Google+ 11/21/12 Not Me Titus!

Titus 2:11-15

 

For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 

And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures.

We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,

While we look forward with hope to that wonderful day

When the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.

He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us,

And to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.

You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them.

You have the authority to correct them when necessary,

So don’t let anyone disregard what you say.

 

 
This is a powerful piece of Scripture that really tells us everything we as Christians need to know.  The problem with this passage is about 50% of it we really don't want to hear!  Titus was part of the circle of young men who were the "many witnesses" that traveled with the apostle Paul.  Unlike Timothy,  who was half Jewish and half Gentile, Titus was purely of Gentile extraction (Galatians 2:1-3).  While Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to provide leadership, he left Titus in Crete to do the same thing (Titus 1:5).  It was during his time in Crete (64-66 A.D.) that Paul wrote this letter, instructing and encouraging Titus in God's ways for the church.  It was important for Paul to tell the Gentile Titus that God's grace brings the opportunity for salvation to all men.  Paul then instructs Titus to tell the people in Crete that they should turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. The only way we can live in this evil world is by being devoted to God and using wisdom to discern righteousness. While we are here in this evil world working hard for God, our eyes should be focused on the Glory of God that will be revealed in Jesus Christ in His second coming.  Paul finishes his instruction by telling Titus that he must  teach these things and encourage believers to be obedient.  What if they don't listen?  Paul says that Titus has God's authority to correct them and to let no one ignore what he says.  Here's an idea.  How about all of us do what Titus says?  Those of us that teach need to teach these truths all the time.  We need to be clear and concise and obedient, heeding our own words.  All those that listen, must obey God's word.  Being a teacher, this is where I would like to ask all of you to "not shoot the messenger!"  After all, the words are from Him, not us teachers.  Let's keep our eyes on Heaven and be focused on Jesus at all times.  We should avoid the pitfalls of godless living and sinful pleasures.  Hopefully, you are nodding your head at this point in joyful splendor and saying "Of course, that is exactly what we should do!"  So far so good.  But what happens when we don't obey?  We must be held accountable by God and our teachers.  Whoops!  Now you are saying "You mean someone might tell me I'm doing the wrong things and the Bible says I need to change?"  That's what our Scripture today says, so yes.  This is the part we don't like.  Repeated, ungodly behavior, left unchecked, hurts God and His people and glorifies Satan.  While we may not want to admit that the Bible, most always, is quite direct about right and wrong, that doesn't change the facts.  What did Paul tell Titus?   He said "Don't let anyone disregard what you say."  I coined a phrase in Christian management a long time ago.  I am sure others have said it, but I claim it!  We have to inspect what we expect.  Let's do that, teachers and students.  We probably are not going to want to hear these words spoken to Titus by God through Paul, but after all, He is God the Almighty.  We should listen!   
 
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