Thanks for joining us on The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Hello again, I'm Bill Wright. Today Don continues with our series titled, Living as God's People, with a message titled, The Young Christian Man. Have your Bible open and ready as Don teaches God's people God's Word from The Truth Pulpit. Titus chapter 2 verses 6 through 8. What do we want to see here today? We want to see three things out of this passage that's addressed to young men. First of all, we want to see the exhortation in verse 6.
We want to see the example in verse 7, and then we want to see the explanation in verse 8, and we'll look through those as we as we go along today. First of all, the exhortation to young men. The exhortation to young men. If you're taking notes today, that's point number one, the exhortation to young men. Paul had told the older men to maintain dignity in life and to show maturity in their faith. Look at verse 2. Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.
And that kind of becomes the foundation or the building block upon which the other aspects of the text are built upon. Verse 3, older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior. The spirit of the godly woman is to be like that of the older man, dignified, sensible, and sound in faith. Older women in verse 3 are to be reverent, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, but teaching what is good. We spoke about how important it is for older women to be conscious of what's coming out of their lips, what's coming out of their mouths as they speak especially to young women. Verse 4, young women are to love their husbands, to love their children.
The young women are to be sensible, pure, and workers at home. And on it goes. But all of that to show us that Paul as he comes to address young men is continuing the theme of the overall passage. He's not introducing something distinct that is unrelated to what has gone before. It's so tightly connected with the verbal phrases that he uses that you couldn't begin to miss it. And so for you younger men who are with us here today, this passage speaks to a particular kind of application of the same themes to you.
And we see it there in verse 6. Likewise, urge the young men to be sensible. And now I'm just going to, as the passage does, I'm just going to speak directly to the young men in the audience.
It's not so much about chronology but station in life. You know, those that are entering into their their career at the first stages of life, those that are at the early stages of marriage with young children at home, perhaps those that are young Christians even and just starting out on the walk of faith itself. Early in life, early in stages, early chapters, this is what Scripture says particularly to you.
And what does Scripture say? Scripture commands the young man to consider the principles that have gone before in this passage and to consider the examples that they have in the Christian men around them and to make a conscious commitment, a conscious decision of heart that says, I will incline my heart in that direction that I see. I have it in seed form in my heart through the work of Christ in my heart. I am going to incline my heart to pursue growth in these principles and as they are illustrated in the godly Christian men around me.
In other words, young men, Scripture tells you to look at these principles and to embrace them in your heart, to give your heart over to Christ as he has expressed it here in his word. And if you belong to Christ, if Christ has done a work in your heart and you're conscious of new life coursing in your veins, if you're conscious that that God has done a work in you and changed you, then you are to work this out in practical life. You are to work your salvation out in this particular way. And it starts with a mental cognizance, a thinking that recognizes something eternally profound has happened in my heart by the work of Christ. Jesus Christ has saved me and set me apart. I now live for his purposes.
And as a result of that, I need to know what those purposes are. I need to apply myself to his word. And I understand that it's not simply an acquisition of mental knowledge. It's not merely an acquisition of intellectual and theological knowledge that I need, although that is part of it.
Going beyond that, that has a shaping effect on all of my affections, all of the things that I desire, the things of my priorities. This goes to the very character of who I am, and that I have the blessed privilege of cultivating and pursuing Christian virtue in my life now, as opposed to the carnal way that I used to think and live. It is a wonderful, magnificent calling.
It is though Christ has stood on the mountaintop of spiritual life and whistled to you and said, you come up here. You come be with me. Leave the world behind.
Sometimes leave your family behind if they would hinder you and not support you. And understand that your supreme loyalty is to me now. You are to love me, Christ speaking, with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind.
And what does that do to a young man? What does that, how does that work itself out in his heart? Well, he embraces all of these things. He looks at the Word of God, he looks at the Word of God, and he says, this is the highest treasure that I have in life. This is God's Word, and by his Spirit I can understand it. I can read it, and I can grow, and this Word will change me as the Spirit works in my heart. And this is, this is my lifeline connection to the God who saved me. And so you embrace it, and you want it, and you read it, and you study it, and you learn from men who have gone before you in the faith.
That's what you do. That's part of being a sensible young man. But the idea is this, is that you are turning to the Word of God and away from the impulsive desires of your prior youth. You realize that there is a new purpose operative in your life now. Perhaps the great career goals that you've had and the lustful thinking about worldly success and worldly recognition, you say, I'm dead to that. That no longer motivates me. Oh, I may still have responsibilities in a secular career, and that's okay, but the objective of it is to glorify Christ in it, not to exalt myself and to accumulate as many of the world's goods as I possibly can or to be recognized as great in my field.
No, what I want to be known for is being known as a developing man of God. That's the call of Christ on the heart of a young man. And so he turns away from the impulsive desires of youth toward these spiritual virtues that Christ calls him to in his word, and he does so gladly.
He does so joyfully. He does so with a sense that this is the greatest privilege that God could ever have bestowed upon me, is to live for Christ in this world come what may. And once you do, once you embrace that, and as the Spirit of God works in your heart, something starts to happen as you pursue this day by day by day, and understanding that that this kind of spiritual growth is something that that occurs over a lifetime, it's something that occurs in incremental day by day progress most of the time, but as you as you turn and embrace these things, as you live sensibly in light of and think sensibly in light of the work of Christ in your heart, you start to, watch this, this is kind of cool, you start to ingrain new ways of thinking in your brain. You ingrain new desires in your heart. You start to develop new habits that start to control you for an entire lifetime out of a conviction of the greatness of Christ, out of a recognition of the saving work of the Spirit of God in your heart, of the supremacy of Christ, the greatness of his person and work. You learn these things and you embrace them in your heart, then new powerful currents of desire are being activated in your heart that lead you in other ways of life and living, so that the things that you once thought were great and desirable don't hold the same attraction to you. The things that you once thought were dull and and unattainable and and indecipherable, that is the things of Christ revealed in God's Word, now become the heart desire and the love of your life. Those are the things that happen and as you live toward that, as you aim toward that, the Spirit of God uses that to change you into the image of Christ. Now listen young men, there is nothing in the world to encourage you in this direction and frankly there is very little in the broadly speaking evangelical church to encourage you in this direction either.
As the church gets involved in false doctrine, gets involved in entertainment, gets involved in matters of social justice at the expense of the true gospel of Jesus Christ, gets involved in political issues either on the left or the right, whatever it may be, understand that there is so precious little to feed this in your heart coming from external sources. It's incumbent upon you as a young man to recognize where the fountain of these things comes from. It comes from God's Word. It comes from being under the teaching of God's Word.
It comes from being in fellowship of people of like precious faith and you will have to actively seek this out for yourself. You will actively have to deny ungodly desires and ungodly lusts and pursue these things and in that show that you're going to be a sensible young man whether you're 18 or 28 or whatever the case may be. You know years ago they were saying that the age 25 today had become the new 18 in terms of becoming an adult. You know you used to be 18, you moved out, you got a job, you started working supporting a family, moving on with your life. You know well now I'll go to college, now I'll go to grad school and all of this gets postponed. That's okay.
I went you know I had education in my background as well. The only point that I'm making here young men is this, is that the immaturity of young men around you, the silly things with which they occupy their time and on which they spend their money are a sign that they are not sensible. They are not thinking rightly about life. They are squandering.
Oh it's so sad to consider. They are squandering prime years of their development for the sake of things that are they're being frittered away. They are they are they are spending their lives on lottery tickets.
I'm using a metaphor they're not speaking about literal lottery tickets. Wasting their time, wasting their thinking, wasting their energy on things that have no long-term constructive value whatsoever. They are not sensible and the world recognizes it and said they used to be an adult at 18. Now you look at them and they're 25 and maybe they're starting that direction, maybe they're not. Young men you don't have time to squander.
You don't have time to waste. You can't devote yourself to those senseless things of the world and so what you must do if you are to live for Christ you must think broadly and deeply. Recognize that drift among your contemporaries and consciously reject it and you say to yourself deep in your heart you say it in the presence of God and in the Lord Jesus Christ and you say oh God the world may be like that. The world is like that but by your grace I will not be like that. I will stand apart. You saved me that I might be your own possession. Titus chapter 2 verse 14. You saved me to be your own possession, to be zealous for good deeds, to be sensible. That's what I give my heart over to Oh God.
Now you lead me in it. By your spirit help me. Bring the right people into my life that can help develop me in that direction.
Cultivate in me a desire for the right reading, the right books, the right activities that would feed those things and not undermine them. Now with that said and lest I be misunderstood I think the most important thing that a pastor can be in teaching God's Word he must be clear. Clarity is the key to right and good preaching. You may not be dynamic, you may not be good at illustrations and things like that but a pastor must be clear so that people understand the Word of God because understanding the Word of God is what produces the transformation. If people walk out with a cloudy sense and a lack of understanding about what the text really means then you know the Word of God is throttled in its impact upon them so clarity is important here and so that's what we're trying to accomplish here today. I'm on your side completely.
I support you and I believe in you. Now with that said a sensible approach to life does not mean that you don't enjoy life. It doesn't mean that you have a sour disposition and you can only think about heavy introspective things.
That's not what we're saying at all. A sensible approach to life as Scripture describes it is simply this it can boil be boiled down to what I'm about to say here. A sensible approach to life simply means this. It means more than this but at the core it means this. It means that you recognize that life matters.
That you will give an account to God for how you live and as a result of those fundamental convictions you live in the fear of God. You live with reverence to God. Those are the fundamental things and there is all kinds of joy to be found in a life like that.
The fruit of the Spirit as I keep going back to is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness. It's a good life. It's a joyful life and the fact that it's mischaracterized and slandered against by the world and misrepresented in the church should not dissuade you into thinking that somehow this is not an excellent life to live. This is the most excellent life.
This is the most noble life to live. In whatever circumstances and occupation and skills and service opportunities the Lord gives you this is the only way to live. Be sensible young men.
Pursue the life that God is giving you in obedience to Christ, in obedience to Scripture with a humble repentant heart and not let the world or the devil dissuade you from that which is good and to live with excellence to him who called you by his own glory and grace. Now going back to the text here Titus chapter 2 verse 6 here in the NASB verse 6 ends with urge the young men to be sensible and then verse 7 starts out by saying in all things giving the appearance that in all things goes with what follows rather than what preceded it in verse 6. In all things however I you know as I understand the text it goes with the call to be sensible. In other words the view of the text is this urge the young men to be sensible in all things. In other words this is a comprehensive approach to life. This means that you don't squander your money. This means that you don't squander your time on on fruitless endeavors. You realize that there are things to invest in, to invest your time and energy in and so it the idea it to be sensible in all things means that you are cognizant of your thoughts your tongue and even your temper. You control your thoughts your tongue and your temper and in the simplicity of these building blocks of life which used to be taught with regularity and now are dying life skills.
You want to put this on the bottom shelf where it's easy to get to. Young men you want to be sensible here you go. Spend less money than you earn.
That's one place to start. Spend less than you earn. Do what you say you will do. Show up on time. If you make a promise keep it. Be sensible about life. Be somebody that someone else can depend upon.
No you know what Jim said he would be here I know he will be because he does what he says. He's sensible about these things. You want to be sensible? Stay away from the dark side of the internet. Start there for some of you. Now step back and ask this question. Pastors speaking about these things and it all seems so kind of so kind of earthly and and simplistic and common.
It sounds so common doesn't it? You know telling me to watch my budget and watch my mouth and watch where I go on the internet. You know what about superlapsarianism versus infralapsarianism. Those are theological terms that one day maybe we'll address. What about those lofty things that I can read about on the internet? Does talking in these earthly terms sound too unspiritual?
Does it sound too earthy to be worthy of your time? Oh young man young man think differently about it because this is where the outworking of these things starts. Look over at the book of Luke chapter 16. Luke chapter 16. Oh oh if I could instill this into the hearts of young men by the power of the Holy Spirit to take the word of Christ to shape a man of Christ I would start right here no doubt about it. To simply help the young man see this. Luke 16 verse 10. He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.
You see it's the training ground. These daily things of daily living are the are the proving ground where you develop faithfulness in your character. It's not it's not just about the task or the virtue that you're considering. It's about being faithful to it day after day after day. And so young men according to Scripture cultivate faithfulness especially in the little things of life. Especially in the details of your job.
Especially in the details of your studies. Especially in the details of keeping your word. Be scrupulous about those things because that is where faithfulness and character is established. No one in a responsible church is going to approach a man who can't keep his life in order and offer a significant ministry opportunity to him.
His prior track record of unfaithfulness in details shows that he won't be faithful in significant responsibilities so they'll move on to someone else. And not just on a human level. God won't entrust major responsibilities to someone who shows that he can't handle and won't handle simple ones. And so young men be sensible!
Be sensible! And understand that the work of God in your life is something that works itself out over a course of years and even decades. Don't worry if it seems like you're being neglected or overlooked today.
Work and cultivate yourself and just say, I'm not living for today anyway. I want a character that ten years from now is going to be proven in faithfulness and I'll just trust God for whatever he gives to me then. You've been listening to Pastor Don Green with part one of a message called The Young Christian Man, part of a series titled Living as God's People here on The Truth Pulpit and we hope to see you again next time.
But before we go, here again is Don with a closing word. Well my friend I wanted to let you know about a different kind of resource that's available through our ministry. Recently I released a new book titled Trusting God in Trying Times and it's an intensely personal book about how the Lord ministered to me in the midst of some very difficult times that I went through, all based on the Bible book of Habakkuk. And my friend I want to encourage you, we all need help at one time or another because we all go through serious adversity as we walk through this fallen world. We need help and we need hope and this book offers the hope of Jesus Christ to you. It could minister to you or perhaps to a friend that you have that you know that is going through a difficult time in life. Again the book is titled Trusting God in Trying Times.
You can find information on how to obtain it at thetruthpulpit.com. Thanks Don and thank you friend for joining us today. I'm Bill Wright. We'll see you again next time on The Truth Pulpit, where we teach God's people God's Word.
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