, loved, influential, seeing fruitful ministry left and right as people get saved, repent of sin, and follow Christ.
And now someone else is going to come in, take the fruit of your labor, and you’re going to go do the hard stuff all over again?
What is that all about?
I think this actually tells us something crucial about having a fruitful, Kingdom focused ministry. It can’t be about us.
I call this the He Not Me Mentality.
Now, that might not be grammatically correct, but it is catchy!
And its something I’m constantly preaching to myself.
As you get intentional about the Kingdom in your everyday life whether that’s at home, church, work, and the world, whatever ministry you’re doing, the mantra that we need to be preaching to ourselves is He not Me.
Its all about Jesus. Its not about us.
Look at Titus. He’s put in all this work, all this effort all this pain. But he’s able to walk away, and move on to what the Lord has for him next.
He Not Me means we serve wherever Jesus would have us serve. Its his church. We are just servants. Fruitful ministry demands that our first priority should be to serve wherever and however Jesus calls and equips us to serve.
He not Me says Jesus, I will serve wherever you want me. If that’s in one on one discipleship, children’s ministry, small groups or being a godly mom, you know what you are doing. Just help me be faithful.
You see the great temptation in ministry, especially when you start seeing some fruit, is to start believing the lie that you’re the reason why. That you’re the answer. That people need you.
That if you could just lead, disciple, teach, or help someone, then their whole life would be fixed.
This is a mentality that looks at any given ministry and says I’m awesome. And people just need me, my gifts, my wisdom.
But we aren’t the answer for anyone. Jesus is.
Remember John the Baptist.
John was doing his ministry, baptizing people in repentance, showing them they needed a Messiah to wash away their sins.
And one day Jesus and his disciples showed up and started baptizing people themselves. And everyone that had followed John, was now going to Jesus.
And John’s disciples came to him and said, can you believe that? Can you believe Jesus is having his disciples baptize people? The nerve of the Son of God? That’s your job!
But what does John say? He must increase, I must decrease (John 3:30).
John was about Christ. He wanted Christ glorified. He didn’t care what it took.
So when Paul tells Titus one of these other two guys is going to come replace him, Titus doesn’t get territorial or jealous. He doesn’t get mad that he needs to move on somewhere else. He knows its all for Christ.
Titus says, He Not Me. Fruitful ministry can never be about us.
We cannot seek our own will or our own glory. Jesus said apart from me you can do nothing. You’ll have no fruit.
Its all about Christ, and the servants Christ works through for fruitful ministry are those servants who serve faithfully from a heart that says He must increase, I must decrease.
Faithful, Sacrificial Service
Faithful, Sacrificial Service
Finally, consider Artemas and Tychicus.
We don’t know anything about Artemas, but Tychicus is mentioned several times in the New Testament.
In Colossians 4:7 Paul says Tychicus is a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord.
So the fact that Paul is deciding between Artemas and Tychicus to send to Crete, tells us that Artemas is a man of similar character.
These men including, Zenas and Apollos in the next verse, show us an example every Christian should strive to follow.
These were just ordinary men. They weren’t apostles. They were just men who wanted to use their spiritual gifts to serve the Kingdom.
Whether it was teaching, administration, encouragement, or even something so small delivering a letter, all of them were willing to make sacrifices and faithfully serve Christ’s Kingdom.
These men left home and traveled far distances to serve Christ and build up his church.
That is the zeal we should have for serving Christ.
We should look at the gifts and opportunities the Holy Spirit has given us to honor Christ and pour into others and say, I know its going to be hard. I know its going to be tiring. I know its going to cost me something.
But what better way to live my life than giving it away for the Kingdom?
The BIG QUESTION is...
Are you Kingdom Focused?
Are you Kingdom Focused?
Are we intentional about the Great Commission and our place in it?
Do we have a heart and a life that dies to ourself every day and says He not me?
Are we faithful and do we serve sacrificially using all the gifts the Spirit has given us to build up the church and make disciples however we can remembering we are all individual parts of a greater body.
2 Corinthians 5:18 says Christ has saved us, and entrusted to us the ministry of reconciliation.
Christ is the Savior of the world and there is no other name by which men can be saved (Acts 4:12).
That’s the mission of the Church.
When Jesus saves you, you are conscripted into an army.
His army. One sent forth to conquer the nations through the proclamation of the gospel.
Jesus and his Kingdom does not conquer with war, violence, and bloodshed. Jesus conquers with a word, a message of reconciliation and peace through the blood of the King, Jesus Christ.
This stewardship entrusted to us, demands urgency from every member in the church both individually and corporately.
An urgency to be intentional about Kingdom ministry,
To be Jesus first solely focused on his glory, not our own,
and joyfully sacrificial knowing there is no greater cause to give our life to.
That’s what it means to be Kingdom focused, and that is the only kind of ministry, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that will be fruitful.
That’s the first part of God’s blueprint to be a fruitful church.
II. A Fruitful Church Supports Mission Work
II. A Fruitful Church Supports Mission Work
Titus 3:13 Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing.
Now Paul says Do your best, do everything you can to send Zenas and Apollos on their way with everything they need.
Well who were Zenas and Apollos. They were probably the people who delivered the letter to Titus.
Associates of Paul who just like Titus, or Artemas, or Tychicus would be sent out to do gospel ministry wherever it was most needed.
Zenas is specifically called a lawyer, and Paul probably sent him specifically to help silence the Jewish false teachers who quarrelled about the Law.
Apollos, on the other hand, is well known in the New Testament.
He was a Jew from Alexandria in Egypt who Acts 18:24 says was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures.
He was a great preacher.
He was so great that in 1 Corinthians, Paul is actually having to deal with fractious people who say, I follow Paul, I follow Apollos, or the super Christians who say I follow Christ.
The point is, he was such a great preacher that some of the Corinthians put him higher than Paul. The Apostle. The one who wrote most of the books in the New Testament.
And just as an aside, Paul and Apollos working together is a great example of He not Me.
That’s the kind of situation thats rife for rivalry and division. People get proud, think they are the best, they are the answer, and the gospel gets lost in the fray.
But Paul and Apollos are co-laborers because they knew it wasn’t about them, it was all about Christ.
Pride in ministry destroys any chance of having a fruitful ministry.
But back in those days missionaries would go from town to town, church to church.
They would serve the body, encourage them, to do whatever they could to build them up, and then when it was time for them to go, the church that they served would send them on their way with food, money, clothing, anything the needed to take the gospel to the next destination.
So this tells us two things.
First, every part of the body matters.
Yes we need missionaries, but we also need everyday Christians who work hard and raise their families to support missionaries.
In one sense, every single Christian is a missionary wherever God has placed them. All of us are called to preach the gospel and make disciples.
But not every Christian is called to sell all they have and go to another country or another state to plant a church.
That’s only one part of the body. We need everyone. Goers, Senders. Pastors, business owners.
Everyone has a part to play in the worldwide mission work of growing God’s Kingdom.
Second, sacrificial giving to the church for Kingdom work is important.
God expects us to be stewards of the wealth he’s given us and generously give to His work to build the church.
And here’s what often gets lost when any pastor talks about giving. What are you giving to? The Great Commission.
Remember, the church is God’s Plan A for preaching the gospel and making disciples. And when you give to the church, you receive the benefit of that.
You are spiritually fed here. You have a community here. Your family is protected and guarded here.
And when you give, to a biblical church, is not to line the pockets of a bunch of spiritual gurus. Its to help us to what God has called us to do, by providing for the practical needs of running a church.
Now someone will usually say, Oh God owns all things, but he needs your money right?
No. God doesn’t need anything. And God will always provide what is needed to accomplish the work he has given us to do.
The reason why God asks Christians to give to the church to further the Great Commission, is not because God is broke and needs a little bit of help.
Its because God has chosen to provide for his Kingdom through who saints, because ultimately God cares about our heart. Jesus said You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve God and money. Because you will love one and despise the other (Matthew 6:24).
It is so easy for us to worship money. We can look for it to provide for us, to bless us, give us the life we’ve always wanted.
And when you have a god like that who needs Jesus?
So God calls us to give so we can say from the heart, I love you more than this. I love your Kingdom more than this. Will you use what little I have to make an eternal difference through this church?
But a fruitful church is not just kingdom focused in their own church and in their own city.
A fruitful church also has a vision for greater Kingdom work beyond these walls out in the world, through intentional missions giving where the whole church gathers together, how can we use what God has given us as a body to further the Great Commission out there?
Where a church says will you use what little we have to make an eternal difference in the world?
And whats amazing is God does. And when we give our money, and he uses it to further the Great Commission, both in our local church and in greater Kingdom work, God actually says we become co laborers through our gifts.
Look at 3 John 5-8. This is the same situation Paul is talking to Titus about.
3 John 5-8 Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, 6 who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. 7 For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8 Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.
Do you see what John said? That we may be fellow workers for the truth.
Here’s what that means, supporting mission work, in this church, at home, and abroad makes us partners and fellow laborers with the missionaries and pastors who preach the gospel.
So the Big Idea I want you to remember when you give, is not just giving for givings sake. Because that’s what your supposed to do.
Your giving should be an offering. An act of worship that says God is our greatest treasure, and everything we have in this world is his to use as he sees fit to further the work of His Kingdom.
That’s how you should think, and that’s how you should pray when you drop your offering or hit the give button on your phone.
And I will tell you, you are great at this. You are so faithful as a church with your giving. We never talk about it, and yet you are faithful to do it.
And what’s more, you love missions. You love giving to Kingdom causes beyond these walls.
When we support a missionary you are always asking, how are they doing? How can we pray? What do they need? What can we do?
Truthfully you are just the best.
So let me give you a small update on where our missions giving ended up last year.
You as a church are committed to set an example and give 10% of every undesignated dollar given to this church to missions.
Last year that means we had $40,991 dollars to give to the Great Commission.
I don’t want to bore you with the numbers so I just want to give you a couple of the highlights.
Around $14,500 dollars is going to seminaries. Master’s Seminary which is John MacArthur’s seminary out in California and Grace Bible Theological Seminary right here in Arkansas.
The goal of course being to train the next generation of pastors to build biblical, healthy churches.
Around $14,500 is going to Heart Cry Missionary Society. That’s Paul Washer’s missions agency whose goal is to plant churches, distribute Bibles, and equip missionaries to preach the gospel.
They are all over the world in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America. You name it.
Also of, special note, in light of the abomination of Planned Parenthood going in Rogers, you are also giving around $1,400 dollars to Loving Choices who help women in crisis pregnancy with the gospel in hopes to save their babies.
That is in addition to the $2,800 you gave during their annual baby bottle drive.
And because of your faithfulness, the Bible says you are co laborers with all of them.
What an amazing grace God has done in this church, and I do believe you are a church that loves Christ more than money. So thank you and praise be to God.
So God’s blueprint for a fruitful church is one that is 1. Kingdom focused, 2. Supports Missions Work, and number 3...
III. A Fruitful Church Loves One Another Practically
III. A Fruitful Church Loves One Another Practically
Titus 3:14 And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.
Paul’s final instruction for Titus is to let our people, meaning the Christian churches on Crete learn to devote themselves to good works, and Paul actually defines the good works in particular he has in mind, so as to help cases of urgent need.
And in Greek, let our people learn actually carries more force than what you hear in English.
It is a 3rd person imperative. A command. So you could actually translate this like the NASB does Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs.
And the consequence of failing to learn how to care for one another when someone in the body has a pressing or urgent need, is that the church will be unfruitful.
What that tells us is that one of the essential elements to every fruitful church is a practical, in your face, no cost too high love and care for one another.
Now this doesn’t mean the church becomes a socialist utopia where everyone just relies on the charity of others.
The Bible clearly says if someone refuses to work, they shouldn’t get to eat. It also says we can sin through a foolish stewardship of our finances.
So meeting pressing needs isn’t about the church handing out welfare to people who refuse to work or about taking on someone’s credit card debt that somebody has because they were sinfully foolish.
Urgent needs are exactly that. Needs. They are unexpected, out of nowhere burdens that fall on people.
Things like losing your job.
Having a baby.
Getting sick and staying in the hospital.
A death in the family.
An unexpected vehicle breakdown, when you’re faithful to work but barely able to pay your bills as it is.
Urgent needs are things that weigh us down. The practical needs in life that sometimes are so heavy we need other brothers and sisters to come beside us and pick us up.
And these missionaries that have an urgent need that will enable them to continue their missionary work are a case study for the churches on Crete of how Paul wants churches everywhere to love and care for one other all the time.
That’s why Paul says let our people learn.
The word Learn is the verb form of disciple. So loving our brothers and sisters, caring for their needs is intrinsically tied to Christian discipleship. Its a direct outflow of our faith.
And how a church loves one and meets cases of urgent need determines whether that church is fruitful or unfruitful.
John said it like this. 1 John 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him.
Loving the brotherhood is a work of the Spirit when God has made you born again. If you do not love the church or other Christians in the church, you need to ask yourself, do I actually love God.
Or look at what James says.
James 2:14-17 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, [If they have an urgent need] 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
James could not be more clear.
James whole point in his book is you can see someone’s faith. How you live should change because of your faith in Christ.
If we do not care for one another, and love one another practically when urgent needs arise, our faith is dead.
And when you start to understand the theology behind why God calls us to love one another in real practical ways, James’ harsh statement starts to make a lot of sense.
How we love one another, how we bear one another’s burdens and urgent needs, is a direct reflection of how we understand the gospel.
You’ll remember in Acts 2, when the church was first born after Pentecost, Luke gives us a description of the life of the early church.
They studied the Word, prayed, fellowshipped, evangelized. And then we get this curious verse.
Acts 2:44-45 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.
The word need is the same Greek word in our passage.
Then in Acts 4 we hear this.
Acts 4:34-35 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
Again our word.
Why was this the normal pattern for the early church? What made them care for one another and love one another in this way?
Its the gospel. How we love one another reveals how much a church love and cherishes the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In closing, I want to walk through two passages from 1 John for you. Turn to 1 John 3:16.
1 John 3:16-18 By this we know love,
John is giving us a definition of what love is so that we can know what it means for us to love one another.
Here it is.
that he laid down his life for us,
Jesus shows us what love is. Its laying down our lives for the good of others. That’s why John says
and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
But what does John have in mind when he says we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
Does that mean we just become doormats who want to make everyone happy? To offend no one? That’s the world’s definition. What’s John’s?
17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, [Again our same word] yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
Let us care for one another and love one another helping one another with cases of urgent need.
Just one chapter later, John picks up this idea again.
1 John 4:9-11 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
This is John’s exposition of what it means that Christ loved us and laid his life down for us.
Jesus, the Son of God, the Second person of the Trinity came into the world.
He left the glory of heaven, humbled himself, and took on human flesh, and lived a perfect sinless life to fulfill the righteous requirement of God’s Law on our behalf.
God is holy, and demands perfect obedience. But because of sin, we are unholy, and because of that, we were under God’s wrath and judgment.
The wages of sin is death.
And our sin against an infinite holy God, demands justice. Every person outside of Christ deserves eternal conscious torment in hell because our sin demands judgment.
Otherwise God is not holy, just or good. Another way to say that is that if God did not punish sin, he would not be God.
But that’s why he sent Jesus.
Out of love for broken rebellious creatures, God sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sin.
A propitiation is a sacrifice that satisfies the wrath of God as a substitute who takes the place of the sinner who deserves that wrath themselves.
He himself bore our sins, our burden, in his body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24).
On the cross, Jesus paid for our sins. He suffered and died as a man under the wrath of God for the sins of everyone that would believe in him.
And three days later, he rose again conquering sin, Satan, and death to forgive our sins and give us eternal life.
This is how God has loved you. And if you are still dead in your sin. If you feel guilt and shame and conviction right now, Jesus says come to me all of you who are heavy laden, everyone who can’t carry their burden of sin anymore, and he will give you rest.
Believe in Christ, and he will save you from the wrath to come, by taking your sin, your burden, and nailing it to the cross.
And what does John say? What should this amazing gospel truth do in the lives of those that believe it? Immediately after this in verse 11...
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Jesus said how we love one another shows the world that we are his disciples and our love for one another is the proof to a lost and dying world that the Father sent the Son, and has the power to forgive sins.
A fruitful church must love one another practically because when we bear one another’s burdens, all we are doing is proclaiming that Jesus Christ bore our burden. And he can bear your's too.
How we love one another and provide for one another’s urgent needs in a tangible practical way, proclaims the good news of Jesus Christ in real time and reminds us of just how much God has loved us in Him.
Here again, just like with the last point, you are great at this.
Every time we have a care calendar when someone has a baby or gets sick, you have to look quick or else all the spots are filled.
When someone comes under an urgent need, your Community Groups rally to bear that burden for one another.
Anytime something happens, you are always asking what can we do? How can we help?
Like Paul told the Thessalonians: Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another (1 Thes. 4:9).
All I can say is keep going. And thank you for being such a faithful church that loves Jesus Christ.
A healthy church is a fruitful church.
A healthy church is a fruitful church.
That should be our aim, and everything in us should strive for fruitfulness.
We need to be Kingdom focused, both individually and corporately.
Intentional with our lives to further the work of Christ’s Kingdom.
Constantly preaching to ourselves He Not Me.
And serving faithfully and sacrificially wherever God has placed us.
We need to be Kingdom minded. Support mission work and mission efforts as God gives opportunity so that the gospel would go forth not just here, but in the world.
And we need to love one another practically remembering just how much God has loved us in Christ.
Finally Paul closes Titus saying All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.
If we want to be a healthy church, we need God’s grace. Only God’s grace can keep us in sound doctrine, help us grow in holiness, and it is only by God’s grace that we will bear fruit.
May we be a church that depends on him with our whole heart, begging him to move in our church, make us healthy, and give us a fruitful ministry.
John 17:20-26 I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.