In this sermon we are looking at the final passage from our series “God Alive Church,” it is Titus 3:8-15
In verse 8 Paul writes “This saying is trustworthy.”
Since it is essential to understand the context of this passage, we need to know what ‘saying’ is Paul referring to.
The ‘saying’ that Paul is refereeing to is verse 4 to 7. Let read that again.
Paul is saying that whatever I said about the Goodness of God, his loving kindness, his saving power, his mercy which was poured out on us richly through his son Jesus Christ is TRUSTWORTHY, it is authentic, it is truthful. Please do not have any doubt in your mind.
We are not, and cannot be saved by any of our good works on this earth. What can save us – is only Jesus who justifies us by his grace and therefore makes us heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
It is not a fable. It is not a Myth. For Paul, his whole life and message and purpose of his letters were anchored on this truth.
Everything we’ve learned from this series, going through 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus are essential because what motivated Paul to write them down and pass it on to us is the message of the Gospel (By the Gospel I mean what Christ accomplished for us on the cross). We cannot take out the truth of the Gospel out of anything we’ve learned.
Without the Gospel, all of Paul’s instructions will sound like acts of self-righteousness and good work and lessons on being good human beings. But good works are not what saves us; our self-righteousness is filthy rags in comparison to God’s Holiness.
Think about it – The Gospel being at the center, everything Paul wrote in 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus is a Trustworthy saying, which means it is Authentic, it is Truthful.
Paul then goes on to say in Titus 3:8 “I want you to insist on these things”. Paul is telling Titus that I want you to INSIST on these things. We can’t miss this. No one should miss this. It is important.
And therefore as we are ending this series today I want to once again insist on the things that we’ve learned so far from 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus as a reminder. I want to quickly list down some of the critical things we’ve discovered so far
- We learned that the TRUE TREASURE is the Gospel of the Glory and grace of God manifested through his son
- We learned that as we progress in our Christian life, there will be a growing awareness of God’s holiness and also a growing awareness of our sinfulness. And the only thing that can bridge the gap between those two is when we daily appreciate the cross on which our Lord and savior died so that we can have a relationship with the Father
- We learned that we need to guard this Gospel truth from False doctrine. We need to refute false teachers and false teaching by continually filling our hearts and minds with the true Gospel
- We learned about God’s provision of Elders within the church body to preach, teach, serve and guard our hearts
- We learned that we ought to Pray always, in season and out of season. For the church, for our elders, for one another, for the lost, for people in authority
- We learned that Christ’s strength is displayed in our weakness
- We learned that we ought to serve faithfully in the Kingdom of God
- We learned that we need to stay away from youthful passions that distract us from serving him faithfully
- We learned the importance of strong and healthy relationships, submitting to one another, appreciating and encouraging one another
- We learned that we need to be bold and Strong in the Lord, prepared to preach, teach & share the Gospel with authority
- We learned that we ought to fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the Faith until the end of our lives.
I believe you remembered those sermons that were preached, the ones that convicted our hearts, lead us to repentance. Today I want to once again insist brothers and sisters, what you’ve heard and learned and have applied in your lives are trustworthy sayings. Do not deviate from them.
While I was writing this down, I could imagine my childhood days when my mom would keep repeating and insisting on the same things to us every day to discipline us in Godly ways. There were times when I would get irritated by those repeated words.
The problem with me was that I couldn’t see how excellent and profitable those words were at that point but my Mom knew it, and that is why she kept insisting and repeating it again and again and again.
It’s only when I look at my life today, the person I am today I realize it is mostly because of my Mother’s consistent, never give up attitude to keep repeating the same things over and over again apart from her tearful prayers for us. I believe that is what eventually even led me to give my life to Christ and serve him.
Here’s why Paul tells Titus to insist on these things. Verse 8 “so that those who believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.”
Verse 9 he says instead of getting involved in foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrel about the law, which is unprofitable and worthless, Paul is saying insist on these good teachings that are excellent and profitable.
We have to identify the times and places where we’re spending too much of our time and energy in quarreling and debating and fighting instead of focusing on the right things.
In verse 10 Paul calls those who were getting involved in foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions and quarrels as people who were stirring up division and are warped in sin. He says warn them once and then twice and even after that if they refuse to change, have nothing to do with him.
I hope that none of you like to be called under that category of people.
The church of Create was an unhealthy church; it was on the verge of breaking up. They had a bad reputation; they were wasting their time, money and energy on worthless things.
Paul had to remind them of how the Church should look like. As the Church, and as a people of the Kingdom we should look like true Christians by others by our good works motivated by the Gospel.
We are the hope of the world, we are the light in the darkness, we are the salt of this earth.
Verse 14 – Paul writes “Let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful”
And the only thing that can help us look like good Christians, and to be fruitful as described in Psalms 1:3 which says
“He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.”
is when we “delight in the law of the Lord (the Trustworthy sayings of the scriptures), (is when we) meditate on it day and night” Psalms 1:2 – Consistently reminding ourselves of these Gospel truths, loving God for all that he is and for all that he has done, growing in intimate relationship with him, and learning to walk according to his precepts every single day of our lives.
As Elders, we will continue to insist on these things through our sermons, through our conversations, and through our lives. It may sound repetitive; it may sound hard to digest, to may sound difficult to believe.
But remember this – They are excellent, profitable and trustworthy in every sense.