I don't know about you, but when I look at the circumstances in people's families, the church, the community, politics, I find myself asking the question, what can I do? I want to tell you that God has something very simple for us to do that can actually bring change, a ripple effect, in every relationship of our life.
Want to find out what the simple and powerful thing is? That's today. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. I'm Dave Drouy, and Chip's our Bible teacher for this international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians. Well, in this program, Chip continues his series, Doing Good, by asking, have you ever felt like you don't have what it takes to do good?
Well, today we'll learn that we're not alone in that feeling. As Chip dives back into the book of Titus chapter two, he'll unpack the specific instructions the apostle Paul left for his protege Titus, and how we can apply that truth to our lives. With that, let's join Chip for the second half of his message as he continues explaining why our good deeds matter so much.
Give you a little illustration here. Imagine that this little lamp represents our life, and when a person places their faith in Christ, Jesus said he's the light of the world, and then he turned and said to his disciples then and now, we are the light of the world. And when I turn from my sin and receive the free gift of God, I receive the light and it lives inside of me.
And that forgives my sins, God's preparing a place for me, I'm loved, I'm adopted, I've been given spiritual gifts, the spirit lives inside of me, he's going to then begin to change me from the inside out. This is grace inside of my life. Now unfortunately, then and now, sometimes we don't cooperate with that grace.
We don't take advantage of the means of grace like God's word or God's people or we get busy and sidetracked and we don't really talk to God and we're not honest with God. And so what happens is our lifestyles are covered. That doesn't mean that the light doesn't live inside you, but you kind of just go to work, come to church a couple times a month, read the Bible when you can, when one of your kids is in ICU, you pray really deeply. You know, Jesus is a part of sort of what you do and you're glad and you believe, but your character and your relationships and how you live out your faith and how you drive your car and how you spend your money, it doesn't reveal that. And the reason I'm so passionate about this and probably God's infinitely more passionate, I grew up around people who said they love Jesus and told me I should love Jesus and I heard all their little Bible stories. That this is all I saw when I grew up and if that is Christianity, if that's Jesus, if that's hope, I want nothing to do with it.
Someone said something that really jolted me and it's true. They said, do you ever consider the fact that you are the greatest Christian at least someone will ever meet? Someone at work, someone you know three layers away that you don't even know them, but they know you're a Christian and they're watching your life and they're watching mine. And so doing good isn't like optional. Doing good is like foundational because our doing good reveals the grace that's offered. But the second reason that doing good matters so much isn't simply because we allow others to see the grace of God for their salvation, but doing good reveals Christ's presence in our lives. In fact, you might write presence and might even above that write supernatural. It reveals God's supernatural presence.
People don't need to see just good little moral goody two shoes trying hard to be a little bit better and moral. He says that when you are in Christ, something supernatural and dynamic happens to your values and your priorities and your life and your relationships. Look at verse 12. He says it, he's speaking of the grace of God. Does grace save us? Yes, but the same grace inside of us begins to create both the want to and the will to transform us. In fact, the key concept here is very simple is grace provides life change.
Really grace produces life change. And so look what it says, for it the grace of God teaches us to say no to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self controlled upright and godly lives in this present age. When the grace of God deposits the spirit of the living God inside of you and inside of me, it gives us power and a new set of desires to say no to what's ungodly.
The cretin lifestyle, lying, cheating, immorality, lack of concern for other people, meism, hedonism, I'm the only one that matters. And you say no to worldly passions and the lures and you say yes and you say yes to three different things he gives. And one talks about your relationship with yourself, one is about your relationship with other people, and the third word is your relationship with God. It says it produces self discipline, it's the word God has not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit of self discipline. The spirit of God begins to allow you to arrange your life in ways that produce the life of Christ.
You're not just pushed here and there by the passions and desires and the feedback and the media of the world. And then he says you have justly or uprightly, it means you tell the truth to people, you shoot it straight with people, you can be trusted in your relationships at home and at work and in business and in sales calls, you're upright. And then finally, godly is your relationship that you live with this reverence of God and rather than fearing what everybody else thinks, you fear in a healthy, reverent way what he thinks. And so what he says is this grace literally, when it's operating in your life, the evidence is it produces good works. Let me ask you if you will, I'm gonna read this passage and just turn if you would to Matthew chapter seven because according to Jesus, this is really, really big and really important and what I notice about Jesus is he seems to talk about the biggest issues in our lives and the problems they had then and the problems we have now are all the same. Matthew chapter seven, I pick it up at verse 15. It's toward the end of the sermon on the mount. He's describing what it means to be a follower of his and we have a warning.
It says watch out for false prophets. They come in sheep's clothing but inwardly they're ferocious wolves. Question well how would you watch out for them? By their fruit you will recognize them. Then he gets this rhetorical question that in the day people would go duh, of course. He says do people pick grapes from thorn bushes? No. Or figs from thistles?
Of course not. Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit but a bad tree bears bad fruit. And then here's an axiomatic statement, a good tree cannot bear bad fruit. And a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown to the fire thus by their fruit you'll recognize them.
By their outward behavior, by their attitudes, by their time, by how they spend their money, by how they treat people, you'll recognize them. Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will come to me on that day. Jesus said at the end of time they'll say Lord, Lord didn't we prophesy in your name? And didn't we drive out demons and perform miracles? I mean we were religious man we were.
Then I will tell them plainly I never knew you away from me evil doers. I have a huge concern one of the I guess privileges I would call it maybe the last 10 years is I've been I don't know if thousands would be an exaggeration but at least several hundred churches all over the world. And whether it's a denominational church or an evangelical church or a Bible church or a community church or whether it's a Catholic church or a Baptist church or a Methodist church or a Pentecostal church we have a rush of people and a throng of people who at least when you look at the visible evidence of their life of their time and their energy their morality and their relationships they live I mean zero difference than those that are outside of Christ. But on a certain day at a certain time they raise their hand or they walk down in front of an aisle somewhere or they had maybe a little religious experience and they intellectually agreed that Jesus was God and they intellectually agreed that he rose from the dead and someone said you know believe that and everything's gonna be great. And they believed intellectually but salvation involves an intellectual and emotional and a volitional content where you turn from your sin the word is repentance and you receive Christ to follow him. And what the apostle Paul this is not new when he began to look at the lives of the people in Corinth and in other churches when there was no fruit he said basically only God knows but in second Corinthians 13 five look at this follow along he says to these people examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith test yourselves do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you unless of course you fail the test. I mean he's talking to a group of people whose morality and lifestyles are way away he doesn't assume they're not in the faith he's not assuming there's not a light in here but he's saying this is all I can see and if this is all I can see I'm looking at the fruit some of you need to really ask does this light live in me because according to Jesus if it does it produces fruit. So I don't know where you're at but I just have this feeling that just scares me that I think the most dangerous place to be in the entire world would be to intellectually believe oh I believe in Jesus I believe he died believe he rose from the dead I get a ticket to heaven I think everything's fine I live my life my completely on way I don't think about God much I don't have much desire for his word I don't really want to be around Christians that much but you know I believe and I think I checked the box I'm okay right? What right what if it's not what if you're one of those people that you say hey Lord Lord you know I even went to that Bible church and you know when the games weren't on or when I didn't have something for the weekends and I what if he would say I never knew you and so all I don't want anyone to do anything other than have an honest talk with God where you say if I'm not in would you show me examine yourself when little kids are growing and they love their grandparents all of my four kids from little time up through their thirties have shared Christ with their grandfather and if you ask him do you believe yep I believe in the old man upstairs chipper I think everything's gonna be fine well I mean there's no fruit I mean there's no concern for his grandkids there's no concern for his kids he's mean for all the years that I've ever known my wife he's narcissistic he has absolutely alienated almost everyone on the planet I mean we've been in counseling because of all that my wife's been through I mean I can say this reverently or irreverently he's a jerk and an evil man but he'd tell me oh yeah I'm fine I believe in the man upstairs well do you believe in Jesus yeah I believe in Jesus you think he died oh yeah everything zero evidence for reasons I cannot understand and I don't have time to talk about he made a genuine commitment and received the grace of God in his life and to my shame it was like I'm gonna wait and see this one because honestly he's been messing with my wife and I've dealt with a lot of pain and she has and I've just wanted to take him out I didn't have much faith and then for the first time in 35 years that I've known him he starts to call my wife he never called her and then he began to care about people and then he began to ask about my kids and then he sent a little something for my wife and now he's saying thank you and I mean all I can tell you at 87 to 89 dramatic significant life change because good trees produce good fruit and bad trees produce bad fruit why is doing good why does it matter it matters because those outside of Christ they need to see the light to know salvation is real and it matters because if you have the light it'll show up so you need to examine yourself this doing good is big stuff in scripture the third reason we do good is because reveals the priority of our lives verse 13 notice after he says you know we say no to these things we say yes and by the way that word it teaches us I love that word just before we go on it teaches us it's how a parent teaches a child so if you're hearing my life's not perfect I wonder whether I'm a Christian it's not saying you're perfect it says you're making progress the leaves are coming out there's a little fruit here a little fruit there the grace of God teaches us it's three steps forward and two backwards you have issues I have issues we're all gonna have issues till Jesus comes back where you go get to see him but it brings about transformation and change that's visible that's real that's internal that's from the heart and then notice it's while something is happening there's a focus he says while we wait for the blessed hope the appearing of the glory of our notice how Jesus is described our great God and Savior Jesus Christ now up above I think I had you circle the word appearing circle it down here it's the same word and what's interesting what he's saying is there was all this darkness and then grace burst and light came into the world he says there's a appearing or an epiphany of grace and what he's saying that is when you are in Christ you're looking for not just the grace here but there's a second epiphany and that's when he returns the blessed hope the glorious appearing it's when Christ comes back and if you believe that's true see here's the key concept everyone either has a eternal perspective or a temporal perspective now I could ask you know like on a little test okay multiple choice are you ready do you believe in heaven and do you believe that you will live forever and do you have an eternal perspective a yes B no I would guess that about 90 some percent of all the people in this room would say I believe I have an eternal perspective and that's what our minds say and that's what our words say but here's how you know if in fact there is a heaven and there is a Savior and he's coming back and he cares about your family and your neighborhood and he cares about the people all around the world and he cares about who shows up at work and what kind of dad or mom or roommate that you are and you have an eternal perspective here's what I will tell you your time your energy your thoughts and your money will flow to things that last forever not just things that happen for the right now. Notice the key concept here is temporal versus eternal perspective and the Apostle Paul in Philippians chapter 3 after he talked to them he said join together in following my example he's talking about lifestyle how you live brothers and sisters just as you have us as a model keep your notice eyes on those who live as we live well Paul how do you live for as I tell you and often told you before now and tell you again even with tears many live as enemies of the cross of Christ he's speaking to the church people in the church their destiny is destruction their God is their stomach and their glories and their shame their mind is set on earthly things but our citizenship is in heaven we eagerly await a Savior from there the Lord Jesus Christ who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body and so all I'm saying is by way of application be ready be ready God is coming back and my doing good doesn't just reveal my priorities they reveal my real priorities I'd encourage you to read the passage I put in your notes on again Jesus teaching out of Matthew 25 where he talks about two sets of virgins and he's giving a picture of the return of a bridegroom and these wedding party virgins and half of them were prepared and half of them weren't half of them just brought a lamp and half of them brought a lamp with a jar of oil and they fell asleep and then he came the bridegroom when they weren't ready and the half were out of oil they asked for the others well can we have some of yours and they said no we won't have enough and I love this line I just read this fresh last night when they went to buy more oil they were off doing other things he came and then they came and knocked on the door and said hey we we get we want to end now and it says depart from me I never knew you see our doing good reflects my real priorities where my time and my energy and my money and my dreams go reveal my priorities and so doing good is profound doing good announces the grace of God for others doing good reveals the grace of God working in me and doing good talks about this appearing this epiphany of the Lord's return for other people finally doing good the fourth reason reveals Jesus purpose for our lives the key concept is you're his workmanship it's interesting the most classic verse that we quote about for by grace you're saved through faith that's not of yourselves it's the gift of God not a result of works lest any man should boast Ephesians two eight and nine now here's the purpose clause verse 10 for we are his workmanship literally his poem his work of art we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for what unto a good work this isn't just about doing nice little things the creator of the universe has a good unique work that the gifts you have the family you came from the circumstances and the point in history that you are right now he has something for you to do and something for me to do you're doing good reveals the purpose he has for your life Jesus last night he got his disciples together and he said fellas this is what glorifies God this is what matters he talked about the vine the branch the relationship and then he says you producing much fruit not some fruit much fruit the grace of God implanting the spirit of God that changes a character that changes relationships that changes priorities that changes concern you become an agent where the conduit of God's love and grace flow in you and then through you and it changes people doing good matters as John Wesley said do all the good that you can to all the people you can as often as you can and as long as you can but here's the assignment real very simple each day this week just do good in your home just I mean just I mean you know what bring someone coffee say a compliment do good in your home do something good just do good at work and then do good at your third place and whether that's the gym or whether that's where you coach or whether that's with a group of people you just hang out with or whether that's a coffee shop just do something good and here's what's gonna happen you're gonna start watching this is just a little experiment a little ripple of change in people and here's what will shock you you're going whoa that feels good because God made you to do good Chip will be right back with his application for this message why doing good matters so much from his series doing good what happens when Christians live like Christians the Bible teaches that we're saved by God's grace and our faith in him so where does that leave doing good works I mean why does it matter how we treat one another through chips teaching in the book of Titus we'll learn how our decision to do good for another person is more than just a simple gesture it's an opportunity to impact their life don't miss the easy ways you can practice doing good every day and how we can dramatically change our world for the better now if you missed any part of this series the chipping gram app is a great way to catch up anytime well chips joined me here in studio now and chip today you gave us some really practical ways we can do good toward others but the problem is people are still secluded and there's not a lot of fellowship or connection happening what's Living on the Edge doing to encourage people to get re-engaged with one another well Dave that is a great question and there's a reason that we put this series on at this time in our nation's history Peter would write to a group of Christians that were undergoing intense persecution very very difficult time for believers they were maligned life was very very difficult and he writes to them and says live such good lives among the pagans that though they accuse you of doing wrong they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day that he visits you know the fact of the matter is as our words our arguments our positions are posting on Facebook or Instagram are not necessarily going to change the world very much but acts of kindness acts of love especially to those who would think that you don't care we are calling the church in this season to do good to love our neighbor as ourself and we're reminding everyone that when Jesus said who is your neighbor it's the person who's in proximity to you regardless of what they look like what color they are what their view is and political issues when we as God's children love our neighbor when we do good we make a difference I'm imagining in my mind's eye thousands of groups of Christians gathering together in small groups studying what it looks like to do good and then coming up with plans where you do good in neighborhoods in your community and in workplaces in ways where critics are silenced God's name is glorified and change really begins to happen let me encourage you be a part of one of those groups do good make a difference God promises he will use it thanks Chip well let me encourage you to get plugged in to the small group resources for this series join Chip as he unpacks why being others centered is important to God and has the power to turn our world upside down learn more about the small group resources for doing good by going to Living on the Edge dot org or by calling triple 8 3 3 3 6 0 0 3 that's triple 8 3 3 3 6 0 0 3 or Living on the Edge dot org app listeners tap special offers well Chip let's get to that application you promised as we close today's program and you have heard basically an overview of the book of Titus I mean you've seen the entire framework about the importance the centrality of doing good and that it is the very grace of God that saves us it's that same grace that teaches us to say no to worldliness and all ungodliness and then talks about very specific acts of doing good that when we do it's just like lights come on in people's eyes it's the kindness of God that leads people to repentance and they they need to see that kindness in us they need to see Christians behind the wheel today that wave and let someone in they need to meet a Christian today that you know you just buy the coffee for the person behind you they need to meet a Christian today that you know says hey you know something you need a ride home I'll take care of that they need to see a Christian today that you know when we all set out our garbage cans and you know the trucks come by and then you know there's some trash they need to see who's that neighbor that keeps putting my cans back where they need to be and even brings them back and puts them next to my house I remember being next door to a lady who many many many years ago that didn't seem to be very receptive to the Lord or the gospel and I just found I know she was a single mom and been through some hard stuff and and so every time I cut my lawn I cut her lawn and she always would look at me like you know kind of why do you do that about 10 12 15 years later I never saw any results as she visited the church and it was like whoa I was at another church and was like like what are you doing here and it was just kind of like ding it was the grace of God demonstrated in a simple act that God used to change her life and her heart and I got to be one small part of that today think about what small step you could take to do a good work in the name of Jesus and then see God work great word ship thanks as we wrap up I want to thank those of you who make this program possible through your generous financial support your gifts help us create programs purchase airtime and develop additional resources to help Christians live like Christians now if you've been blessed by the ministry of Living on the Edge would you consider sending a gift today call us at triple eight three three three six zero zero three or go to Living on the Edge org app listeners tap donate your support is greatly appreciated well until next time this is Dave Drewy saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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