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September 30, 2022 8:00 am
Scripture comes to us and grabs us and looks us in the eye and says pay attention. As for you, this is what you are to do.
There is a different standard, beloved for you and me than what is in the world. This passage calls us to respond to the word of God that pulpit with Don green founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio hi Bill and today is Don continues teaching God's people. God's word is going to show us how to recognize false teaching and how to respond to it and done every time you turn around like some charlatan is spewing some un-biblical nonsense doesn't, you know, my friend listening to us today. It would be easy to get discouraged if you love truth and you see all of the opponents of truth that that have influence in the church and in society. It's important for us to have more than an emotional reaction to these things and I speak to you as a pastor today you and I simply need to devote ourselves to serious, long-term study of the word of God for the sake of our own souls and for the sake of those that we love Scripture told us that it was going to be like that in first John chapter 4 verse one it says many false prophets have gone out into the world that was true in the apostolic age, it's no surprise it's true today.
That's why we study the Bible together every day here on the truthful. Thanks Don and Fred, if you're ready, let's get started.
Here is our teacher. With today's lesson from the truthful everything that we do and everything that we think comes under the comprehensive Lordship and authority of Jesus Christ and so for some that's an alien concept to the way that they think about salvation and even for many, even if they embrace that in principle they distance themselves from it.
In practice well. Titus two helps us to overcome all of those things and what we see in this chapter. Beloved is is this this is more than simply us coming to the word of God and trying to find things that will help us live rightly okay does that and we can do that. But there's more going on here than that it's not simply a matter of our self-improvement when we come to this text in Scripture. What we see happening is this is the Lord Jesus Christ himself through his word is coming to us and asserting his supremacy over every aspect of our lives.
This is Christ through his word, asserting his will upon us and calling us to greater conformity to come out from the world to be set apart and to be devoted completely to his purposes, so that we would be his people, his possession, zealous for him and zealous to do everything that he's called us to do this is lofty. This is surpassing to grow in our our actual desire for sanctification.
Do not just go through the motions and not just earn our living and just go through life and enjoy the good things that the earth has to offer.
But to come to the place where our hearts are our burden for truth that were eager to know truth and eager to apply truth to our lives, and I'm grateful as I see the Lord bringing people to our church, new people to our church, new life and new blood who have come for precisely that reason, we just want the truth is what I've heard so many new people say over the past several weeks and so, as the Lord does this in our lives.
These know providentially he's going to use chapter 2 to advance his purposes in each one of us because it applies to every one of us as we saw the sun umbrellas, comprehensive over all of us in Titus chapter 2, but it's also over us corporately as well. In my prayer and my desires is that the Lord would use this to to deepen our commitment to the truth that we committed ourselves to deepen that work and that he would transform us into a people that are even more for his possession even more zealous for good works, but the question for each one of you is that your desire as well.
Is this what you embrace for what you want or are you just comfortable and satisfied in your own level of attainment spiritually and feeling not feeling much need to go beyond it was where you're at. Well if that's the case. May the Lord stir in your heart and wake you because we all stumble in many ways.
We all need to be reproved, corrected, and trained in righteousness by the very word of God so we embark on this wonderful journey now as we come to chapter 2. Just let me reset the context for you a little bit.
Paul had just addressed in chapter 1, the need for Titus to refute false teachers. You see it in verses 10 and 11 of chapter 1 he just set forth qualifications for elders and emphasize the importance of elders doing this at the end of verse nine.
They need to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict lesson a biblical ministry is going to repel people certain people that have Have wrong biblical convictions that are interested in sound doctrine who contradict it either in their teaching, or in their living that is unavoidable in biblical ministry there is a dividing line that comes in biblical ministry and elders are charged to the press that and to make it clear to build people up in sound doctrine.
Yes of course that's essential, but also there is this element of refuting those who contradict dismantling and and destroying their philosophies and speculations and you will see even in chapter 3 that those who cause divisions are to be reproved and rejected in chapters 3 verses 10 and 11. There is an avoidable element of that in biblical ministry. We must understand that beloved, we must realize that the Lord separates the wheat from the tears.
He separates the wheat from the chaff that is going to be an inevitable byproduct of biblical ministry could be no other way and it is stated very clearly here as a responsibility of elders to identify those issues and to make the teaching clear upon them. So he says that at the end of verse nine and he goes on, and he addresses it in verse 10 where he says, for there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, meaning Jewish, the Jewish influence in the church. What are we to do with them what was Titus to do with them. Verse 11 who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain in verse 16.
Paul goes on to say, they profess to know God, but by their deeds. They deny him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.
So Paul has identified the need for elders and he is identified specifically that the contrary subversive elements that are in the church at that time that needed to be refuted and silenced in order to advance the health of the overall body of Christ and and to protect the people that come under the realm of the umbrella of the biblical ministry part of the elders responsibility is is to silence those those voices and to refute and redirect those influences that would undermine godliness in the lives of the redeemed. Why so that Christ could have a people for his own possession, zealous for good deeds see this is this is intrinsic in biblical ministry. This is essential to biblical ministry and churches that that try to just avoid that and just smooth over everything with everybody is much as they can and never engage in conflict and never fight for doctrine, never advance doctrine and say this is true in this is not true, are not fulfilling the spirit of New Testament ministry and so you hear truth, community church, you and I need to understand these things and realize realize the purpose of God is revealed in his word through what is happening in so with that little bit of background.
Chapter 1 ended with this with this note of how you deal with with wolves in the midst now in chapter 2 is a pivot point. There is a turning point.
He's now going to address matters within the body of Christ, and he turns to the positive instruction that builds up the church were going to see three principles from just from verse one chapter 2 verse one. Let's read that one verse again here.
Notice the contrast but as for you, is making a contrast now between the false teachers and the subversive influences that he was addressing at the end of chapter 1 now is pivoted and said now Titus I'm going to talk to you about what you do in the midst of this, as you are establishing elders as you are establishing the church. Here's what you are to do. He says chapter 2 verse one but as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine surrender to see three principles from just that one verse. Actually it's amazing how much God packs into a short passage of Scripture. The first of all we want to see the good distinction. The good distinction that Paul is laying down for Titus one of the things I love about the book of Titus and about this particular point in the book is that it clarifies where the battle is in it clarifies the instructions for the soldier of Christ gives him his marching orders and makes it clear what is to be done, what is to be thought and what is to be acted upon what Paul is doing here in chapter 2 verse one is he is emphasizing the constructive teaching that is to be put forward by Titus in his ministry that opening phrase there. But as for you, it sets up a sharp contrast, one of the things that we have to do is we have to we have to look at what's happening in the world around us and recognize the evil that is in it. We have to look at broad trends within the so-called evangelical church recognize the good and recognize a lot of bad that's going on in it and even coming in more personally coming into the church and realizing that not everybody in the body of Christ is necessarily the greatest example for us to follow. We have to beloved, we have to think and and recognize what is going on so that we can distinguish the influences that we should embrace and follow, and even the people that we should embrace and follow and then the influences, and people that should be rejected because they are not on the path that leads to godliness, and so Paul, having outlined everything in verse one about the false teachers constitute Titus and he says, but as for you, what I'm about to describe is a little bit too harsh for the setting, but it will make the point. It is as though Paul and Titus had been kind of looking around and surveying you picture them surveying the landscape around them and then Paul steps into Titus's line of vision puts his hands gently but firmly over Titus's face and says, Titus, look at me, look me in the eye. This is what you are to do in the midst of this landscape. Here's what you are to do. He's looking Titus straight in the eye and saying now in light of all of this difficulty that's going on here is your responsibility, young man, this is what you must do. I cannot do this myself. You have to do it this is your charge from God for what you are to do and now beloved for each one of you in the room Scripture, by extension, is coming to you and gently but firmly putting putting the loving hands of a sovereign Savior against your spiritual cheeks.
You might say looking you straight in the eye and saying this is what you must do in response to what you see going around you and remember this is the Lord Jesus Christ communicating and commanding to his people what they are to do through his word. Look at chapter 2 verse 15 with me again, we've seen that everyone is addressed by an older men and women, younger men and women, children, everybody's under the under the authority of this text. What Scripture says in verse 15 what Paul said to Titus what carries over to the church today is this these things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority literally with all command.
This is a full and authoritative word from God as to what you must do and let no one disregard you. We are not free to to take pick and choose here what we like and what we don't like what will be comfortable with the world and not only bring us into too much conflict within the world within the church were not free to that and so Scripture comes to us individually comes to us corporately and grabs us and looks us in the eye and says pay attention.
As for you, this is what you are to do this is how you are to respond.
There's a distinction there is a different standard, beloved for you and me than what is in the world.
There is a different standard than what is acceptable in a lot of churches, so-called churches today we come to Scripture directly and we say Lord speak give me instruction tell me what you will you want and I will believe and I will have faith and I will do that is the spirit in which this passage calls us to respond to the word of God and not everybody's there not everybody's there not everybody's earnest about these things.
What will it be with you will be with you as we come to God's word here today.
You young people, even, are you going to take your cues from the way that your friends act and take your cues from their carnal, dismissive behavior, their indifference to the word of God. Are you going to blend in like a chameleon with them so that you can be accepted by them or will you stand apart from that and say no no God but God saved me. I might be zealous for good works, and I might be a people for his own possession and whatever that means. I'm going to I'm going to pay attention when God looks me in the eye from Scripture. I'm going to look back.
I'm going to stare into the eyes of Scripture and say yes I want him up the spirit of God to conform my life to what God says here see our spiritual commitments here that are just running everywhere in every aspect of life.
Arthur so what does Paul say to Titus here in verse one well.
Titus has a different standard Titus here the good distinction is what were seeing what Paul is saying to Titus. First of all is that he in this good distinction he is to be distinct in ministry distinct in ministry. That's a subheading under the first point. The good distinction Titus is to be distinct in ministry and what elders in particular that every Christian is to be distinct in is that we must recognize false teaching and rejected decisively were not in a position we don't have the liberty to just get along with everybody who teaches who teach things or practices. Things that contradict Scripture were not at liberty to just say that's okay. They have their truth. I have mine. It's not like that in biblical life in biblical ministry in biblical thinking. Paul tells Titus, you must stand apart from the false teachers that I just been talking about. You must stand apart with sound doctrine with healthy teaching look at it there in verse one, but as for you Titus use speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine you think about what you believe and you contemplate what you say before you say it so that you know what the truth is, and that you're mindful of the way that it is being articulated so that it will have a healthful impact on those who here and upon your own soul you see church leadership not only condemns error but it builds people and what the truth is, and you can see this and other pastoral epistles of Paul Road turned back just a couple of pages in your Bible to first Timothy chapter 6, first Timothy chapter 6 verses three through five.
To start with first Timothy chapter 6 verse three what the Bible says about false teaching.
If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness. He is conceded and understands nothing, but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words out of which arise in the strife abusive language, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of depraved mind, and deprived of the truth you suppose that godliness is a means of gain says look at the false teachers and Paul gives an ace spirit inspired analysis of their of their thinking. The impact of their teaching and the motivations which cause them to do that and then goes on in verse verse 10 as he describes in verse 10 becomes a bridge and from the negative into the positive.
He says for the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs a look at what it does in verse 11. It is the exact same concept of what he's doing and Titus two, verse one. He has spoken about false teachers and now he redirects the conversation, he grabs Timothy as it were by both sides of his face and he says Timothy look at me, looking me in the eye. Timothy and pay attention to what I am about to say, so that because I am addressing you now verse 11, he says, but flee from these things you man of God and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness fight the good fight of faith take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses, elders, including those who aspire for spiritual leadership know we have a lot of men in our church that are that are starting to devote themselves to serious reading serious study in one way or another and I'm very very encouraged by that elders church leadership and those who aspire for church leadership must understand this crucial point that the responsibility for church leaders is to speak the truth of God is revealed in Scripture and to speak it with depth.
God's word is to be taught with depth, not with superficiality. I can't remember as I'm standing here where the church was or who it was that told me that somewhere a few years ago there was a church that was going to start a big important series on the book of Ephesians. Well, that sounded. That sounded great at the time, and those who love the word of God that were in the environment of the times. Okay this is the one address things and not when I get to hear the truth from Ephesians and were church stands on this, but it ended up being one of five or six weeks series that started in chapter 2 verse 15 skipping over everything about election and the triune work of God in salvation in Ephesians chapter 1 and the depravity of man in chapter 2 verses one through three and monitor gestic salvation and work verses four through 10 and the necessity to live good works after a life after coming to Christ in faith skipped over all of that. That's not that's not serious, beloved that slicing and dicing the word of God to your own effect in your own desires is not teaching the word of God in depth. Paul tells Timothy look at it again, chapter 6, verse 12 said fight the good fight of faith take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses look beloved look the duty and the responsibility of the church. If not, and if not every individual man of God, the responsibility of biblical ministry is to teach the whole counsel of God, and to teach it accurately to teach the whole counsel not to pick and choose just was series of topical messages that never go through anything systematically but avoid the hard truths of Scripture because it might drive someone away. Someone might get offended. Someone might someone might get angry if there called to repent from their sins. Someone might get get offended if a personal matter and their families addressed as being ungodly and something that requires attention biblical ministry doesn't have the luxury of just passing over those things for the sake of what extends the most the broadest but the most superficial veneer that allows everybody to come in and be comfortable that's not biblical ministry, beloved for those of you that love the truth and I know that so many of you do that kind of ministry should not even be attractive to you. It should not be appealing to you to realize that those who avoid the difficult truths of Scripture are not giving you biblical ministry if you love the word of God. If you love the word of God and you wanted in all of its fullness in May we be ready to speak out in love against those who would add to or take away from God's holy word will friends.
We are so glad you decided to spend some of your very precious time with us today here on the truth pulpit with Don Greene if you'd like to find out more about this ministry, we invite you to visit the truth. Pulpit.com and if you like to send us a note of encouragement, you can do that at our site as well. Again, that's the truth. Pulpit.com Pineville right inviting you to join us next time. As Don Greene continues teaching God's people.