Sunday, October 04, 2009
Titus 2 Why you should adorn the teaching of God our Savior in everything.
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, with salvation for all people,
12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age,
13 while we wait for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
14 He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a special people, eager to do good works.
15 Say these things, and encourage and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
Adorning the gospel of God our Saviour. Do you know someone whose life adorns the gospel. Everything about them breathes "Jesus" I remember talking to a very godly man, Ian North who had arrived abck in Australia after a lifetime overseas as a missionary in India and then in the USA, and he said, "Yesterday we went to church up the road here and I heard the most godly man I have ever heard speak!" I said, "Oh that must be Dudley Foord!" Ian said "I don't know who he is, but he is the most godly man I have ever met!" Ian's wife drew out of her handbag a church bulletin, and sure enough, it was Dudley Foord. A man whose life breathed Jesus!
Grace alone is the motivation for godly living.
So often fear is seen to be a motivator. Fear that God will hurt you if you sin. Its like two boys talking on their way home from school. I remember my mate Malcolm saying to me as we walked home, "Let's steal the money out of the phone box." I said "No Way!" He said, "Aww yo're just scared that your father will hurt you if he finds out!"
I was honestly surprised a that. Did his father hurt him? No I said, "I am scared that I will hurt my father if he finds out!"
Grace and love are the most wonderful of motivators.
Here the apostle Paul reminds us of Two appearances of Grace: the appearance of 'the grace of God that brings salvation'; and parallel with that, though at the same time contrasted with it, 'the glorious appearing of the great God.'
The in breaking and the breaking through.
"It is the grace of God and the glory of God that Paul highlights in Titus 2:11-15. What He discusses concerning these 2 realities can also can be summed up in one word: Jesus. What is it that God wants us to know and embrace when it comes to the "glory of the only begotten Son, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14)?
There is the appearance of God's grace (v. 11) and God's glory (v. 13). Both appearances speak of the same thing: Jesus. The grace that has appeared speaks of His 1st coming. The glory that will appear speaks of His 2nd coming." Danny Akin
The Glory of God! Could you imagine ever seeing the glory of God?
Moses wanted to see it " Show me your glory!" Exodus 33: 18 Then Moses said, "Please, let me see Your glory." 19 He said, "I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim the name Yahweh before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." 20 But He answered, "You cannot see My face, for no one can see Me and live." 21 The Lord said, "Here is a place near Me. You are to stand on the rock, 22 and when My glory passes by, I will put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take My hand away, and you will see My back, but My face will not be seen."
John 1:18 No one has ever seen God.
The 'glory of God,' I believe, in one very important sense, is His 'grace.' The highest glory of God is the exhibition of forgiving and long-suffering love. Nothing can be grander. Nothing can be more majestic. Nothing, in the very profoundest sense of the word, can be more truly divine — more lustrous with all the beams of manifest deity, than the gentle raying forth of His mercy and His goodness.
Micah 7: 18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
Moses said, 'I beseech thee show me thy glory.' The answer was 'I will make all my goodness pass before thee.' He could only see a little.
But the grace has appeared, when Divine Love is incarnate among us. The long-suffering gentleness we have seen. And in it we have seen, in a very real sense, the glory, for 'we beheld His glory, full of grace.'
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the • One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 16 Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from His fullness, 17 for although the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. The One and Only Son— the One who is at the Father's side— He has revealed Him.
Can we see the grace of God? We can see the love in exercise, cannot we? How? John 14:9 "Have I been among you all this time without your knowing Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?" The appearance of Christ was the making visible, in human form, of the love of God.
But yet there lies a further glory ready to be revealed in the last time, the glory, the lustrous light, the majestic splendour, the flaming fire the Lord Jesus' manifest Divinity. The grace has appeared. The glory is to appear. 'Why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go.' Hebrews 9:27 And just as it is appointed for people to die once—and after this, judgment— 28 so also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.
1. God's Grace Climaxes in Release
11 For the grace of God has appeared, with salvation for all people,
Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity,
Himself,' This is the supreme token of love everywhere the natural expression of love everywhere. There was one Man who willed to be Man, and whose not being 'ashamed to call us brethren,' and taking upon Himself part of the children's flesh and blood, was the supreme instance of condescending self-abandonment and bestowment. It began earlier in the Divine purposes of God when the Son decided that He would forever take human flesh and be the Saviour of a world that rejected Him. And He would do that by finally giving Himself for us at the cross.
'He gave Himself for us.'
But Jesus Christ takes us one by one, and 'He gave Himself for us' because 'He gave Himself for me,' for you and you. For us as individuals.
And He gave Himself for us
He gave Himself for us Jesus came to bring you Release from Condemnation
Redemption is a word for condemned people.
Romans 8:1 Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus
What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh like ours under sin's domain, and as a sin offering,
He gave Himself for us Jesus came to bring you Release from Conviction
Redemption is a word for convicts. For criminals who have broken the Law of God.
A 12-year-old boy accidentally killed one of his family's geese by throwing a stone. Figuring his parents wouldn't notice that one of the 24 birds was missing, he buried it.. But his sister called him aside and said, "I saw what you did. If you don't offer to do the dishes tonight, I'll tell Mother." The frightened boy felt bound to do the dishes. Later, he surprised his sister by telling her it was her turn. When she quietly reminded him of what she could do, he replied, "I've already told Mother, and she has forgiven me. Now you do the dishes. I'm free again!" Are you burdened down with guilt? Confess it and taste again the delicious freedom of God's grace!
He gave Himself for us Jesus came to bring you Release from Chains
Redemption is a word for slaves. Beneath the term redemption is the image of a slave set free by a ransom.
Long my imprisoned spirit lay fast bound in sin and nature's night, Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke the dungeon flamed with light. My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose went forth and followed Thee
2. God's Grace Culminates in Rescue
God's Grace More Greatly Shall Yet Appear
13 while we wait for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
A Glad Hope
Do YOU eagerly await the coming of Christ? And I don't mean: do you believe in the doctrine? Do you eagerly await him? This is a very crucial test of the genuineness of your faith. Peter said in his first letter (2:7), "To you who believe he is precious." And so the preciousness of Christ is the evidence of your faith. And the anticipation of his coming is the evidence of his preciousness. And therefore you can test the reality of your faith by whether you are eagerly waiting for Christ's coming. I don't mean that you must think about the second coming all the time. Even when you are in love you don't think about your sweetheart all the time. Rather, ask yourself these three questions: 1) Does your mind return frequently to the truth of Christ's appearing? 2) When your mind turns to the truth of his appearing does your heart want it -- is there an eagerness to see him? 3) Do you pray for his coming -- Maranatha, praised the early church! Come, Lord Jesus!
Paul said in Phil.3:20, "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."
Heb.11:10 says of Abraham, "He waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God."
Peter wrote in 2 Pet 3:12 that he was "looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God."
As Paul wrote in 1 Cor.1:7, we should all be "eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ."
A Glorious Hope
It is "the appearing of THE GLORY of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ." Listen to John's attempt to put this into words in Revelation: I saw...one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden girdle round his breast; his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters; in his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth issued a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. (Revelation 1:13-16)
Behold he is coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; and he will send our his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. And we shall glorify the Lord and enjoy his greatness for ever and ever.
Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award tome on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
3. God's Grace Causes recovery
Titus 2:12 deals a death blow and puts to an end once and for all "any theology that separate salvation from the demands of obedience to the Lordship of Christ." (Mounce, 423).
This wonderful Saviour who gave Himself for us like a key, unlocks the rusty gates of our wills and spirits and sets us free to become something we could never have become by our own natures and wills. Because it is God's Grace that Motivates Us. Here is the lever that moves the world: 'He gave Himself for us.' Paul has been setting forth the appearing of the grace of God as having the great purpose the producing of a holy and godly character and conduct.
I could not work my soul to save, that work my Lord has done,
But I will work like any slave for love of God's dear Son.
Say No to Godlessness
Ungodliness-- is living without reverence toward the Lord. To "deny ungodliness" is to say "NO" to "TURN FROM IT, REJECT IT."
We are to deny acts of ungodliness
We will want to read God's word. We will want to seek the Lord's face. We will want to do the Lord's will because He is precious to us.
Say No to Lusts Lusts are normal, God-given desires that go out of control.
What are "worldly lusts?" Chysostom said that "worldly things… are the things that do not pass over with us into heaven but are dissolved together with this present world" (Barclay, p.256).
Let's examine 1 Jn.2:15-17. Here we see three types of "worldly lusts:" 1) "the lust of the flesh" [fleshly desires - sex, food, drugs, alcohol, etc…], 2) "the lust of the eyes" [material desires – money, homes, cars , etc…], and 3) "the pride of life" [arrogant desires – prestige, power, fame etc…].
When we lust, our desires are out of control. The Holy Spirit is not in control when we lust. In lust we give control of our minds to our flesh. In other words, to lust is to go out of our minds… temporary insanity!
Therefore, we are to deny anything that causes us to lust or temporarily give up control of our minds. Why? Because what you put in your mind continually will come out in your life.
Grace teaches us to live "Soberly." The word "sober" or "soberly" literally translates "with sound mind." To be sober is the opposite of being drunk. It is the antithesis of being controlled by "worldly lusts." It means being in control. Interestingly, this is the fourth time it is mentioned in the letter (cf. 1:8; 2:2; 6).
Because we experience God's grace, we are to control ourselves, keeping in step with the Holy Spirit. Gal.5:16 says, "Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh."
Say No to lawlessness
As the Bible tells us, the basic principle behind sin is a rebellion against - or failure to measure up to the standards of - God's holy law. "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness," John tells us; "and sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3:4). Sin is a matter of behavior that is "lawless" in nature. And in this morning's passage, we see that Jesus died in order to "redeem us from every lawless deed" [that is, from a life-style of disobedience to God's law], "and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works". Can you see how "good works" are presented to us here as the opposite of "lawless deeds"? God's great program of grace through Jesus Christ, then, seeks to transform people from being condemned "law-breakers" to redeemed and purified "law-abiders".
Now remember that our obligation to the law is not as that which makes us righteous before God; because our righteousness before God is already settled - having been imparted to us through Christ alone. But having been made 100% righteous in Christ, the law is to now be our pattern of behavior as those who have been declared "righteous by faith." The law is not what we now obey in order to make ourselves righteous; but is rather the definition of the way we now live having already been declared righteous by faith! If you understand this, you will be equipped to understand the impact the Ten Commandments are now to have in your life.
Say Yes to Being His "and to cleanse for Himself a special people"
Jesus gave Himself to build up "His own special people." The KJV says, "peculiar people." Granted, some of God's people are awfully peculiar, but that's not the idea here! The word "special" means "reserved for." It was used in classic literature to describe the spoils of battle that a conquering king reserved for himself. From eternity past, God has been building us a "special people" for His own glory. If you are born again, you are included in the people that are God's own special possession.
2 Corinthians 6 And what agreement does God's sanctuary have with idols? For we are the sanctuary of the living God, as God said: I will dwell among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.17 Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord; do not touch any unclean thing, and I will welcome you.18 I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.
The doctrine of salvation can appropriately be discussed in 3 tenses: past, present and future.
Past: delivered from sin's penalty → justification.
Present: delivered from sin's power → sanctification.
Future: delivered from sin's presence → glorification.
In these verses Paul addresses all 3. Sin's penalty in v.11, 14. Sin's power in v. 12, 14.
And Sin's presence in v. 13.
What security is ours!
- Once we were Satan's, now we are the Son's.
- Once we were sins, now we are the Saviour's.
- Once we were foreigners, now we are family.
* Now I belong to Jesus *
"Jesus my Lord will love me forever, From Him no power of evil can sever.
He gave His life to ransom my soul, Now I belong to Him.
Now I belong to Jesus. Jesus belongs to me. Not for the years of time alone, But for eternity.
Wonderful grace of Jesus, Greater than all my sin.
How shall my tongue describe it, Where shall my praise begin?
Taking away my burden, setting my spirit free,
For the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me.
- Wonderful grace of Jesus, Reaching the most defiled.
By its transforming power, making him God's dear child.
Purchasing peace and heaven, For all eternity
And the wonderful grace of Jesus reaches me!
Next week.. what it means to say yes to good works
Say Yes to Good Works
Look over to 3:8. Underline this verse both in your Bible and in your mind, "This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works…" not works to avoid guilt, but because of grace!