Communities that Demonstrate the Gospel

Sermon from CCM:Kingsway

LISTEN

This sermon was preached by David Devenish at the CCM Kingsway site of Christ Church Manchester on Sunday 18th November 2018.

SERIES

 

This message was part of the ‘SERIES NAME’ series, preached at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Burnage in EARLY/MID/LATE YEAR. The full series included the following sermons:

BIBLE VERSES

This sermon was based on Titus 1 & 2.

Greeting

1Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, 2in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began 3and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior;
4To Titus, my true child in a common faith:
Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour.

Qualifications for Elders

5This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— 6if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. 7For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. 10For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. 11They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. 15To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

Teach Sound Doctrine

1But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 2Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 

8and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. 9Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 

14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
15Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

KEY POINTS

Go and Make Disciples of All Nations

  • The original disciples had experienced Jesus making them into disciples and understood that to do so meant forming them into a community on mission together that demonstrated a different lifestyle and purpose to the world around.
  • There are 3 essential words here: “Church” – a community. “Disciples” – those learning to follow Jesus. “Mission” – not just to other nations but also to all those around where the community was formed.
  • So, a church is not a place or a service to which you go but a community of disciples on mission. This is the background to understanding the story of Titus

The Story of Titus

  • Titus was a key member of Paul’s Apostolic Team. After Paul’s house arrest in Rome he had travelled with his team, including Titus, to various places.
  • They visited Crete where the gospel had not been preached before. There were converts in several of the towns there, but Paul had to leave, and left Titus behind to form these new believers into missional communities of disciples.  Paul then wrote Titus a letter, confirming his instructions to him when he left.
  • Paul had some concerns he knew Titus would have to address.
  • These were new believers from a totally non–Christian culture.  They had to learn to live differently but in a way that commended themselves to the pagans around and did not offend them unnecessarily.
  • People in Crete had not seen followers of this new religion before. They would be thought of as strange because, they refused to join in with the sacrifices to the gods, they had stopped going to the drunken orgies and they were rumoured to refuse to give the oath of allegiance to the Roman emperor.

The Letter to Titus

  • So, Paul wrote to Titus telling him to teach the believers there to live such lives as true disciples that commend the gospel to those around.
  • Older men were to live lives that would earn them respect. This was culturally important and needs to be restored today.
  • Oder Women were not to gossip or drink too much. These were both issues in the culture. They were also to disciple and teach the younger women.
  • Younger women were to be taught how to love their husbands and children. This can sound paternalistic and politically incorrect in today’s society. At the time Titus was writing however, wives would have worked in family business as well as supporting their husbands and children.  Here the point is conducting yourselves for the sake of people outside the church – “that no-one will malign the Word of God”.  
  • Titus was to motivate younger men by the way he behaved himself.  Best way of discipling younger men.  So self-controlled – not sexual excess, not drunkenness. Christian young men should be an example in self control, in doing good for society, and good speech – i.e. not talking like culture around in humour etc – why? “So that those who oppose us may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us”.
  • Slaves were to be taught to be subject to their masters and demonstrate a different attitude than others around them. Paul is not saying slavery is a good thing but teaching if we can’t change it then work within it, in a different spirit.  This is a lesson to how we approach things even today in a secular age where the church as a whole no longer has the place in the establishment that it once did
  • All of this is done to bring the church and those within it into a good standing in the society and to cause people to find the gospel attractive. It can only be done through demonstrating to the world the same kind of Grace God has shown to us.

MORE SERMONS

 

To see more sermons from Christ Church Manchester, you can visit our sermons page, or why not consider subscribing on iTunes.