You've found the truth pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hi, I'm Bill Wright, and as Don continues to teach God's people God's Word, he presents a message titled, The Young Christian Man, from the current series, Living as God's People.
Right now, let's join Don. Young men, I plead with you, I encourage you, I call you, according to the Word of God, that you would commit in the presence alone to Christ, that insofar as it depends on you, you will be devoted to Christ no matter what anyone else does. If your family forsakes you, if your friends try to dilute that commitment, you say, by the grace of God, I will be devoted even if no one else is. I will stand alone if I must, not in a proud sense, not that I'm the only one who does this, not like that spirit, but just at the core of your being. I will defend the Word of God. I will live for Christ. I will trust him for his mercy when I fall short. I will be stable. I will be one who will be faithful. And young men, I know that that's a rocky path to choose.
It's steep and there's a lot of places to fall off of it. Hear the call of God's Word. Hear the call of Christ. Leave your foolish life behind and turn to the Christ who said, follow me.
That is the sense of being sensible. Defining your life in light of the purposes of Christ who saved you to set you apart for himself. Now, as you move on in the text, Paul takes the general principle, this exhortation to young men. He takes the general principle, and now as you read on in verse 7, he applies it to Titus in particular. The Titus should be an example to all, and that brings us to our second point. The example to young men.
The example to young men. Paul bleeds over from the general exhortation to all young men and now addresses Titus in particular in verse 7. As he says this, in all things, show yourself to be an example of good deeds with purity and doctrine, dignified and sound in speech that is beyond reproach. Paul now addresses Titus who is a young man with responsibilities and spiritual leadership. He's a young man that is responsible for appointing elders under apostolic direction.
He has a lot on his plate and a lot of responsibility. And Paul says to Titus, he says, you be an example of everything that I'm talking about here. He individualizes it and particularizes it to Titus, and thus Titus, the pastor of that flock, so to speak, his responsibility is to exemplify in his life that which the general exhortation went to all young men. Regarding the importance of a spiritual example and of a young man manifesting this, especially one in spiritual leadership, Charles Spurgeon said this, and I quote, he said, we have all heard the story of the man who preached so well and lived so badly that when he was in the pulpit, everybody said he ought never to come out again. And when he was out of the pulpit, they all declared he never ought to enter it again.
Spurgeon goes on to say, we do not trust those persons who have two faces, nor will men believe in those whose verbal and practical testimonies are contradictory. An ill life will effectually drown the voice of the most eloquent ministry, end quote. Titus, be an example. Don't simply teach, but model by your life the principles of which I am speaking here in this letter to you. And so the call goes to his conduct, but it also goes particularly to his teaching.
These two are linked together, they are married together, they are two sides of the same coin in the responsibility of a young man in spiritual leadership. Look at what he says, and we'll take verses seven and eight together here now. He says, in all things, show yourself to be an example of good deeds.
There's the personal application part of it. And then he switches back to the teaching and what Titus says, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach. Paul is setting forth to Titus and now addressing the content and the conduct of his teaching ministry. He says, Titus, in all things, show purity in doctrine. Purity in doctrine.
It has the idea of being healthy. Let your doctrine be pure. Avoid corruption in your teaching. Teach so as to instill true principles about Christ and the truth about Christ, his person and his work. Teach to honor Christ, to edify men, not for your personal gain, not to entertain unbelievers. If you set out to entertain unbelievers and to make them like you in ministry, you have already chosen to corrupt your doctrine.
You have already chosen to corrupt your teaching. If nothing else, by hiding those things that are offensive to the carnal man. All of the scripture, the full counsel of God must be taught and we understand in advance that that will not be appealing to the world. But that's not our point. We are set apart, remember? He's redeemed us for his own possession, zealous for good deeds as Christ defines them. And so we're set apart to teach what Christ wants, what Christ commands. Matthew 28, teaching them to observe all that I've commanded you. Christ, the source. Christ, the commander in chief. We go out under orders from Christ.
Not taking opinion surveys to see what the neighborhood wants us to say. That's impure. That's corruption. Scripture says, be pure in it. Paul had already exhorted Timothy in this way at the beginning of the chapter. Look at chapter 2 verse 1, where Paul says, but as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Chapter 2 verse 1, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Verse 7, purity in doctrine. Verse 8, sound in speech. Beloved, the repetition shows how important this is. The doctrinal, objective, knowable content of scripture to be communicated through the teacher to the congregation so that they understand true doctrine. That repetition shows how vital it is to emphasize it at the beginning and at the end of the text shows that this Christian virtue flows from biblical teaching. And the fact that some men are unwilling to bear sound doctrine is not an indication that sound doctrine should be abandoned or that sound doctrine should be softened down or dumbed down to the lowest common denominator of the most carnal person in the church or they're going to leave.
That's the wrong way to approach it. The answer to that dilemma is not to dumb down the doctrine. The answer is for the carnal people in the congregation to repent of their godlessness, to repent of their indifference to the truth of God's word. But the man of God, the young man pursuing spiritual leadership, elders in the church do not have the luxury or the liberty of compromising doctrine for the sake of accommodating the carnal tastes of a congregation. The word of God must be taught. It must be upheld because this is done for Christ, not for men. And as we do it for Christ, then Christ uses it in the lives of men to accomplish his purposes. But look at it again with me.
I just don't think that this can be overemphasized. Titus 2 verse 14. Christ is the head of the church. That means he is the authority in the church. His word is law, so to speak.
And we bring ourselves into submission to that. And he has the right to command us. He has the right to direct us.
He purchased the church with his own blood. It belongs to him. If you go out and you buy something in a retail place, you understand that by paying the price asked of the merchant for what you have, you take ownership of that. It belongs to you. It's not for someone else to come and without your permission hijack it for their purposes.
If you buy a car, it's not for your neighbor to come and drive it away to what he wants to do. You paid for it. It belongs to you. You have authority over it. You understand this on the most simple way, and if anyone violated it in your stuff, you would be outraged. You would be talking about it.
Can you believe what that person did to my stuff? Well, extract the carnality of our selfishness from all of that. Look at the purity of Christ and look how the church came into being. Verse 14, he gave himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed. He gave himself. He sacrificed himself on the cross. He paid the redemption price in his own blood. As a result of that, the church belongs to Christ.
It is his. He has authority over it, and his purposes must be honored in it. So he says that his desire is to purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good deeds. We cannot pervert the church into an instrument of human attainment, human desire, human entertainment, because that's not what Christ, that's not what Christ purchased it to do, and it belongs to him.
We're just under shepherds, we're stewards of what belongs to him. And what Christ says is that there must be purity in doctrine, that doctrine must be taught so the people understand the full counsel of God. Purity in doctrine, verse 7, he goes on and says, dignified, the idea of dignified is that the teaching should be done with a high moral tone and with a serious demeanor. A high moral tone, a serious demeanor, that demonstrates the importance of it. A comedian in a pulpit cannot possibly teach people that doctrine is important. A jokester, a human storyteller, one talking about his kids and his family all the time to illustrate everything that he wants to talk about, me, me, me, can't begin, can't begin to elevate people to the lofty things of God.
It has to be dignified. It has to be sober-minded if people are going to learn something about the fear of God. The comedian teaches people not to fear God, this isn't that serious, go have a good time, drink a few brews on me. It's treachery, it's treason against Christ to do that. It's unthinkable, it's undignified.
Men will not take the gospel seriously if the pastor doesn't. And you know what else? There's another aspect to it.
Forget the long-term consequences of that for now, for a moment. Picture somebody wandering into a church service looking for hope. Spouse just left. Daughter tells him that she's in trouble. Lost a job. Stage four cancer.
I've got three months to live. What am I going to do? There's a church here.
Maybe I can find an answer here. And you enter in, and the guy's in a t-shirt telling jokes, talking about his family, talking about his favorite beer. What have you done to that person? What have you done?
What have you done? They come in and this is a hypothetical person, but you get the point. They come in, I was looking for hope and he trivialized it all.
And I'm in a worse place than when I went in. What a waste of time. The Puritan Richard Baxter said this, he said, whatever you do, this is about being dignified, right? Whatever you do, let the people see that you are earnest.
Don't break men's hearts by jesting with them. End quote. So the one who teaches Scripture must cultivate respect for the Bible in others by the very demeanor in which he does it. He goes on, Paul goes on here, look at verse seven and eight with me again. Purity in doctrine, dignified sound in speech, which is beyond reproach. By the way, young men, as you're reading this, as you hear Paul addressing Titus in the way that Titus is to carry himself, remember that he's holding Titus up and teaching Titus how he can be an example that the young men in that congregation can look to and aspire after. That they would model after Titus what Paul is talking about here.
And so he tells Titus to be sound in speech, which is beyond reproach. The teaching, in other words, should be untainted by error. That means that the man who would teach the Word of God has to study it first to know what truth is and to know what error is, what to avoid and what to advance. It takes effort, it takes time.
It's not done overnight, it's not done in a year even. But the whole point for the man of God in the pulpit, what Paul is imposing upon Titus is his bounden duty in the presence of Christ is this. Titus, take what the apostles wrote and serve it faithfully for the spiritual consumption of your audience. Take what the apostles taught, teach it without changing it, without diluting it, without polluting it so that they could move forward and the people would have the truth instilled in them as well.
We've spoken about this in recent weeks. To Timothy, Paul said this, 2 Timothy chapter 2 verse 2, he said, the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Timothy, I have the baton, you take it. You give it to men who will pass it to other men, unchanged, undiluted, unpolluted.
It's got to be sound in speech. We're not trying to be creative. We're not trying to invent new ideas that others will find enticing and that will sell books. We're trying to be faithful to what's been given to us. That's our task. Listen, we're trying to carry out this task young men. We're trying to carry out this task in a world that hates everything old, that thinks newer is better. If an idea is old, it needs to be discarded.
This cuts against the very spirit of our age. You can read about this in an eloquent discussion of this in Carl Truman's book, The Creedle Imperative. The Creedle Imperative by Carl Truman.
Everything about this is countercultural. What is the motive for this urgent instruction? Point number three, the explanation for young men. We've seen the exhortation to young men, the example to young men. Titus by the way he conducts his ministry is to be an example to the young men. Now verse in our third point, you get the explanation for young men. This exemplary conduct, the pure motives in ministry, the dignified demeanor, it works to silence those who would otherwise criticize the gospel. Look at verse eight. Why do we do all of this?
Here's part of the reason. Verse eight, it's so that, here's the purpose, so that the opponent will be put to shame having nothing bad to say about us. Critics are everywhere. Good teaching and a godly example can shame them into silence.
Titus sets the pace for the young men to follow. Now, it's not that they're silenced forever. It's not that gospel teaching will be forever unchallenged at all. Paul's own ministry was opposed repeatedly. But young men, here's the opportunity for you as you think about your life in the broader context of the purposes of God for your godliness. The goal in all of these things is that the gospel and biblical teaching would not be challenged legitimately. Critics are shamed when their opposition is groundless. Critics are silenced before others when it's obvious that they are saying falsehoods against the teaching of God's word. And what Paul is saying here to us as men and saying to the young men is that the very way that you live contributes to that protection and that defense of the truth that we hold dear. Godly lives protect fellow believers from criticism. Young men, your godly life contributes to the testimony of Christ.
Contributes to the testimony of the church to which you belong. Listen, listen. Another aspect of this that is just so contrary to the spirit of our age, the individualistic spirit of our age. Don't put your laws on my body. Don't tell me what to do.
It's all anti-authoritarian. It's all so self-centered and so selfish. Young man, you have to think differently if you are going to live biblically. You have to think beyond yourself and realize my life has an impact on the believers around me. We're all in this together. And whether God gives me a narrow sphere or a broader sphere, I will pursue the dignified, sensible kind of living that he calls me to based on the blood of Christ. And I'll do so in part knowing that it's a service to the rest of the body as I do, whether anyone notices or not. I'm in this together with the others.
My life is not my own. I live for Christ. I live for the people of God. May God give us grace through his eternal spirit. May God give you young men grace by his eternal spirit to honor Christ in precisely this way. It's 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. Now before we go, here again is Don with a closing thought. As we close today's broadcast, I just want to give a special thank you to the many people who make this ministry possible through their financial support. Whether your gifts are small or large, the Lord uses them to make it possible for us to be on different radio stations in our region, and also to spread the ministry through an internationally distributed podcast. Thank you, my friends, for your generous support of The Truth Pulpit. We really partner together with you in order to make the ministry of the Word of God possible, because we could not do it without your financial support. If you would like to partner with us, maybe you've benefited from the ministry and never been able to support us, let me just give you an online opportunity to do so.
You can go to thetruthpulpit.com, and you'll find giving options right there at our website, thetruthpulpit.com. Thank you so very much. Thanks Don. And now for Don Green, I'm Bill Wright, inviting you back next time as Don continues in his ministry of teaching God's people God's Word from The Truth Pulpit.
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