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March 8, 2022 12:00 am
In Titus 3, the Apostle Paul gives an interesting command to Titus to warn a divisive person twice and, then, if he or she still doesn't repent, break fellowship with them. This is a harsh punishment. What is Paul referring to as 'divisive'? Is it bickering and quarreling between church members or something more? Pastor Stephen Davey tells us in part one of his message 'Warning: Two Strikes and You're Out.'
Cost let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you are called in one body and let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one. That word admonish literally means to correct one who is at fault and get this. It's the same root word Paul uses here in Titus three for warning. We all know that it doesn't always work that way. Sometimes there is no repentance in those situations, God mandates more severe response is actually a very difficult command to obey unity in the church is so important that God commands the removal of contentious people.
After two warnings stay with us as Steven David explains this biblical truth in today's lesson called warning to strikes and you're out back in the text. Paul describes this factious person with knowing verse 11 knowing that such a man is here is first of all, perverted.
The only time you find that word in that form in the New Testament.
You might think he's referring to sexual immorality. The idea of perversion. He's not the word he's using is a word that refers to a person whose mind is turned around.
He's just you can use the word slanted is tilted whenever slanted skewered thinkers direct traffic in the assembly collisions are going to take place.
Paul is on.
Secondly, this internationally slanted, but there sitting in other words, they think they represent the truth. But they missed the target they think they've hit a bull's-eye with their opinion or their perspective, but they haven't even hit the side of the barn. They've actually wandered off the path they are completely missing the mark is in line. You'll notice thirdly he says of them. Not only are they slanted and sinning, but they are self condemn price. He knows what he's doing what he's saying all along. That's why you don't have to give them to three or 356 10 warnings. She gets right in his commentary.
The problem with dealing with an individual like this and why they only get to strikes is because they are receiving at this point emotional satisfaction from creating controversy in the church today and this is great. They must be stopped.
He writes, in fact, he says in his commentary. There is only one recourse for Titus and that is radical surgery, but give him a warning and then another fact, the word used for warning here is wonderfully loaded word to compound what it means to put to the mind it's it's the root word we've used to create new theft counseling put to the mind the truth so this this isn't then just one cryptic quick warning. This is more like an extended conversation and a first warning where you put to their mind that as you expose to them the error of their way you exposed to them you bring to their mind the potential consequences according to the Scriptures you bring to them the damage they are doing and that's why you only need one more warning after that. Why because they got it the first time they understood second warning pulled out of the game so to speak, but to quit on their own confuse past for many years Road. That's because they actually love the fight they enjoy the tantalizing controversy. They thrive on being the person in the know and the one who really has the story straight. They love the shock on people's faces when they tell them what so and so did or said in her favorite expression in the assembly is something like you won't believe what I found out, and the division begins concrete being and crawling like poison ivy through the body at unsuspecting people just happened to wander in infection begins to spread the pastor of many years, Chuck Swindoll, who wrote in his commentary on this verse with seasoned wisdom and advice. Now in his middle 70s. He writes the battle hardened apostle wanted to prepare his young protégé Titus for the conflicts awaiting effective spiritual leadership does everything with compassion, but never at the expense of conviction never fails to confront when necessary and uses the same medical analogy that Jean gets his associate faculty used to be used.
He said just as a surgeon must cut out diseased tissue so leaders and churches must confront those who would infect the body of Christ with discord and divide congregations in the faction that he gives this particular pointed warning to those in leadership.
If the pastor elder Shepherd is not willing to love his congregation enough to risk misunderstanding and criticism. He should step aside and choose another less hazardous occupation will put we did not like saying no in the baseball umpire isn't quite able to bring himself to call the batter out if he is unable to say that's strike three.
You are out he really ought to be in another profession is the entire game can be ruined. Warning light is on can be among those would say well a lifetime to fix it cost too much and maybe that person will just fix themselves all by themselves.
Paul makes it painfully clear conversation have warning put into their mind and that they fail to respond because I don't want to because they prefer the fight remove them, which means as ironic as this sounds, as I study this text Paul's solution to dealing with a divisive person is to create division did you catch that there will be a division but it is to be a division between the flock and the person who persists in their unrepentant divisive agenda he or she is no longer allowed access to the body. There is a division there access their platform as it were, to the congregation is taken away the flock that is thus protected from that divisive spirits that slanted mindset is creating can create havoc in the flock is there will be a division it will be painful and time-consuming hurtful emotional even tearful the flock will divide this factious person away from themselves so that he or she can no longer continue in their unrelenting undermining attempts to create division among the flock.
By the way you combine this text for the other texts of the apostle Paul, and he makes it clear that there is to be no readmission until there is evidence of genuine repentance changed my but the church then becomes is is an outward demonstration a tool in the father's hand to reveal what is occurred physically in the loss of fellowship. Spiritually, the loss of fellowship with the father church demonstrates with the father is feeling the church demonstrates what is occurred in the loss of fellowship between the child and their Savior in demonstrating a loss of fellowship between the child. The member and the flock fellowship has been broken.
Division has occurred and we who are left in the body.
Pray that that breach will be restored only between believers but between us unrepentant lever and his Savior that he put together the various passages on dealing with excluding unrepentant believers from the church begin to discover action taking place on a couple different levels of bio asset something fairly quickly. Let me go back to make sure we understand exactly the key word I used. Excluding on repentant believers, unrepentant sinners if we excluded all sinners from the assembly who would be in here this morning. Paul is talking about a sinning believer who was warned and then warned again for his divisive spear's counsel is exhorted. He's brought perhaps before leadership on more than one occasion. He's played with the changes mind to leave that slanted perspective to see the larger picture stopped his divisive and disobedient behavior, but he refuses at that point action takes place on two level decisive action. The first level is on the level of leadership in the primary focus. You take all of the texts involved. Certainly this one. The Titus and this would be primarily applied at least foremost in his mind the Titus is the elder the other elders that he appoints in these churches. The primary focus at this point is on being protective they are actually attempting to protect this person from themselves. Leadership perhaps becomes aware, at some point.
This individual is effectively living a dangerous life of distorted values maybe a twisted sense of self-importance. Remember, Paula said that their thinking is upside down and inside out that slanted leadership understands that this kind of person is going to do nothing more than dismantle their lives. The price tag is going to be paid out over and over again throughout.
Perhaps the rest of their lives.
Greater danger is ahead.
When Christian put it this way's of my most painful experiences have been what I've had a problem or sin in my life and no one loved me enough to tell me about confront me leadership attempts to protect the brother or sister by exposing their sin and confronting her spirit.
This is really just one aspect of discipleship has it ever occurred to you the discipline and discipleship come from the same root. When those attempts fail in the person effectively refuses to be disciple leadership that attempts to protect the flock to protect the flock. That's why I think in this particular genre of thought.
Titus chapter 3, you don't have the link the steps of Matthew chapter 18 were in Matthew's gospel you have witnesses and several steps of corroborating evidence and public warnings etc. etc. there have been a few than try to stuff Matthew 18 in the Titus chapter 3 in the language just doesn't allow it and that made me wonder why would you be so decisive warned twice and then dismissed quite possible that Paul is concerned, the Titus taken a quicker path simply because of a divisive person is capable of influencing so many people so quickly in such a short amount of time he can race through an assembly, especially the smaller become the focus. I have seen it ripped, especially those smaller congregations apart if Titus will be decisive tremendous amount of entering a tremendous amount of drama and further taking upsides will no longer quite make it the center stay dealt with. Put it this way. Titus is told and were told the same thing that I don't to effectively put out the campfire because before it becomes a forest fire. It will spread deal with this on the level of leadership when I was in South America. It was interesting. I met with groups of pastors in Venezuela and Colombia in planning, Lord willing to head to Ecuador this coming summer. Few words days and some rallies I found very interesting is just a quick announcement was made that any pastor could come with 50 in each city, and among their top three questions. The question was this one.
How do you deal with an unrepentant person in the body tearing churches support the entire flock ends up suffering member learning this early on that understanding with the Bible really said about all the members of college due to my senior year for a while serving as a music pastor in a church relative acquire in the parish and singing wished I'd had the talent of her friend on her forget this. In the choir. It was already buzzing and I was in there very long before some leaders with in the car came to me and they said listen Stephen you need understand it, the leading soloist in our choir is having an affair with a man in town and we don't want to do about she happened to be the daughter of one of the leading deacons in the church so I went to the pastor and I assume you didn't know, and I said you know years was gone and her forget he, scrunched up his nose like this for any said well you know I we really can't be sure we probably ought to just leave it alone as it will have to quires preacher. That's all are talking about. Should we get to the bottom of the lease find out. She never did biblically and I watch that one woman impede effective forward movement of that little church is mind dealing with sin will involve the level of leadership. Secondly, dealing with sin will involve the level of membership numbers.
The body gets involved. Those who are aware the Internet is a well you know what the professionals handle that. Know that some of the Bible says while the primary focus of leadership is protective at the point of awareness. The primary focus of the body is proactive that Paul told the congregation in Colossae that little church to write this to them and we we know this text, but I will point out something that you may not be aware of. He said this way let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts literally call the shots to which indeed you are called in one body that is beautiful. And be thankful while you're at it and let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another that word admonish literally means to correct one who is at fault and get this.
It's the same root word that Paul uses here in Titus three forewarning them, admonish one another is the same word for Warren that Paul is saying to the Colossian believers certainly to the Cretan believers to literally be proactive to be on the lookout to be engaged in a lifestyle that involves quick and ready warnings out allow you looking for the spec with a log sticking out of your eye. Certainly you see that brother or sister wandering off the path you see them growing the slanted, you hear them justifying sinful decision. It also will I tell the leaders get involved flock there are a myriad of issues that can create disgruntlement of this agreement.
Section Paul effectively challenges congregation don't wait in a wafer to leave the pastor of the flock to make its way to the shepherds counsel admonish one another. We share some practical experience in this regard may surprise you. Those of you who are in leadership, it won't, but the membership of the church will most often no about a divisive issue and/or a divisive person before the leadership is even aware of a problem. After 26 years of pastoring I can tell you firsthand that leaders most often find out about something. Only after the die is cast. Only after the cars off the cliff after the division is taken root after someone is made up their mind to leave after a decision is misinterpreted or misunderstood after the gossip and kinda makes the rounds have often commented elders are elder team that idling thing in the grave on the grapevine because all here the stuff after the disagreement has reached this boiling point is most often the leadership finds out.
According to Paul, and the wisdom of God. Proactivity occurs among the parishioners, you're probably going to spot it before we do.
You then offer prayer unit offer another side of the story. If you cannot, you promise to go with them to work it out.
You offer counsel you give the benefit of the doubt. Remind them of that remind them of the danger of divisiveness disrespect. Remind them of the trouble that they're heading for as they pursue this errant path. The body literally holds one another accountable. John Wesley heard that we saying Charles, one of his hymns. A few moments ago, John Wesley, with his brother founded the Methodist movement developed a series of questions posed to people who were considering joining their churches.
You will believe these questions and you think we got a tough year with his 12 week greenhouse class is on for ever and ever await weight have at these questions ready. Five of them number one does any sin inward or outward have dominion over you. Number two.
Do you desire to be told of your false number three. Do you desire to be told of all your falls. Number four. Do you desire that in doing this we should come as close as possible and search your heart to the last question, do you desire to be on this and on all other occasions entirely open without disguise and without reserve is going to join church it would happen that church exploded as a movement that you go back into American history and you'll discover that the Methodist Church was at one point the church planting Protestant denomination, who's going to join this people who are willing because they recognize the stakes are so high to be warned and admonish encouraged to be real genuine and unified. My younger brother now about to begin a second round of intensive chemotherapy for an aggressive brain tumor. Many of your pray for them is on our prayer list.
He is so grateful for that.
By the way his family live in Charlotte went to the hospital this past week to have a feeding tube inserted.
He's lost a lot of weight strengthened needs to build that up before they can begin the second round and he he is a is a great spirit and attitude realistic myth of the same time trusting the Lord. He called me last night and so what are you doing I knew was the medication is all Saturday night working on my sermon, but I can talk to you my sermon to be shorter. The correlational love me for that. While it is really shorter. After all, but talk away. We talked for an hour at a great when he went to the hospital they put a wristband on him that had the words printed on it fall risk, fall risk, he was at risk of falling so he wore that respin so that the staff and everyone around him would know that he could fall and stumble and they needed to be alert. His wife, Melinda, put a picture that bracelet online and as I saw that I couldn't help but agree that this was a wonderful metaphor for every one of us.
Maybe we audit distribute those respin all of this where remind ourselves that we are at risk of falling. I know I am do know that about yourself. We really need people the body to be alert to realize that we can bring something to some of the could cause them greater harm it would ever do us, we may engage them or involve them in something that could ruin the joy of their testimony. We need to remember we are at great risk of tripping, stumbling, falling every one of us can become slanted in our perspective distorted in our and our values disobedient our actions sinful in our choices we bring it in here and we can create the vision we can hurt our testimony we can hinder the joy of the flock to the assembly where we should becoming the retreats before our Lord for getting back out there is light can diminish because of our disunity. The awareness of our world. Great glory of God is solicitor pose, effectively writing stakes are beautiful. Although you are incredibly diversified be in your doctrine, centralize, and in your efforts energized to see the gospel. Let your life be divinely authorized so that the truth through you can be synthesized. Give your heart entirely mesmerized on your great God you wish. Glorify wisdom. This is an important lesson for all church leaders and church members, Stephen called this message warning to strikes and you're out wisdom for the heart is the Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey Stephen pastors the shepherd's church in Cary, North Carolina. You can learn more about us.
If you visit our website which is wisdom online.org. Once you go there, you'll be able to access the complete archive of Stephen's Bible teaching ministry. We also post each day's broadcast. So if you ever miss one of these lessons on the radio. You can go to our website to keep caught up with our daily Bible teaching ministry. The archive of Stephen's teaching is available on that site free of charge and you can access it firstname.lastname@example.org while you're there. We have a gift for you during the month of March. We have a free resource that were making available. Stephen has a booklet called the coming tribulation. In it he explores the future. Of time known as the great tribulation. This is a great resource to help you understand what the Bible says about the coming tribulation. This book is a free digital download that's available from our website go to wisdom online.org for information. There's a link on the homepage that will direct join us again next time here on wisdom