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7. Public Life and Good Works (Titus 3:1-2)

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I. Announcements

II. Introduction and Recap

a. Recap:

i. Paul is interested in how the knowledge of the truth affects our day to day lives. Remember, the apostle is a practical man. He is interested in how the gospel affects our day to day lives. He isn’t just interested in theory, he is interested in godliness, and he knows that a right knowledge of the truth leads to godliness.

ii. 1:1 “The knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness”

iii. 2:1 “teach what accords with sounds doctrine”

iv. 2:15 “teach these things”

v. 3:1 “remind them”

b. Paul’s order (just like chapter two)

i. Having given Titus directions about doctrine and godliness in the church (chapter 1), and then in the home (chapter 2), Paul now develops the same theme in regard to the world (chapter 3). He thus moves purposefully from the inner circles of home and church to the outer circle of secular society.

ii. Let me show you what he does

1. He is interested in how the knowledge of the truth affects godliness and action...

2. Practical application (2:1-10) then doctrine (2:11-15)

3. Practical application (3:1-2) and then doctrine (3:3-7)

4. A knowledge of what God has done leads us to action.

c. The outline of our passage.

i. Our outline:

1. 6 descriptions of a Christian citizen…

2. Public Life and the Christian.

ii. Also…

1. The Christians relationship with the rulers (3:1)

2. The Christians relationship with the public (3:2)

d. The predicament for these Christians.

i. We are to be in this world but not of it.

ii. This creates many interesting dilemmas for the Christian.

iii. Keep in mind, Crete, like most of the world, was under the authority of the Caesars. They were under foreign occupation. Nonetheless, this was Paul’s word to them.

iv. In one sentence, he gives them six descriptions of how they are to interact with their government and their neighbors.

e. Why is Paul writing this?

i. He is connecting the dots between “sound doctrine” and sound living.

ii. Between doctrine and practice.

iii. In other words, when you become a Christian, your life changes. Repentance brings about real change, including change in our public life, in how we live as citizens of earthly kingdoms and heavenly kingdoms.

III. 6 descriptions of a Christian citizen:

a. #1- The Christian citizen obeys the law (3:1)

i. “remind them”

ii. “to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient”

iii. When do we NOT submit to authority?

b. #2- The Christian citizen is active in public service (3:1).

i. “to be ready for every good work”

ii. Nonetheless, Christians are to be available for doing good to their State, their city, their nation.

iii. Even if you don’t work for the government, we should be ready for every good work.

c. #3- The Christian citizen guards his mouth (3:2).

i. “Speak evil of no one”

ii. We live in a country with free speech.

iii. The Christian citizen guards his mouth.

d. #4- The Christian citizen is tolerant (3:2).

i. “avoid quarrelling”

ii. Let me explain what Paul means by this.

e. #5- The Christian citizen is gentle (3:2).

i. The word means to show ‘clemency, gracious, gentle, yielding’ and especially to be peacemaking.

ii. “blessed are the peacmakers”

f. #6- The Christian citizen is courteous (3:2).

i. “show perfect courtesy toward all people.”

ii. An example of courtesy:

iii. 1 Peter 2:17, “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”

iv. It’s that kind of behavior that adorns the gospel.

IV. Application- Public Life and good works.

a. Adorn the gospel with good works:

i. We are public people.

ii. The power of a good life.

iii. Christians are to display “good works.”

vi. What are “good works?”

v. What aren’t “good works?”

vi. Practically doing good works.

b. Adorn the gospel by respecting our leaders.

i. Pray for our government.

ii. Participate when we can.

iii. Obey the laws as much as you can.

vi. Be eager for good works in society.

v. Don’t slander our leaders.

c. Adorn the gospel by serving the poor.

i. “let us not forget the poor”

ii. Who are the poor in Littleton/Denver?

iii. Opportunities for serving the poor.

iv. The danger:

d. Adorn the gospel by reaching out to your neighborhood.

i. How can we show perfect courtesy to all people?

ii. Being prepared for emergencies:

iii. Suggestions reach your neighbors.

iv. Campus Crusade for Christ.

v. The warning:

e. Adorn the gospel by being a good worker.

i. Most of your life is spent at work.

ii. Most of you have co-workers and supervisors who do not know Jesus.

iii. Your job is to do a good job. Make your company money. Be faithful. Put in a hard days work.

iv. When it is appropriate, share the gospel.

v. Speaking at a Business conference:

f. How do we adorn the gospel long-term?

i. We have looked at some practical ways we can do this, but let’s not forget the motivating power to sustain this.

ii. What is the motivating power that sustains a public life and good works?

iii. What Paul says over and over in this letter is that a true knowledge of the gospel leads to godliness.

iv. If that’s true, than one of the most important things we can do, is make sure we have a true knowledge of the gospel.

v. We need to feast on the gospel of grace.

vi. True and lasting good works and public life are unsustainable without a heartfelt knowledge of God’s grace and love displayed through the cross, the gospel.

vii. Suggestions:

1. Two books:

a. What is the gospel? Greg Gilbert

b. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Romans 3:21-4:20 (The heart of the gospel in Romans)

2. Attend the Lord’s Supper regularly.

a. It is the gospel we remember.

3. Pray and ask God for a deeper understanding of how much he loves you and has loved you through the cross.

a. Read the end of Eph. 3 and pray with Paul for a deeper understanding of the gospel.

4. Talk about the gospel, sing about the gospel, read about the gospel, pray about the gospel, and we will find that as God’s grace touches our lives, we will freely and spontaneously adorn the gospel.

Related Topics: Christian Life

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