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The Christian Man #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
February 14, 2023 7:00 am

The Christian Man #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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February 14, 2023 7:00 am

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Thanks for joining us on The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Hello, I'm Bill Wright. Today Don continues teaching God's people God's Word in our current series titled, Living as God's People. Let's join Don now for part two of a message called The Christian Man on The Truth Pulpit. It gives one more trait of a dignified life there in Titus chapter two. He says, older men are to be temperate, dignified, and sensible.

This term for sensible is a recurring theme in the chapter. You see the word used in verse five to talk about young women. Young women are to love their husbands, their children, verse five, to be sensible, pure workers at home. You see it in verse six, likewise urge the young men to be sensible. This is woven throughout the passage. And even in verse 12, you see this statement of the outworking, the fruit of salvation.

Look at verse 11. The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires, and to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in the present age. Salvation, biblical salvation, regeneration, the new birth, the new creation, coming to Christ, produces a life that grows out of immaturity and embraces the idea of sensible living. You see the pattern for Christian life.

Not wild-eyed, charismatic arena events where people are knocked down and supposedly slain in the spirit, and all kinds of crazy healings that supposedly take place. That is not Christianity, beloved. That is not Christianity. What we see in this most direct, clear statement is that the grace of God brings salvation to all men, and the grace of God brings salvation in order to lead people into, among other things, His mind runs His life, not His desires, not His fears, not His impulses, certainly not His sexual lusts. He's driven by righteous, godly, sensible thinking that has been transformed by the Word of God.

Let's approach it from a different angle. This sensible, sober-minded man. This is a man who does not panic when trials come. This is a man who doesn't wring his hands wondering what he's going to do. He says, God has sent these circumstances to me.

God has sent this life to me, these life circumstances. I need to respond in a sensible, godly way. There is a maturity to it. There is a calmness to it. There is a steadiness to it. Again, I'll go back to the word erratic, not bouncing around from point to point in mind or in location. Not bouncing around, but coming to a place of stability and saying, this is where God has called me.

This is where God has put me. I will dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. It's the opposite of a man who bounces his family around from church to church every two or three years. For example, prudent, thoughtful, steady. A man that can be relied on. A man who is the same today as he was yesterday and will be tomorrow.

That kind of man. Now, dignity in life, in other words. How can we illustrate this?

It helps to have a human example. Well, let's see what Paul probably had in mind. Paul wrote this letter to Titus. What was Paul like at the end of his life? What was Paul like in his advanced years? We'll go back just one book to Second Timothy chapter four.

What kind of dignity do we see in the apostle Paul? And I love hearing the crinkling of turning pages. That's one of the great things about Truth Community Church is that you follow along in your Bibles.

That's exactly what you should do. And that is so important to do. So we're illustrating this dignity in life for an older man. Paul, an older man, writing something in Second Timothy. This is his swan song. It's the last words that came from his great pen.

And what does he say? Look at chapter four, verse six of Second Timothy. Actually, go up to verse five. His closing admonition to Timothy says, but you be sober in all things. Endure hardship. Do the work of an evangelist. Fulfill your ministry. Timothy, be sober-minded. Hardship is going to come.

Endure it like a man. And then he shifts to himself. He reflects, as it were, and he gives a description of what's going on in his own heart as he moves toward the finish line of Second Timothy, as he moves toward the finish line of his apostolic ministry, as he moves toward the finish line of life. What's he saying?

What's he thinking? I hope that this can somehow mark me in my last days. Paul says, for I am already being poured out as a drink offering, attitude toward life, toward people, as he comes to the end. And the dignity that marks it. In verse 16, he says, at my first defense, no one supported me, but all deserted me.

May it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear, and I was rescued out of the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever.

Amen. Paul, an old man. Paul, facing imminent death.

Paul looks back on life. And what is the dignity that marks him as he does? Beloved, he is gracious toward those who deserted him. He says, these men left me. May God not hold it against them.

Dignity, sensible, sober-minded. He looks vertically, and he praises God for his faithfulness. God has rescued me in the past. He's going to rescue me from every evil deed, perhaps thinking of execution at the hands of Caesar being just ahead for him in his life. But God will rescue me, and he will bring me to his heavenly kingdom. This is the dignity and the sobriety of it.

I'm on the verge of death. May God forgive those who wronged me. I know that he'll take care of me going forward. He's going to deliver me safely into his heavenly kingdom. Beloved, think about that as you think about what Paul is saying when he says older men are to be temperate, dignified, and sensible.

Men there, older men, your gray hairs and lacking hair, there's your pattern. There's your pattern for life. This is what God is calling you to. Away from preoccupation with petty issues, away from an unforgiving spirit, away from fear of the future, a willingness to forgive, a trusting of God, a confident looking forward to eternal life that is resting in the faithfulness and the love and the goodness of Jesus Christ your Lord. That's the call.

Pretty high call, isn't it? Dignity in life that is rooted in the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Well, let's go on to the second point here and look at the maturity in faith. Dignity in life, maturity in faith.

Just a preliminary point here. One of the aspects of recognizing the supremacy of Christ and recognizing the transcendent importance of biblical truth, men, is to consider and to contemplate what it is that you give your mind to, what it is that you engage your thought with. You know, are you engaging in books or teaching that are leading you into a better knowledge of biblical truth, biblical doctrine?

Biblical fidelity? Or, God forbid, is your mind in front of the television seven, eight hours a day just drinking in entertainment or the Fox News Channel? What you are putting into your mind is showing you what the direction of your life is, where your heart is. What is it, I ask you?

Ladies, this goes for you too. Maturity in faith. In our lives are called to manifest Christian virtue reflected in a mature knowledge and manifestation of faith. Look at the end of verse two with me. Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible.

Here we go. Sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. Sound, healthy, strong, confident in what you believe, what you know, what you believe, and how you respond to it. You are confident in the Word of God. You are confident in the goodness of God, and you affirm it in your life with your lips, and you affirm it with your life and the way that you live and with the decisions that you make. You see, beloved, what we're talking about here, what Scripture is calling us to is something that is far beyond mere verbal assent, far beyond nodding in response to what the preacher is saying, far beyond in other circles calling out, Amen, when the guy preaches. You know, that can be kind of distracting to the guy in the pulpit, just so you know. You might want to affirm a guy that way, but it can distract and break a train of thought. It's not necessarily a good thing to do, and sometimes it's just a matter of calling attention to self. Forget that kind of external verbal stuff that other men can see and call out to the preacher.

Contemplate your character in light of these things. This is not an outward thing for a show for men. We're not putting on displays for others to see. We're after the reality. We want to be like this in our character because this is what God has called us to be. It isn't chasing after every new fad. The older man who's mature in faith wasn't tempted to chase after the social justice gospel when it rose up, wasn't tempted to chase after all the new fads that inevitably come up when publishers realize there's a buck to be made in this genre of books, men who weren't attracted away by the so-called heavenly tourism books. Oh, I died and went to heaven.

Let me tell you what it's like up there. You know, men look at that and just realize for the tripe and trash that it is and don't give their time to it, don't speculate on it, that kind of maturity. It's a maturity that, you know, kind of building on what I said earlier, that loves others, seeks out weaker believers and looks to build them up rather than just living in a selfish bubble that's all about me. Maturity in faith that walks with Christ even when the howling winds of adversity rattle the windows of your life.

That kind of maturity, that kind of maturity that sets priorities and sets schedules around the things of God rather than the pleasures and entertainment of men. That's what we're talking about, beloved. This is lofty.

This is life transforming. This is convicting for many. Let's see these things in the life of Paul again as we turn the corner in our message. Sound in faith, we saw it there in Titus chapter 2 verse 2.

Sound in faith. What was Paul's faith like as an older man at the end? Look back again to 2 Timothy chapter 4. 2 Timothy chapter 4. Paul says, I have fought the good fight.

I have finished the course. I have kept the faith. In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day and not only to me but also to all who have loved his coming.

Paul says, I've kept the faith. The Lord gave me. The Lord instructed me, revealed things directly to me and I've kept it. I've taught them. I have not deviated from them. I've given them to the next generation.

I've kept it. That's the mark of an older man in the faith. What about sound in love? Going back to, we'll bounce back and forth between Titus and the illustrations here with the life of Paul. Titus chapter 2 verse 2. Sound in faith, in love. What about Paul's love at the end of his life? We'll look at 2 Timothy chapter 1 now verses 3 through 6 as he writes to his disciple these parting words. Look at the affection.

Look at the concern. Look at the spiritual godliness that surrounds what he says. To his struggling disciple, he says there in chapter 1 verse 3, I thank God whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day. Longing to see you even as I recall your tears so that I may be filled with joy. For I'm mindful of the sincere faith within you which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and I am sure that it is in you as well. For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

Beloved, this was so much more than a sentimental attaboy that he was given to Timothy. This drips with spiritual earnestness. It drips with love and concern for his well-being. It drips with the love that looks to strengthen him in life.

Look at it there with me. He's praying for him in verse 3. He longs to see him in verse 4. He remembers past time together when Timothy wept in his presence.

He said the memory of you fills me with joy. Men, I ask you whether there is anyone in your life that you feel that way about let alone whether there's someone that you have that kind of input with him or not. Sound in love investing in one way or another.

I won't prescribe the details of it. I'm just asking you whether there's a man, whether there are men in your life that you give yourself to and you're concerned spiritually for them. I know that some of you do in the realms that God has given to you and I am so encouraged by that. There's a lot of men in this room.

So I have to ask the question broadly. Sound in love. You have the sense, you know what, God didn't give me this life for me. There are men out there. There are people out there. There are family members out there who need me to be strong, to love, to support them. I'm going to be there for them.

Sound in love. That's the call of God on an older Christian man. Well, one last one here as we look at maturity and faith. Titus chapter 2 verse 2, in perseverance. Sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. Was Paul sound in perseverance?

What a rock. 2 Timothy chapter 1 verse 12. Verse 11, he said, I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher. He'd lived out his ministry.

He'd suffered a lot of hardship as a result of it. Despised and rejected by men in reflection of our Lord. He was also despised and rejected of men. And you see, men, look, as noble as this life that scripture calls us to is, and it is a noble life. It is not the path of popularity. This is a path that leads you to rejection, to being marginalized by the people around you, by being ignored by others. We're not motivated by the human reaction to the life that we live for Christ.

That's not what motivates us, and so it does not deter us from persevering in it. Paul, verse 11, a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher. And what does he say about it at the end of his life? He says, for this reason, I suffer these things. He's in prison. He's about to be executed. He says, I'm about to speak.

I'm about to kill my blood. I'm about to die as a result of the things that I've taught and communicated to you, Timothy. And what does he say about it? This is a man. This is a Christian man.

He says, I suffer these things, but I'm not ashamed. I'm not ashamed of what I have entrusted to him until that day. I know that Christ is the living God. I know the biblical truth about him, and I believe it, and I'm committed to it. And whatever the consequences that come from that belief, I'm undeterred. I know whom I believed.

I'm not ashamed. All the more, I'm all the more convinced of it at the end of my life than I was at the beginning. That this one whom I know, this Christ who loved me and gave himself up for me, this Christ who reigns in glory at the right hand of the Father, and one day is coming back in glory to establish his kingdom, to separate the wheat from the chaff, the sheep from the goat.

I know him. He loved me, gave himself up for me. He's supreme and sovereign. Over all, I'm convinced of these things, and I know that he'll keep my soul.

The body they may kill, God's truth abideth still. His kingdom is forever. He endures. He persevered. And soon after he wrote those words, his faith again became sight.

Men, if you're the head of a household, it's just sifted your entire life. There's a purpose to life that says, I exist in order to strengthen other believers, to help them, to be an encouragement to them. The Lord's given me strength, given me a mind, given me resources, given me time. I want to be beside them.

I want to help them. Not every man in a church lives that way, do they? Scripture calls them to. If you've accepted that kind of mediocrity in your life and you're living that way, beloved, shame on you. Shame on you. Jesus Christ is worthy of so much more than what you've done, than what you're doing. It's time to repent.

It's time to put away the childish approach to life and live for manly things. I invite you, I encourage you, I call upon you to confess your sin before God earnestly. Ask him to change you and to set your mind on the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Christian men of dignified faith in the body of Christ, may God help you to excel still more for the glory of the one who loved you and gave himself up for you. Because this is what Scripture calls us to. Because this is what Christ is worthy of. Because this is a noble way to live.

Because a church will not rise above the character of its older men. That's Don Green with part two of a message called The Christian Man, part of a series titled Living as God's People here on The Truth Pulpit. And we hope we'll see you again next time, but before we go, here's Don with a special invitation. Well friends, thank you for joining us for The Truth Pulpit here in this 26-minute format that we have. I wanted to let you know about another audio ministry that is available, and that is our podcast titled Through the Psalms. I recently completed teaching through the entire Psalter, Psalms 1 through 150, and we have turned that into a weekly podcast that is released each Saturday. And if you want to register to receive that podcast through your favored means, you could study through the Psalms in about three years with us. You can find the link to that podcast at Again, the podcast is through the Psalms, and you can find the link at Thanks Don, and thank you friend for joining us today. I'm Bill Wright, and we'll see you next time on The Truth Pulpit, where we teach God's people God's Word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-20 05:59:33 / 2023-02-20 06:07:10 / 8

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