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Titus 1 vv 1 -4 pt 2 ... how Paul could keep on getting out of bed every morning

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Slides that accompany the video at http://youtu.be/C_-7FEk3ajc …

Slides that accompany the video at http://youtu.be/C_-7FEk3ajc
on Titus 1:1-4, and why and how the Apostle Paul persevered.
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  • Why on EARTH would you do it, Paul?I mean, that apostle stuff really doesn’t do him much GOOD, does it?It’s all very well to be a slave of God and an Apostle of Jesus Christ, serving the faith of God’s elect and devoted to purveying the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness … and that sounds all very – great - but … there is certainly another side to the coin Paul, isn’t there?!You said it yourself, Paul … look where it has GOT you man!(And bear in mind these pastoral epistles arise out of a time late in his ministry by which time he REALLY has run through the mill a bit!)In 2 Corinthians 11 as Paul seeks to accredit his ministry he spills the beans on just how gloriously blessed he feels …First a bit about his privileges in life …“Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more …”Now then, his privileges in the ministry of God’s Word as an apostle …“I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have laboured and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?”Why Paul?If that’s what comes to you for following the path God has marked out for you in the footsteps of Jesus Christ why on EARTH do you get out of bed and DEAL with that every morning?!
  • ‘Ah,’ says Paul in the verse we are looking at this morning, ‘you’ve got to reckon with the magnetic pull of the future!’All this stuff that I’m doing, being - a SLAVE to God (horror to most people!)- an apostle of Jesus Christ (which wouldn’t be so bad but for where He sends takes me)- Labouring away day and night for ‘dim ondarian fags’ … to further people’s faith and spread knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness (when he was bright enough and his family well-connected enough for him to have got a ‘proper’ job)There is ONE thing that gets him out of bed every morning and bends his back to this apparently thankless and unrewarding service of God.What is it?The irresistible attraction of God’s future for him.If you begin to live your God-given present for reward now, for thanks now, for pleasure now, for an easy life now you are taking your life over towards the rocks when the lighthouse is warning you off.You’re not doing it for this, but for THAT!You’re not doing it for now, but for THEN!‘For Heaven’s sake!’ … Yes.Stop there.Because whatever you are not doing for Heaven’s sake … for HEAVEN’S sake … you are probably not actually doing for Him.Consider these people …James 4: “What causes fights and quarrels among you?”We believe the book of James is written specifically for Jewish believers … “Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us[b]? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:‘God opposes the proud    but shows favour to the humble.’”Here’s the point …You lose track of your motivations and you are playing with the prospect of shipwreckDo you remember this?
  • (Costa Concordia)
  • The Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia[p 1] partially sank when it ran aground at Isola del Giglio,[p 2] Tuscany, on 13 January 2012, with the loss of 32 lives.The ship, carrying 4,252 people from all over the world, was on the first leg of a cruise around the Mediterranean Sea, starting fromCivitavecchia in Lazio, when she hit a reef during an unofficial near-shore salute to the local islanders.To perform this manoeuvre, Captain Francesco Schettino[p 3] deviated from the ship's computer-programmed route, claiming that he was familiar with the local seabed.The collision with the reef could be heard onboard and caused a temporary power blackout when water flooded the engine room. The captain, having lost control of the ship, did nothing to contact the nearby harbour for help but tried to resume the original course it was on prior to the U-turn back to Giglio. In the end, he had to order evacuation when the ship grounded after an hour of listing and drifting. Meanwhile, the harbour authorities were alerted by worried passengers, and vessels were sent to the rescue. During a six-hour evacuation, most passengers were brought ashore.An unofficial near-shore manoeuvre … the captain was no longer serving the ship owners or his passengers, no longer driven by the motives that should control his responsible position …He was playing the fool by the rocks for a moment’s human applause … some say to impress a particular lady … his motives were skewed and he sank the whole ship.Paul is driven by the magnetic pull of God’s future.How are YOU doing?What really motivates our service to God?
  • Last week we remembered that Paul’s writing to Titus, a seasoned old soldier, a battle scarred veteran of many an apostolic battle for God’s Kingdom.Paul was writing to Titus who had the unruly new church planted on Crete looking on over his shoulder as he read the new letter from Paul …Paul was writing to stop the rock who was Titus from rocking in his socket as he was battered by the opposition he had to counter to establish and organise the ministry of the Word for the churches of Crete …But first Paul felt the need to establish his own credentials and the right he had to speak …His roleHis purposeIf you want to take him on, just pause to think who you’re dealing with, and this Paul’s authority is getting thrown behind Titus.So don’t mess.Not least because Paul’s drawn on in His mission by the magnetic pull of God’s future and Paul’s place in the unfolding of God’s plan promised in eternity past and now realised in the present through Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles to bring about the eternal plan and purpose of God.First Paul deals with his motivations in the ministry he pursues … highlighting the scintillating attractive force of the future in the life of all genuine believers …
  • Firstly … we have to deal with ‘the God Who does not lie’.Secondly … we have to deal with the fact that the truths for which we contend are those God promised a very long time agoBut (thirdly) the significance of Paul … if to suit their own preferences and desires the lawless citizens of Crete wish to contend with him … is that the eternal plan and purpose of God to bring all things together again, post Babel, under the headship of Christ, is now being fulfilled in Paul’s ministry.So … unlying God.The word used to describe Paul’s God is ἀψευδήςBy nature, in the foundations of His character, He is free from deceit … He is truthful.Paul is spelling out not that He’s generally truthful, but emphasising that God is actually ‘free from deceit’ … From the days when mankind listened to snakes in nice gardens, there’s been a lot of casting doubt on the veracity of God.I our day things have regressed to the point where the effort is not so much to cast doubt on His truthfulness as on his morals … that’s certainly the arrogant attempt of the New Atheists.But Paul is adamant about the truthfulness of God.Now, of course he is writing to Titus on Crete.We KNOW the reputation of the Cretans in antiquity.We KNOW they were renowned for perverting the ancient pagan myths by claiming that Zeus was born and died on Crete … the perception was their truthlessness was LAUGHABLE.That’s a characteristic of the background of the new believers on Crete that Paul addresses with 100% incaution:Titus 1:12 “One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: ‘Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.’”Epimenides, the Cretan philosopher, wasn’t wrong!But this is no exclusively ancient world problem.We meet people, don’t we, who have spent so long lying they no longer know truth from error and aren’t conscious of the transition from the real world to dream land.It was NORMAL there on Crete and it is normal here in Wales to simply lie to cover inconvenient truth, which it hard to get “the God Who does not lie”.God stands against that.The essence of His character, the foundation of His being stands opposed to confounding the truth, however convenient it may sometimes seem.He stands by nature against the people riddled with false testimony.And it isn’t convenient, or excusable, to go against Him!
  • Firstly … we have to deal with ‘the God Who does not lie’.Secondly … we have to deal with the fact that the truths for which we contend are those God promised a very long time ago.Gospel truth is no fresh innovation.Yes, Titus seems to have been written well into the 60s AD when Christianity’s been around for three decades, but this faith was promised a lot further back than that. χρόνωναἰωνίων tells us when the promise was made … it may mean ‘before the ages’ (in eternity past) or ‘before ancient times’ (just ‘a long time ago’), but if Barr is correct about how this term was used then a reference to  χρόνωναἰωνίων would be to the whole period beginning with Creation.In that case πρὸ χρόνωναἰωνίων means BEFORE the Creation began.It’s not just the future that drives Paul, but what’s promised from before time began and being rooted in its revelation in times present through the Gospel the Apostle Paul preached.
  • ἐφανέρωσεν δὲ καιροῖς ἰδίοις τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦAt THIS timeREVEALED He hasHis very WordIn the proclamation (the κήρυγμα)Which was entrusted (ὃἐπιστεύθην ἐγὼ) to ME (Paul) … not you heretics listening in on Crete!By the command (κατ’ ἐπιταγὴν τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν θεοῦ) of God our Saviour.The preaching of the Gospel through Paul the Pharisee to the Gentile world represents God’s revelation of His eternal plan and purpose to gather on the day of salvation a new people of God from every past present and future tribe, language, people and nation before the throne of the Lamb singing the song of His victory, uniting all people and mending this sin-broken world by uniting everything under the headship of Jesus Christ.God has brought this to light as Paul stood outside the kebab house in downtown Knossos on a Saturday night amongst the young ruffians and bad boys of the neighbourhood to proclaim the Gospel to all who would hear it, God was bringing to light the truth that leads to godliness … sin, salvation and the promise of God.And so it is when we can stand outside the kebab house on a Saturday night in downtown Llandeilo in the rain, and announce … simply, plainly and directly … that same message delivered to Paul by the command of God, to the people of this town who need to know Jesus.And as we do so, the promise of the God Who does not lie, made in time immemorial and brought to light in this moment of time shines the scintillating light of God’s future into the hearts of the people of our age.It’s the eternal plan and purpose of God that’s being worked out in the faith emerging in God’s elect and it happens on Monday with the boys in the mart, or this week on Wednesday as it happens but the principle’s the same, or in your workplace, or with your neighbours … here’s our role in the big scheme of God!He promised this in time immemorial.He brings it to light through OUR proclamation NOW.
  • … and it’s realised right under your nose.“… which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Saviour”Stop RIGHT there.Have you really got a sense of that upon you?My little efforts fit right into God’s plan … this is part of the great big outworking of the eternal purpose of God that I should share Christ with my friends.You see, I worry a bit about courses.We’ve used them, I love them, the systems available to us these days are great.But too many churches and people see them as instruments of recruitment … when the Bible’s about rooting in the right here and now the eternal plan and purpose of God in the proclamation of the Word that gives life.We’re not to tackle recruitment, but salvation.And proclamation is the key Biblically to human salvation … but it often doesn’t look as cool as we’d like, or seem as accessible or popular … but it’s God’s main way of working salvation.
  • Here is the sovereignty of God in salvation … He has brought it to light, and unless He does there’s NO dawning of lightHere is the God appointed means by which He does so … the proclamation of His Word is uncool and always was … 1 Cor. 1: 21 “since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”This has been entrusted (says Paul) to me.There are charlatans, there are impostors, there are people sounding off and causing spiritual pollution.But this Gospel has been entrusted to me.God calls individuals to specific tasks of proclamation and the unruly Cretans as much as unruly Welshman need to be told it and held to acknowledge this truth … God is still calling out people to be Paul’s progenitors to bring to light the eternal purpose of God.And they may NOT be the people you were expecting!
  • Yes, says Paul, in the face of the opponents of the Gospel who are troubling the Cretan church, to remedy which Titus is to appoint elders in every town (we’ll see that elders are Bible teachers, servants of the Word not servants of the church’s administrative and humanitarian needs, so set apart to minister truth and not money), yes, MY preaching, committed to me by the command of our God and our Saviour!Truth Biblically is not remote from the character of the person who’s delivering it … this truth is expressed by people called out by God and whose lives are being changed and empowered by its message.
  • It is His command that we follow in doing this …Now here comes a living demonstration of all that God has been doing in this revelation and realisation in the way that God speaks about Titus …
  • Utterly impossible for Saul the Pharisee to say that of Titus the Gentile in the days before the Gospel’s truth rocked Paul’s deck.There are people on Crete who are troubling the church with their elitist and Judaising teachings …They’d be scandalised by every word of this!Tough.True son.Common faith.Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour … servant of God and apostle of Jesus Christ administers the grace to gentile and Jew that the old promise contained.And this indiscriminate Gospel set Paul’s heart on fire, got him out of bed each morning and kept him going through shipwrecks and beatings.And will do you.It touches the past – before time – and God’s future beyond time and you have a part in its revelation.Proclaim Christ.Nothing else is ever going to be so significant.

Transcript

  • 1. Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. Galatians 6:1
  • 2. Titus 1:1-4 (part 2) • Introduction
  • 3. Titus 1:1-4 (part 2) • Introduction Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness – 2 in the hope of eternal life
  • 4. Titus 1:1-4 (part 2) • Introduction • Paul – Role • Servant of God • Apostle of Jesus Christ ἀπόςτολοσ δὲ Ἰηςοῦ Χριςτοῦ – Purpose • • • • “to further the faith of God’s elect”, v. 1 “and their knowledge of the truth”, v. 1 “… the truth that leads to godliness”, v. 1 In the scintillating light of the future, v. 2
  • 5. Titus 1:1-2 • “Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ • to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness – • 2 in the hope of eternal life, – which God, • who does not lie, • promised before the beginning of time, – 3 and which now at his appointed season • he has brought to light • through the preaching entrusted to me • by the command of God our Saviour …”
  • 6. Hope of Furthering faith of elect Knowledge of the truth producing godliness Life Servant of God eternal Apostle of Christ Jesus
  • 7. Titus 1:1-4 (part 2) • Introduction • Paul – Role – Purpose • • • • “to further the faith of God’s elect”, v. 1 “and their knowledge of the truth”, v. 1 “… the truth that leads to godliness”, v. 1 In the scintillating light of the future, v. 2 – Which God Who does not lie, v. 2
  • 8. Titus 1:1-4 (part 2) • Introduction • Paul – Role – Purpose • • • • “to further the faith of God’s elect”, v. 1 “and their knowledge of the truth”, v. 1 “… the truth that leads to godliness”, v. 1 In the scintillating light of the future, v. 2 – Which God Who does not lie, v. 2 – PROMISED in time immemorial, v. 2
  • 9. Titus 1:1-4 (part 2) • Introduction • Paul – Role – Purpose • • • • “to further the faith of God’s elect”, v. 1 “and their knowledge of the truth”, v. 1 “… the truth that leads to godliness”, v. 1 In the scintillating light of the future, v. 2 – Which God Who does not lie, v. 2 – PROMISED in time immemorial, v. 2 – And which He has now brought to light, v. 2
  • 10. Titus 1:1-4 (part 2) • Introduction • Paul – Role – Purpose • • • • “to further the faith of God’s elect”, v. 1 “and their knowledge of the truth”, v. 1 “… the truth that leads to godliness”, v. 1 In the scintillating light of the future, v. 2 – Which God Who does not lie, v. 2 – PROMISED in time immemorial, v. 2 – And which He has now brought to light, v. 2 • Realised right in yer face! V. 3
  • 11. Titus 1:1-4 (part 2) • Introduction • Paul – Role – Purpose • • • • “to further the faith of God’s elect”, v. 1 “and their knowledge of the truth”, v. 1 “… the truth that leads to godliness”, v. 1 In the scintillating light of the future, v. 2 – Which God Who does not lie, v. 2 – PROMISED in time immemorial, v. 2 – And which He has now brought to light, v. 2 • Realised right in yer face! V. 3 – Preaching
  • 12. • “… He has brought to light • through the preaching • entrusted to me.”
  • 13. Titus 1:1-4 (part 2) • Introduction • Paul – Role – Purpose • • • • “to further the faith of God’s elect”, v. 1 “and their knowledge of the truth”, v. 1 “… the truth that leads to godliness”, v. 1 In the scintillating light of the future, v. 2 – Which God Who does not lie, v. 2 – PROMISED in time immemorial, v. 2 – And which He has now brought to light, v. 2 • Realised right in yer face! V. 3 – Preaching – MY preaching
  • 14. Titus 1:1-4 (part 2) • Introduction • Paul – Role – Purpose • • • • “to further the faith of God’s elect”, v. 1 “and their knowledge of the truth”, v. 1 “… the truth that leads to godliness”, v. 1 In the scintillating light of the future, v. 2 – Which God Who does not lie, v. 2 – PROMISED in time immemorial, v. 2 – And which He has now brought to light, v. 2 • Realised right in yer face! V. 3 – Preaching – MY preaching – Entrusted to me by Divine commandment
  • 15. Titus 1:1-4 (part 2) • Introduction • Paul • Titus “To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour.”
  • 16. Titus 1:1-4 (part 2) • • • • Introduction Paul Titus Greeting “Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour.”
  • 17. Titus 1:1-4 (part 2) • • • • • Introduction Paul Titus Greeting Conclusion