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January 18, 2004 PM

TITUS 2:15

INTRO: I would characterize the little book of Titus one in which there are profound and needed truths presented with an economy of words. We know very little about how Titus came to be associated with the apostle Paul, but for Paul to refer to him as my own son after the common faith indicates a relationship of some length. Outside of the book bearing his name, Titus is mentioned in Galatians, 2 Corinthians and 2 Timothy. Especially from the 2 Corinthians reference one would infer that he was a man of considerable tact and leadership. He was a man who could be entrusted with a difficult task involving other people! So, he was well suited for the tasks described in the little book of Titus. In this book it seems to be the work and life of an evangelist is well described.

1. He is to be concerned about maturing the church - Titus 1:5

a. things that are wanting suggests an uncompleted work

b. set in order suggests a particular arrangement

c. some are saying that there is not pattern for the constituting of the church - if that is true, setting in order things uncompleted makes no sense

d. of course, there is a pattern, a prescribed order

e. an evangelist (preacher) must be concerned about maturing a congregation in keeping with the revealed pattern

2. This particular situation involved appointing of elders - Titus 1:5ff

a. from Acts 14:23 we learn that this was a special concern of the apostle

b. along with certain qualifications revealed to Titus, there we some reasons given for the need to appoint elders

c. v. 9 by sound doctrine refute those who were not holding sound doctrine

d. v. 11 this is strong language ... and it refers to the work of elders who must protect the flock ... false teachers could subvert whole houses

e. notice at v. 7 that an elder is the steward of God

aa. recall that Joseph was Potiphars steward - Gen 39:8,9

bb. God entrusts His church to the care and keeping of elders - and I remember 1 Cor 4:2 ...elders have an awesome obligation, responsibility

3. Titus, too, is to rebuke them sharply - Titus 1:13

a. this is not a particularly pleasant work of an evangelist - my be neglected

b. people, any people, unsound in the faith may be rebuked by an evangelist

c. notice 2:15 - with all authority - only by and with the authority of the word does an evangelist (preacher) rebuke

d. certainly, he is not to so this hatefully, unlovingly ... but he must be firm and unswayed in his conviction!

e. an evangelist, to help others, must be uncompromising

4. Titus is to speak things which become sound doctrine - Titus 2:1

a. clearly, the letter to Titus is filled with emphasis on sound doctrine

b. sound doctrine was for old and young alike

c. notice here that sound doctrine involved ones ordinary life activities

d. so, not only is there a pattern for the church, there is also a pattern for how Christians are to live their lives!

e. and we need to be much more concerned about that than often we are

5. Titus must also be careful of his own life - Titus 2:7,8

a. he is to be a pattern of good works - his life is an example

b. his own handling of doctrine must be without question

c. his manner must be serious and dignified

d. his speech must be above censure - pure, clean, grace filled

e. true, evangelists are not perfect - and some folks seek to emphasize their imperfections ... but the sincere and serious evangelist will never the less seek to life his life above reproach

6. Titus is to remind others of the manner of the Christian life - Titus 3:1

a. all of us need reminders - some of those here are:

b. be good citizens - v. 1a

c. be ready to every good work - v. 1b

d. speak evil of no man - v. 2a

e. to be ... gentle - v. 2b

f. maintain good works - v. 8

CLOSE: Titus is to waste no time on foolish questions and such - these are time wasting matters which really result in nothing positive. And schismatic, divisive people? Only a first and second admonition ... and if that person does not repent, Titus is to reject him. The work of an evangelist is so critical to the well being of the church ... and it is a work that is no easy task.

Cecil A. Hutson

18 January 2004

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)