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July 14, 2020 9:00 am
Today on some Atlanta pastor Jamie Greer calls us to take a look at our heart. You hate sin itself more than you hate the punishment God has always been after a group of people were godly feel that way about Sam that he feels below his floor the way that he loves and loves what he loved to do righteousness, not because they fear punishment because they love righteousness back in the earlier part of the 20th century, most Americans if they were truly saved would at least go to church.
It was just the cultural norm but over the past 70 years or so. Our countries become increasingly secular to the point where Christians are often ridiculed for their beliefs, and the name of Jesus is not to be spoken publicly. So we keep standing for the truth when it feels like everyone is against us today pastor JD continues our new study called everyday theology entitled this message from Titus chapters 1 and two, separating the true gospel false one is a church planter on the gate help Crete which is where Titus was assigned was one of the most immoral places in the ancient world, which makes the book of Titus incredibly relevant. How do you live out the faith in a really difficult immoral place like Crete.
How do you handle it when you're what you believe is is despised and belittled constantly were most people find what you believe at best irrelevant, at worst, they find it just downright silly. Paul writes the book of Titus to answer those questions.
Paul has one concern for Titus in this book and it is and I quote the truth that leads to godliness. That phrase truth Alisa godliness for at least that concept is going to come up over and over throughout this book, you see God's purpose in the gospel was to create for himself a God loving and godlike people. That's what godliness meets. That was the point in what he did with Christian talk a lot about what we are saved from sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. But what we are saved from is not nearly as important as what we say to. Therefore, Paul says one of the ways you can authenticate true religion from false religion is by how well it cultivates godliness in your heart.
So what I want to do today show you how the apostle Paul explains why the gospel produces godliness in a way that nothing else can then want to show you why I every other religious approach will work and then I want to have you asked of evaluation questions about your church and about your faith, namely this is your faith produces godliness. So let's get started is number one how the gospel produces godliness over the chopper to verse 11, Paul says, for the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say no. Here's a question unanswered aloud. What is it referred to that is most important question in the whole book. What is that it Paul said.
Listen look at it the grace of God teaches us to say no to godliness, and will be back the little self-control the grace of God. According to this text focuses our attention in three different directions.
This is really important.
The first place.
The grace of God directs our attention is upward. He says you'll see in their verse 13 we wait for the blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ upward upward to the glorious God that has called us to himself.
Verse 14, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness. We look backwards to the price he paid to save us and then he continues on, that he might purify for himself a people that are his very own. Looking forward to. In other words, we looked upward to the God who has saved this. We look backward to the price that he paid to redeem us. We look forward into the beautiful thing that he is making us into and those three looks upward, backward and forward is what produces godly passion in your heart. Now here's the question why why does this produce godliness and arts. Let's take these apart one at a time upward upward. The gospel redirects our worship. It redirects our worship same problems as I've often explained to you start as worship problems. There's a second thing the backward look.
The gospel restores gratefulness. It points us backwards to the gospel to our complete inability to save ourselves. We were hopeless and that posture gratefulness is the fountain from which godliness springs forward. Here's your third book the gospel raises expectations their regular expectations of the gospel we get a glimpse of what God is making us he puts into us a taste or a hunger for that future and it begins to shape what we love and what we pursue. I number two why religion cannot produce godliness. Why cannot produce godliness to be a couple things here. It emphasizes adherence to rules rather than internal transformation.
It's it is concerned with what you say and how you act, not what you are not. Here's the other thing it uses God uses God is the means to houses or cars or a better life now, or even eternity in heaven religion. In fact, Paul explains leads to wasn't the opposite of godliness. See what I mean they cannot shut this down instead of gratefulness.
Religion produces pride.
So if I ask you right now why God and let you into heaven, why he accept you and you tell me anything about you LOL United church and numbed a person on or kill anybody in number to dad even it seems innocuous but what you're basically saying to yourself is because I am better than this group of people over here. That's why God accepts me, and that leads to pride which leads to you. Looking down on people with these all kinds of sin or the flipside, if you don't do well in religion leads to despair you give up you get frustrated July guy I bought this religion may not try not fail so I might as well indulge in pornography. I might as well drink a lot because you know I'm terrible religion. I'm terrible at life so that Lisa stuff feels good instead of producing godliness. Religion produces pride and despair which both lead to more sin. Their second thing and set a full surrender. Religion calls for only partial commandment set a full surrender. Religion only asked for a part of your life. You see, if salvation is a negotiation. If you got a do a lot a certain amount of things are forgot to let you into heaven after you fulfilled those things you feel like the rest of your life belongs to you. However, if Jesus saved you when you had nothing if you were desperate and hopeless when he saved you, then there is not 1 ounce of your life that does not belong to him as well. Paul use the word rebellious. These people are not led to full surrender their lead to negotiation, which is got a page your part. Now you owe me eternal life. Instead of worshiping God and using things you worship things and use God. That's a characteristic set of worshiping God use image worship things and use God. God becomes like a set a means to an end up told to destroy that before. I think the herb Oregon college that was notorious on campus for his sexual prowess as a Playboy for him sleeping with girls was not just about lost it was about power. It's how he felt like a man. It's, what set him above the other guys because he had the ability to get all these girls asleep with them. Well, this guy undergoes this you religious awakening. This conversion becomes like you know this leader on campus Christian leader in its yes the customer must be excited about right, but people who got close to the sky, said it was something just off about him where if you ever discussing theology with him. He had to show you why he was smarter about the issue that you were if you're a Bible study together. It's his opinion that he wants to be seen as the most disciple he wants to be the president of the group.
It's always about him. His faith lasted for 34 years and then he kind of drifted away because what's this, his faith was never about God is faithful is about finding a new way to get what he really wanted, which is power sexual prowess was once a wafer power that he forced for that so that he could have God, which was an even better means the power he was using God to get what he really wanted. Here's here's another one.
Instead of this goes along with Alan instead of hating Sandy negotiate with it, you're always asking like how close can I get and it really not be sin your concern with Santos to avoid punishment for zero as I how close can I get and still be okay. People who love God hate sin not concern when you hate something you not try to figure out how much you can have of it and figure how far you can stay away from it that I got a friend who lives up in Richmond Virginia. My wife and I the stories about our RAG said it is a good head for his wife one morning at 230 the morning to the hot emergency room because you been bitten by a black widow in their bed. Now she's okay.
I gave her the you know whatever, the antidote but you know she him in the antivenom my wife listen to storytelling at really she says I just want you to know if that ever happens in our house. We will have to move and I don't even mean suet of in house coming to a different state.
My wife hates spiders right. I don't have because of that we will have one in the cage is a pet if we could defang a tarantula. She's going back this summer.
We are family was always nature science center, places and they had a tarantula.
They defanged and that you can hold it made would answer my kids rolling out. Let's hold it in Veronica's in the other room. I don't want to look at that. I've tried to explain her unlikely. Isaiah says in the new heavens and new earth. The limelight now the Lamb, which means there's gotta be a redeemed version of the spider. She said not my have a negative that she hates it. So the question is not how close can we get the spiders and I get hurt.
The question is how far can we keep ourselves from any version of the spider.
That's how people who love God feel about. They hate what it does to him.
His glory is creation what he did to Jesus on the cross as you not like how close can I get still be okay if I want to go as far away from that as I can get Richard assumes the Puritan listen to this after being transformed by the gospel. This sin itself becomes more loathsome to you and the punishment that how you feel about send you hate the sin itself more than you hate the punishment because if godliness is growing in you.
That's how you begin to feel God has always been after a group of people who were godly to feel that way about send that he feels who love his glory, the way that he loves it.
Who loves what he loved to do righteousness, not because they fear punishment, but because they love righteousness. The illustration on a given. You guys were this is some people hate it when I uses illustration, but it makes a point is why use it. I told you if like him right before the service started like seconds before the service started. Somebody just threw up right here in the middle floor right right on your disturbing to big steaming pile of vomit and it happened right when the server started the service got going on. There's not a single one of you in here. Not one that would need me to stand up here and say now is against the rules of the summit church for you cannot hear look at this vomit.
This vomit is off-limits.
You're not allowed. Look it up even if applicable. You came into my life and I will put guards on either side of baseball bats to make sure that when I'm out looking you know that you're looking at this vomit then nobody here that needs to hear me say that is there right now. Nope, nobody now is your German Shepherd listening to me right now. You do need to hear that and you do need the Gaza bats beside the bonnet because you like warm vomit half digested hotdog awesome.
You know God does not want spiritual dogs in heaven who only avoid sin, because they're afraid God can whack him with a baseball bat. If they do what God wants his people who have a taste for righteousness who don't need to be threatened with punishment or blessing who just pursue holiness and righteousness because they love it. Like God loves it.
Religion keeps you busy with rituals commands a mere words. But religion can never curb sand of anything religion just encourages it. Making another analogy of use is told you it's like religion is something like it are to take a very like II got a bar that you would use to lift weights with very hard metal. But, brittle to power to have it up here and I were strong enough to bend it just a little bit. I'm one of two things would happen because I'm not that strong.
It would eventually like to know because I lose my strength and I let it go in and just snap back to the original shape right or I would put so much pressure on it. If I were strong enough that I would snap the bar and I've explained that religious pressure produces one of those two reactions and you religious pressure will cause you to conform for a little while when the right pressures are there peer pressure, your parents, your friends or whatever, but the moment there's pressures of nonuse go back to the way that your heart wants to be or this second reaction we put so much pressure on it that you snap spiritually. If I were to take a blow torch though and I were to heat the metal men I could take the ends of the bar and shape it in the whatever shape I wanted to be because now the Constitution of the metal was different. What Paul is saying is that the gospel fires the heart so that it can be re-shaped according to godliness and religion can never do that because it's words and external pressures but cannot reshape the heart.
John Bunyan who wrote Pilgrim's progress is this great little hump or at least that's attributed to him that I've loved over the years Ron John run the law commands gives me neither feet nor hands far better news the gospel brings it bids me fly and gives me wings. The gospel does what religious law can never do. So Paul says is a lot of religious people that claim to know God with their words and with their actions, but the shape of their hearts makes them deny him even though their lives are crazy busy, religiously speaking the shape of their hearts is detestable, disobedient and unfit for every good work. But the gospel changes that the kindness of God.
Paul says leads us to true repentance by redirecting our worship by restoring gratefulness and by raising our expectations.
Charles Spurgeon said it this way when I thought God was hard. I found it easy to sin, but when I found God so fine, so good, so overflowing with compassion. It was then I smote upon my breast to think that I could ever have rebelled against one who loved me so and sought my good Christianity is not turning over a new leaf is the power of a new life. It's not a resolve to do better. It's a resurrection to new life in Christ. You don't need New Year's resolutions.
You need a new heart and you need the power of the Holy Spirit and that comes not by exhortation me yelling at you, it comes by narration of a beautiful event which is God your prints, your bridegroom, your mighty warrior, the glorious God appearing for you coming to take on sin on your behalf giving up his life to redeem you, purifying you for himself rising again for you promising you. He's gonna come back and when you look upwards to the glory of that God backward the price you pay and forward to what he's offering you godliness grows up in your heart and righteousness brings out you don't need me yelling you what you need. All you need anything. You just need this gospel that just flows out of you because it's new life flowing in you. Religion says this is in this contest are religion to another. Pastor Tim Chesser I'm religion says you should not sleep with your boyfriend you should read your Bible every day. You should not get drunk. You should witness to your friends. You should not lose your temper, but none of those are good news to someone struggling with those issues to them all the should and should not feel like condemnation, but what the gospel says is this not you should not but you need not, you need not get drunk because Jesus offers a better refuge and alcohol.
You need not lose your temper because God is in control the situation. You need not give yourself away to money because God is a better treasurer and security. The money is. You need not make yourself a slave to romance because God is your fulfillment in your companion sin, says Tim Chesser is always making promises of the gospel exposes those promises as false promises, and points to God is bigger and better and more glorious than anything San offers that is good news was like I often tell you guys the gospel that we preach here is not fundamentally good advice, not leadership lessons from uncle JD ways to live your life better.
The gospel is not good advice is good news is good news, not about what you should do but about what God did so in light of that, Paul urges us to do two things aid to evaluate the religious teaching you receive what the teachers that you listen to what I emphasize to emphasize things you should do ways that you should be where they emphasize the grace of God and the power of new life that comes from what he did know. Listen, every religious tradition tends to lose the thread of the grace of God.
Every single one, just in different ways. If you came out of a ritualistic tradition and you probably had church attendance, the prayers, a code of ethics that was emphasize to you go to church, light the candles and the prayers for the sins I thought godliness was if you came out of a Baptist tradition like I did than what was emphasize work the standards of behavior. This is how Christians look like talk about a dress right or early activity you know a good Christians are busy Christians have told you that one high on one of the churches I'd was that when I was growing up was had. We had to use a course and in the pew in front of us with little blue envelope that your service what your offering in every way anybody tried with this yet will offer you put it in on it. The front of it were a list of things that good Christians what to do every week like read your Bible, pray witness and I told you that used to be again for my sister and me to see if we could start and complete all the activities on that front of that omelette. By the time dolphin started when I got to us.
So was like you to read the Bible check.
I pray God's will have its economic check can't share Christ with somebody I serve Christ with my sister witness to her every single week, check put the money there in the offering, you know, but it was it was just to Jesus what you do this if you're busy, you know sometimes what Scott emphasized.
If you came out of a prosperity tradition. Oh, it's realizing your potential. That's how you begin to live for and I called his visionary evangelism, the way God changes us is by showing us a vision of what we could be in the future showing us what he wants us to have our best life out here and then that change is it's not the thought of your best life that is going to change you his understanding that the best life ever lived, was given for you as a sacrifice if you came out of a Pentecostal tradition. What was emphasize the spirit baptism again. Listen, I'm in the fullness of the spirit. I wrote a book on but the spirit of God is there to point you to the beauty of the gospel that the whole point is that is the grace of God appears in your heart. That's what teaches you to deny ungodliness from the spirit of God comes in your heart what he does is he makes the grace of God appear larger to you if you came out of a reformed or a Bible tradition that was all about learning learning facts.
You can even go to church. You can class you brought a notebook and you brought dance of godly people take notes we call transformation. My education is not transformation my education. True transformation comes by revelation of the beauty of God. You came out of a more liberal tradition, and it was all about activism, good Christians care about the social injustice in good Christians try to fix this in their community and that's awesome. But it is not what I do for my community.
It's not what I discipline myself to do that produces godliness. What brings the power of new life is the blood of Jesus. Would you be free from your passion and pride is power in the blood come for a cleansing the Calvary sky. There is wonderful power in the blood.
It was in the cross listen that you were released first from the penalty of sin which were released also from the power of sin from the penalty of sin.
In the past when the power of sin in the present.
If you want to know how to say to note ungodliness and worldly lusts in the grace of God has to appear to your heart. Satan loves to promote religion that is divested of the power the blood stains find you want to church he actually prefer it because then you keep yourself deluded into thinking that your sufficient Satan is into religion, but he wants you to be a place for the blood of Jesus is not emphasized. So Paul tells the Cretan believers I say to you, listen churches and pulpits that do not centralize the gospel in the grace of God should be avoided at all costs that sound harsh, but not a calendar family's been around how many friends you got there. You need to avoid them and that sounds harsh then read the book of Titus, Paul tells them that have nothing to do with counterfeit nozzles because all they do is promote rebellion and sin in the heart is only the gospel gives life to you and your family care about life in yourself, family, and you get yourself in place for the grace of God is talk about and celebrated in worship and soaking in every single poor are going here on my 13 year. As always, you can find this online dating rear.com castigating this new series everyday theology were working through the book of Titus and emphasizes solid gospel foundation. Why is it so important to spend time building that makes well what you see is that it's a solid foundation vertically that enables you to thrive in your relationships horizontally and it's the deeper you go in the grace of the gospel. The more you understand what your life is supposed to be like, whether talking about how to relate to your children to your spouse to friends to people that are in opposition to you or how you even relate to your own sinful flesh. It actually captures what we do but we try to do here in Summit life, which is a take people deeper the gospel.
That's a big theme of ours. So what we did is we created a resource called start. It's just the foundation of of the Christian faith.
It's a fun interactive experience to help you know God help you master some of the basics. We love to be able to to give you one of those if you partner with us to making a donation of $25 and it's a resource we would love to give you as always, you can check out any of these things and just discredit JD grid.com and see all the information we can get you a copy of this study guide today. It comes with our thanks when you donate to support this program. If your church leader. This new start foundations of the Christian faith study were great resource to share with others in your church. Also perfect for small grievances to study with a spouse or if today and remembered your copy at the start, I 20 8665 20 we can donate online. I'm only minutes inviting you to join us Wednesday Titus everyday theology right here on the