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The Purposes of God in Your Pursuit of Godliness #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
August 25, 2023 12:00 am

The Purposes of God in Your Pursuit of Godliness #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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August 25, 2023 12:00 am

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The Gospel is not simply about delivering you from the eternal punishment of hell.

It is so much more than that. Christ did more than come to save you from hell. He came to save you from sin, and that means He came to save you from sin now, to deliver you from sin now, to transform your life now so that you would be less marked by sin and more marked by righteousness.

Welcome to the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hi, I'm Bill Wright, and we're continuing our series, Titus, God's Glorious Plan of Grace. Today we'll hear Part 2 of the message, The Purposes of God in Your Pursuit of Godliness. Last time, Don gave us the purpose of God in the present, to deny ungodliness and live a sensible, righteous life in line with biblical precepts. But of course, God transcends time, so He has purposes yet future and still past.

How should we live in light of those? Don will provide the answers from Scripture on today's broadcast, so turn to Titus Chapter 2, if you would, as we join our teacher now in the Truth Pulpit. I would invite you to turn to Titus Chapter 2 as we continue this study of the inspired word of the living God. We pursue godliness because God's purposes are at work. That is absolutely essential to understanding and having a proper approach to living the Christian life.

If you are a Christian, God has laid His hand on you by name. We're not trying to keep God from getting mad at us because Christ has already turned His wrath away in His work on the cross. He's our propitiation.

He's turned the wrath of God away from us. Now, we pursue godliness for a different reason. We pursue godliness, first of all, because of the present purpose of God.

That's point number one if you're taking it. Why do we pursue godliness? First of all, it's the present purpose of God in our lives. An eternal God has saved you, and your inner pursuit of righteousness is a mark that an eternal purpose of God is working itself out in the present age in your life, in the quiet recesses of your heart.

Wow. The one who spoke the worlds into existence, the one who will bring the present age to an end, has a present purpose in your life by name that He's working out. And so, therefore, the connection is that as you recognize that going on in your heart, then pursue the life that was described in the first 10 verses of Titus chapter 2.

You older men, you're to be dignified in life. You're to be mature in faith because this great purpose of God is at work in your life and that is what He calls you to. In other words, Paul's saying there is this present purpose, get with the program.

Swim with the current, not against it. And as you do, as you do, your efforts, your motivations, and your affections are buoyed, are encouraged, are strengthened by the fact that you realize that you are living out something that is consistent with a divine, powerful purpose that transcends the time and space of your earthly life. That is how the purpose of God in the present age strengthens you in your pursuit of godliness. This is what God wants. Point number two, you have to look at the future purpose of God. The future purpose of God. Salvation has a future reality which shapes genuine Christians in the way that we think and live. A true Christian is mindful of the fact that I want to pursue godliness in the present life.

There's more to it than that though. We as believers in Christ have a confident expectation, a certain expectation that Christ is going to come again in the future. Look at verse 13. An understanding that there's no break in the sentence.

There is no change in the paragraph. Paul is saying pursue godliness because the grace of God has appeared and it's also appeared in this way in the future purpose of God. Look at verse 13. Paul says as you're pursuing righteousness in the present age, verse 13, as you're doing that, verse 13, looking for, looking ahead, anticipating, expecting, mindful of the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus. The Bible teaches us that Jesus Christ is going to bring the present age to an end. Life is not going to continue on in an unbroken cycle of what we see today. Christ is going to supernaturally intervene in the future and subdue all men and all nations to his perfect control. There is a future purpose of God in which Christ will return and when he returns he will remember us in the process and his victory over this world will be shared with us. We share in that blessed hope so we live now with an eye toward the future. We possess eternal salvation now. There is nothing to be added to it by anything that we do, but we understand that we have not yet received the fullness of everything that God intends for us. This is simply an introduction in the present age. Your life now is simply an introduction to grace. The full course, the full banquet is yet ahead.

This is not about your best life now at all. Our best life as Christians is still future. The future purpose of God is the appearing of the glory of Jesus Christ. You are supposed to be looking forward to that as a Christian. You are supposed to be longing for that.

To want that more than anything. I remember a time many years ago, I was a fairly new Christian and I was kind of enjoying what life was giving me at that point and I remember saying to Bud and Gloria Condon, his name finally came back to me just now after I was trying to remember it for weeks and so I'm grateful for that. I was with Bud and Gloria Condon in northern Illinois, this was before I was even married, and I remember saying at that time as we were talking about life and what was going on, I remember saying to my great shame here this morning, and I don't remember the exact words that I said but it was something like this, I hope Christ doesn't come back right away because I love what's going on right now. Do you understand that I committed a great sin against Christ when I said that and wanted that?

That was despicable! Are you kidding me? To prefer the present life, the present age to the coming of Christ?

What was wrong with me? What's wrong with us that we're so preoccupied with this age that we would hold Christ off with a stiff forearm and say, no, not just yet, let's enjoy this a little bit more. Are you kidding me? No! No! The whole purpose of God is that Christ will come back and be in glory and that will be the crowning achievement of our salvation.

And when we see him and when we're with him, that will be the fulfillment of the purpose of God. And for the sake of whatever was going on in life at that point, I would say I would rather have this age than that age? No. No, that was wicked of me to say such a thing. It was a direct contradiction of this passage which says as you're pursuing righteousness in the present age, you're to be looking for, anticipating, wanting, desiring, hoping for the return of Christ and the display of his glory. Beloved, don't be like I was.

Don't love this life that much. It should be settled in your heart that the greatest thing that could ever happen for you would be that Christ would choose today to come back. If Christ came back before I finished this sermon, I would gladly leave my notes behind.

If he calls us to be with him in the air before I finish and get to my third point, that's great. What do you mean, amen? Just messing with you, brother. No, I get it. I get it. That's right.

That's right. We want that more than anything and so we live with this sense of expectation that it's going to happen and we want it so much that Christ can intervene and we are delighted to leave behind everything that we've thought, everything that we've planned, everything that we've loved to see the fulfillment of the greater future purpose of God, for that to break in on time and be the new reality, that would be the best thing that could ever happen. That's what we're supposed to want. And I want you to see, I'm just going to give you a short sampling. We saw Acts 1. I want you to just see a little bit of scripture talking about where Christ talks about his future coming. Turn to Matthew 24. We're just going to kind of parachute into these passages and then jump right out of them.

It's not a great way to do it, but I just want you to have a taste of it. The future coming of Christ. He is going to come again. The future coming of Christ is more certain than what you will have for lunch today. It is more certain than us finishing this service this morning. This is guaranteed by the Word of God. We don't know what our next breath might bring, but we know from the Word of God that Christ will come again.

This is the great certainty in which we anchor everything about our approach to living life now is that Christ is going to come again. Matthew 24, verse 37. The coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day that Noah entered the ark. And they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away.

Here it is. So will the coming of the Son of Man be? The coming of the Son of Man. Christ is going to come again. Jesus said, I'm coming again. I've come once.

I'm coming twice. Look over at John 14 for perhaps a little bit more familiar passage, reminder of this. John chapter 14. He came once. He went away.

He's going to come back. The simplicity of that is so sweet. John 14, verse 3. Let's start in verse 2. Jesus said, In My Father's house are many dwelling places.

If it were not so, I would have told you. For I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, verse 3, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. Christ said, I will come again. Brothers and sisters, believe it. He wasn't bluffing.

He wasn't joking. He wasn't making empty promises that he had no intention to fulfill. He is the eternal Son of God who knows the beginning from the end. He has shown us in Scripture his future purpose, that he is going to come back. And that has to shape what we love in this world, what we do in this world, and what we pursue in this world. We live now in the pursuit of righteousness, knowing that our righteous Savior is going to return and establish righteousness on the earth.

Let's just get with the program right now instead of waiting. The Bible says that this world is passing away. The climactic punch to that will be the return of Christ. That is what we live for. That is what we hope for. Brothers, we sing through trials today because Christ is coming back. He will prevail.

He will share his victory with us. That's why we can sing now. That's why we pursue righteousness now is because of the future purpose of God in the return of Christ. That's what Paul is saying here in Titus 2. So, look at the passage with me again.

Turn back to Titus 2 if you're not there already. Grace of God has appeared, present purpose instructing us to deny ungodliness and live sensibly righteousness and godly in the present age. Future purpose, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior. We live, we pursue righteousness in the present age with an eye on the future . Point number three, the past purpose of God. The past purpose of God. Not that it's over and completed and never to be revisited, but rather the past purpose of God in the crucifixion. And it's very fascinating to see the way in which Paul moves as you look at this passage from a big picture perspective as we're trying to do this morning.

Paul seamlessly moves from the present to the future to the past all in one sentence. In the great eternal unfolding of the plan of God, Paul talks about the present age, the future hope, and here in verse 14 he looks back to the cross. Look at verse 14 with me. He says, who gave himself our great God and Savior Christ Jesus, who gave himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Oh, please hear me on this. Christ gave himself in a most magnificent way. He gave himself in a climactic way at the cross when he offered up his life, offered up his body, offered up his blood as a living sacrifice for us to redeem us from sin. But that singularly great act at the crucifixion was a crucial aspect of an even greater giving of himself. If you think about it, Christ gave himself for us so fully that he left the glories of heaven to come down to earth to dwell as a man for 33 years in order to give his life and blood for us. This is a great incomprehensible act of self-sacrifice, of a self-giving for the sake of your salvation. He left heaven for us.

He left heaven for us. He gave himself so completely, and the climax of that was on the cross when he redeemed us from every lawless deed, and with the intention of purifying for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works. Beloved, when you're thinking about when the Word of God calls us to deny ungodliness and pursue righteousness, understand that that is a seamless, unified perfect consistency with the past purpose of God in the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He's calling us to live consistently with the purpose of the first coming of Christ because when Christ gave himself for us, he was accomplishing a twin purpose that corresponds perfectly with our present pursuit of godliness. Notice that, look at verse 14 with me, notice that in the negative sense, he gave himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed. One aspect of the purpose of Christ on the cross was to redeem us, to buy us out of the slavery to sin that we found ourselves in. That's why Christ came, was to redeem us from that ungodly life, to redeem us from the bondage of sin.

Well, look up at verse 12 and see the correspondence. In the present age, God's grace instructs us to deny ungodliness. Well, that's the purpose of the cross. He came to redeem us from every lawless deed. And so as you're living out godliness today, when you resist temptation today, when you put your hand over your mouth to keep yourself from speaking gossip and biting, sarcastic, unkind words, when you're resisting ungodliness in that way, you are acting in accordance with the purpose of Christ on the cross.

Deny ungodliness now because that's why Christ died back then. Look at verse 14. He gave himself to purify for himself, we belong to Christ, not to ourselves. He gave himself to purify for himself a people for his own possessions zealous for good deeds. Well, notice how that corresponds to verse 12. Grace instructs us to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in the present age.

Present age, pursue godliness. Past purpose of God, Christ died to purify us for exactly that purpose. Christ didn't simply erase sin in our lives. He positively took us as his people. He bought us. By right of ownership, he directs the way that we think and live.

You own a car, you get to determine who drives it and where it goes. Christ bought you, he gets to direct you and tell you what to be. And so, beloved, you and I have to see our present lives in the greater context of God's great purposes.

Do you see, do you get a glimpse of the fact that there is a transcendence to salvation that dwarfs the present life? This is all something that originated in the mind and plan of God in eternity past. 2,000 years ago, Christ came and with the deliberate intention of his heart, of his mind, of his will, I'm going to buy a people. I'm going to buy a people, I'm going to redeem them from every lawless deed that they ever committed and my intention is to own them as my own and I'm going to purify them so that they belong to me and serve my purposes.

In the present age, God saved you in time and space now. We live this out. We're living out a life that is designed to be consistent with the saving purposes of Christ on the cross, knowing that the ultimate outcome of that is going to be the climax of a return of Christ in glory when righteousness is established and he reigns supreme in glory with his people forever and ever.

Wow. There's just this vast sweep of God's purpose and when the Bible calls us to live righteously and godly in the present age, understand that the power of the multifaceted purpose of God is at work in that past, present, and future. See your life in that context is what this passage says and when it gets down to the details, the mundane details, the frustrating details of life, let your affections and motivations be shaped by, encouraged profoundly by the fact that it's about more than today. This is about what God has done, what he is doing, and what he has yet to do.

We get to be a part of that. In our daily lives, there is eternal significance in everything that we do because it's an outworking of the purpose of God. Beloved, what I want you to see, what I insist that you walk out of here thinking is this, that in light of the past, present, and future purposes of God, it is the most noble thing in the world to be a Christian.

We look forward to the return of Christ in the future and live in light of that hope and we always keep the cross in view, knowing that our sins were forgiven on it if Christ is our Lord. Powerful reminders from Pastor Don Green in his current series, Titus, God's Glorious Plan of Grace. Don will focus in further on our great Redeemer next time here on The Truth Pulpit.

Do join us then. Meanwhile, Don's back here in studio and he has some closing thoughts. Well, my friend, I hope you've seen from God's Word today how much Christ changes our perspective on everything. In Christ, we have a Redeemer who has loved us and gave himself for our sins, that we might be fully reconciled to a holy God. And in Christ, we have a Redeemer who is coming again to save us and to take us home to be with him forever. We have a wonderful purpose in life and it's going to be culminated when we are with Christ in glory.

Let that thought encourage you as you finish your day today. Thanks, Don. And friend, we hope you'll visit thetruthpulpit.com to find out how to get free CDs of Don's messages. That's thetruthpulpit.com. Now for Don Green, I'm Bill Wright, inviting you back next time when Don presents more from The Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-25 04:53:02 / 2023-08-25 05:01:19 / 8

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