Part of the Morning Worship at North Greenville Church series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
In the final chapter of the letter to Titus, we remember Titus as a peacemaker in several cities. Herod Agrippa encountered Paul in prison. In Acts 26 Paul testified to him about the opposition of the Jews to Paul's ministry. He preached the Gospel to Agrippa, and he found no fault in Paul. However, Agrippa didn't respond in faith, even though he acknowledged the truth of Paul's words. Psalm 49 is descriptive of Agrippa's unredeemed situation and his destiny. Paul then describes what life is like for the unredeemed Cretans, a life of hatefulness and contention. They are pitiable people. They believe the lie of Satan--"you will not surely die"--as Adam and Eve did. They wanted to be like God and to know good and evil. Knowing the goodness of God was not enough for them. Shortly thereafter, Cain murdered his brother, Abel. The Cretans were hateful and hated one another. Titus and the elders were up against this situation. They were once like the Cretans, but God saved them. With Christ, we can be forgiving and not hateful. With salt and light from Christ, we are different, through God's mercy. We receive regeneration and renovation abundantly and overflowingly. Our life tastes good and can be seen. We have to be ready to do what is good, something that is repeatedly stated by Paul in Titus 3. Our good deeds point to Christ, not to ourselves. What the world thinks is good is not what God commands as good. This brings us in conflict with the world oftentimes. We are to be an "aroma of Christ", a fragrance of life. The lost should experience from us loving pity and care. This is the Holy Spirit working in us.
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Titus 3 (Listen)
3:1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. 9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. 14 And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.
15 All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith.
Grace be with you all.
Psalm 112 (Listen)
112:1 Praise the LORD!
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commandments!
2 His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
who conducts his affairs with justice.
6 For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
7 He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
8 His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
9 He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor.
10 The wicked man sees it and is angry;
he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
the desire of the wicked will perish!