A Bold Declaration and Bodily Display of Truth

Bible Book: Titus  2 : 6-8
Subject: Ministry; Call of God; Servants of God; Truth; Vision
Introduction

Henry Ironside said, “Man will forgive a preacher if he is not eloquent or highly cultured; they will forgive him if he lacks in personal attractiveness, or even in wisdom; but they will never forgive him if he is insincere. He who handles holy things must himself live in the power of them.” W.W. Wiersbe said, “A preacher preaches best by his life.”

Titus was a beloved disciple of the Apostle Paul. He had served with him on both his second and third missionary journeys. Paul referred to Titus as “a true son in our common faith” (1:4). After ministering with Paul on the Island of Crete, he was left behind to continue and strengthen the work. Crete, one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea, was to be Titus’ ministry, where he would lead others by his explanation of truth, as well as his emulation of truth.

One of Titus’ main task would be that of developing other spiritual leaders. I read recently where 400 leaders were identified in the Bible. Of the 400 leaders, only 80 finished well; that’s 20%. Their characteristics were:

Humility

Numbers 12:3 - “Now Moses was very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.”

Real humility means I have a lower estimation of my own importance, God and others are of uppermost importance. It’s not about me, it’s about them. When I focus on myself I invite pride to reside in my soul. When I focus on others I invite humility to be at home in my soul.

Moses was a reluctant leader. He really believed his brother Aaron was better qualified. Yet, God chose Moses to lead because of his humility. A humble heart is the first qualification of a godly leader. Upon this foundation of teachability the Lord develops a life of character. Moses was not the leader he wanted to be, but his humility positioned him to grow into the leader he would become. Moses was distrustful of himself and desperate for divine guidance. Humility trusts the Lord to accomplish what needs to get done. A humble person truly hungers for God.

Matthew 11:29 - “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

How do you approach the tension between pride and humility in your heart? It is a tension that will never go away until you get to heaven. If you try to manage pride-it will manage you. 100% total surrender to your Savior promotes humility over pride. You can’t, but He can. You can’t handle pride, but He can. You can’t deal with criticism, but He can. You can’t control people, but He can. The fruit of humility is grace. The fruit of pride is defensiveness. The harvest of humility is a lifetime of character.

What is the evidence of humility in our lives? Instead of taking credit for good things, we deflect credit to God and others. When something bad happens, we take responsibility. Humility makes the care of others a priority. Humility recognizes any accomplishments in life are the result of God’s favor and the help of people. Humility is radically generous. Gratitude gushes out of a person with a humble heart.

Intimacy with God

Obedience

Faith (trusting God)

Ability to receive counsel

With this in mind, everyone needs a “faithful friend”

Proverbs 27:6 - “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”

Genuine love will give rebuke in order to manifest the truth. Rebuke can lead to gratitude

Proverbs 28:23 - “He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue.”

True and faithful friends are willing to wound you in order to help you.

Note the characteristics of an enemy: essentially the flattering lips of a deceiver.

Note the characteristics of a faithful friend:

1. They edify, but don’t flatter

Romans 15:2 - “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification.”

2. They are humble and demonstrate love

Ephesians 4:2 - “with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.”

3. They don’t always tell you what you want to hear. Instead, they are willing to rebuke you if necessary out of love for you.

Proverbs 9:8b - “Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.”

Everyone needs to be close to someone who will ask them the hard questions about their lives. A faithful friend will ask these questions and not rest until he gets the right answers.

With this in mind, remember, leaders are called to build faithful followers/leaders.

I. A GENERAL CALL IN HIS MISSION. 6

“exhort the young men to be sober-minded” – urge or strong entreat; a compassionate appeal.

“sober-minded” – it suggests the exercise of that self-restraint that governs all passions and desires. It’s a call to self-control and self-discipline, the careful management of one’s life. Cultivate balance and self-restraint.

“The more freedom granted, the more self-control needed.”

Romans 12:3 - “for I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly…” Word carries the idea of being in complete control. Remember, “self-control” is fruit of the Spirit. It refers to restraining passions and appetites.

1 Corinthians 9:25-27 - “And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

Why only one exhortation to these young men in Titus? Because it refers to being sensible, self-mastery, sound-mindedness, sensible behavior. It’s the word for prudence in the Old Testament. Means to have the quality of mind which keeps life safe. He has the security which comes from having all things under control.

Proverbs 16:32 - “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”

Frequently “young men” are impulsive, passionate, ambitious, volatile, and sometimes arrogant. Exercise self-control and show good sense and judgment. Paul was of hopes that Titus’ life would influence these young converts.

Great Principle: Proverbs 29:18 - “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law.” We all need prophetic vision, dreams, or we “perish” (cast off restraint); to throw off, to let loose; to give the reins

II. A PERSONAL CALL IN HIS MINISTRY. 7-8

“in all things” – fits with verse 6 or 7

A. THE PERSONAL ROLE OF THE LEADER. 7-8a

As a leader, be what you wish them to be. What’s important to you will be important to them. The qualities of our life will be stamped upon others.

“showing yourself to be a pattern of good works”

Paul believes more is caught than taught.

“pattern” – model the attributes; Titus had a special obligation to exemplify the moral and spiritual qualities about which he was to admonish others.

1 Corinthians 4:16 - “Therefore I urge you, imitate me.”

Hebrews 13:7 - “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.”

(Establish a pattern of faith for the people to follow)

1 Corinthians 11:1 - “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”

Philippians 3:17 - “Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.”

Consistency of life with teaching is perhaps the most important aspect of effective spiritual leadership.

“Our conduct must correspond with our counsel.”

“pattern of good works” – not superficial or cosmetic but genuine; true reflection of what we teach.

“in doctrine showing”

1. PURITY/INTEGRITY

Speaks of orthodox doctrine; not corrupt; untainted. Should be true of the message and the messenger. The purity of life enforces the message.

2. DIGNITY

Reverence; seriousness; it is the consciousness of having the responsibility of being the ambassador of Christ. Others may have a pride about their place in ministry but we must have a humility which never forgets the responsibility. Speaks of a life that honors whatever honors God. It’s the ability to distinguish between that which is important and that which is trivial. It conveys the importance of the message.

3. INCORRUPTIBILITY.

Sincerity; not for personal advantage; not a “what’s in it for me” mentality.

4. CURIOUSITY.

“sound speech that cannot be condemned” – speaks of daily conversation that’s beyond reproach. Our message must be backed by the witness of our lives. Not just talking to people about Christ, but showing Him to them.

“First he wrought, then he taught.”

Some may deny your words but they cannot deny the power of the truths that are faithfully exemplified in your life.

B. THE PRACTICAL REASON FOR HIS LEADERSHIP. 8b.

“that” – purpose; “that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.”

No legitimate challenge or criticism be offered.

“ashamed” – the sense of publicly suffering loss of respect because their criticisms are groundless. The purpose of godly living is to glorify God and also to silence the opponents of Christianity and the gospel and to make the power of Christ believable.

1 Peter 2:11-12

“Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

J.B. Phillips, “Frequently, when an unbeliever, who has been under the influence of a Spirit-filled Christian, meets disaster he will turn to the Christian for help, providing him an opportunity to lead a lost soul to Christ.”

None could escape the holy influence of a consecrated follower of Christ.

When an unbeliever criticizes us, our righteous behavior should make it clear that he really has nothing bad to say about us.

A godly testimony will arouse curiosity, then consideration, and possibly conversion.

CONCLUSION

Titus was reminded that his teaching both by word and example would reflect not only on himself but on Paul as well.

A defense written by philosopher Aristides early in the second century, translated by Rendel Harris (London:Cambridge, 1893) - “Now the Christians, O King, by going about and seeking, have found the truth. For they know and trust in God, the Maker of heaven and earth, who has no fellow. From him they received those commandments which they have engraved on their minds and which they observe in the hope and expectation of the world to come.

For this reason they do not commit adultery or immorality, they do not bear false witness, or embezzle, nor do they covet what is not theirs. They honor father and mother, and do good to those who are their neighbors. Whenever they are judges, they judge uprightly. They do not worship idols made in the image of man. Whatever they do not wish that others should do to them, they in turn do not do; and they do not eat the food sacrificed to idols.

Those who oppress them they exhort and make them their friends. They do good to their enemies. Their wives, O King, are pure as virgins, and their daughters are modest. Their men abstain from all unlawful sexual contact and from impurity, in the hope of recompense that is to come in another world.

As for their bondmen and bondwomen, and their children, if there are any, they persuade them to become Christians; and when they have done so, they call them brethren without distinction. They refuse to worship strange gods; and they go their way in all humility and cheerfulness. Falsehood is not found among them. They love one another; the widow’s needs are not ignored, and they rescue the orphan from the person who does him violence. He who has gives to him who has not, ungrudgingly and without boasting. When the Christians find a stranger, they bring him to their homes and rejoice over him as a true brother. They do not call brothers those who are bound by blood ties alone, but those who are brethren after the Spirit and in God.

When one of their poor passes away from the world, each provides for his burial according to his ability. If they hear of any of their number who are imprisoned or oppressed for the name of the Messiah, they all provide for his needs, and if it is possible to redeem him, they set him free.

If they find poverty in their midst, and they do not have spare food, they fast two or three days in order that the needy might be supplied with the necessities. They observe scrupulously the commandments of their Messiah, living honestly and soberly as the Lord their God ordered them. Every morning and every hour they praise and thank God for his goodness to them; and for their food and drink they offer thanksgiving.

If any righteous person of their number passes away from the world, they rejoice and thank God, and escort his body as if he were setting out from one place to another nearby. When a child is born to one of them, they praise God. If it dies in infancy, they thank God the more, as for one who has passed through the world without sins. But if one of them dies in his iniquity or in his sins, they grieve bitterly and sorrow as over one who is about to meet his doom.

Such, O King, is the commandment given to the Christians, and such is their conduct.”