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The Christian Worker #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
February 23, 2023 7:00 am

The Christian Worker #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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February 23, 2023 7:00 am

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Jeff Noblit
The Truth Pulpit
Don Green

Welcome to 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 with part one of a message called, The Christian Worker on the Truth Pulpit. We return to Titus chapter 2 to continue our study of that epistle, and I invite you to turn there with me as we open. I'm just going to read the two verses that will be the subject of our sermon.

Titus chapter 2, verses 9 and 10, as Paul continues to apply the gospel of Jesus Christ to our daily lives, verses 9 and 10, urge bond slaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect. As I've been teaching through this chapter, Titus chapter 2, I felt like it was important each time to emphasize that we are receiving instruction from God's Word that shows us the outflowing of the work of God in our souls in salvation. Jesus Christ saves sinners by grace alone. Scripture says that all men, all women, have sinned and fallen short of His glory, and that Christ gave His life on the cross to deliver men from sin and to deliver them from God's righteous judgment on their iniquity.

That's good news. God raised Christ from the dead, and now the message goes forth that all those sinners who would believe in Christ will be saved. They will be delivered from their sin.

Anyone who repents and receives Christ will be forgiven, will be saved from judgment, and will be granted the blessing, the free blessing of eternal life. The Bible says that he who has the Son has the life. He who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

And so in one sense, the question of whether you are a Christian or not is easily answered. Do you have the Son of God or not? Scripture says if you have Christ, you have eternal life, and God will not take it away from you. If you do not have the Son of God, nothing else matters. You have no righteous deeds.

There is nothing that you can do on your own in order to set your life right with God. You must be saved from above. You must be saved by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. And so we can summarize all of this by saying that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone, based on the Scriptures alone.

Beloved, that is the true gospel of grace. Now, what we find in Titus chapter 2 is that the apostle has given us a sense of how basic principles apply in different aspects of life, in different stages of life. So he says in verse 2, older men are to be temperate.

Titus chapter 2, verse 2. Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love and perseverance. Older women, likewise, are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children. Notice how the mark of salvation in a young woman is particularly evidenced by her love for the people around her, and devoting herself to family and showing those kinds of maternal care for those that God has given to her, along with, in verse 5, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands so that the Word of God will not be dishonored.

Likewise, urge the young men to be sensible. In all things, show yourselves to be an example of good deeds with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech, which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame having nothing bad to say about us. If you're just visiting us here, or you've only recently started attending or viewing us on the live stream, that's what we've looked at over the past few weeks as we've considered the instruction from God's Word in these matters. Now, today, we find that this outworking of salvation comes into our workaday world in verses 9 and 10.

Let me read them again as we've circled all the way back to them. Verse 9, urge bond slaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect. I'm going to bring four principles out of this text for you, and I just want to kind of jump right into it with this final bit of introduction. First of all, the first point here is the general principle. The general principle that is at work here in verses 9 and 10. And the general principle in Titus chapter 2 is this.

God calls Christians to a life of submission, a life of submission, a life of deferring to others around them, of respecting the authority that is in their lives. And this principle is embedded from the very start in the Ten Commandments. In the Fifth Commandment, when we taught on this, we made the principle that the Fifth Commandment is more than just a principle that applies within families and parents and their children. Fifth Commandment, honor your father and mother, it says. And what we said as we looked at that is that that is a principle that as you examine all of Scripture expands out to every relationship that involves authority and submission, so that the principle of godly submission is embedded in the moral law of God from the very beginning.

And as you read Scripture and you read the New Testament and the letters of Paul, you find it in every area, conceivable area of life. Children are called to honor their parents. Wives are called to submit to their husbands. Young men are called to submit to their elders in the church. Citizens are called to submit to their government, and we'll see that in Titus 3, verses 1 and 2. And here in Titus chapter 2, verses 9 and 10, you find that workers are called to submit to their masters. Beloved, this principle in verses 9 and 10, this principle of submission, isn't limited simply to the labor force. The broader principle, the general principle, is the life of submission that God has called you to, to put away rebellion against authority, because rebellion against authority, it is a symptom of a deeper rebellion against God himself who calls us to live this way. And so rebellion is never a godly attitude, except in times where we are called to obey God, not men, but to have a consistently rebellious attitude in any of those relationships that I referred to is a mark of ungodliness.

It is a mark that repentance is needed in your soul, and if that is something that has been characterizing your life in recent days, by the Word of God, by the Spirit of God, I call you to repent of that in the presence of God, because God has called us to live at peace with one another. God has called us to love one another. God has called us to love one another in our families, to love one another in the church, and to show love even to our enemies, so that one could say, but you don't know how badly that person sinned against me. Beloved, Jesus said, love your enemies. You say, my spouse is a real problem. Well, God calls you to love your spouse, husbands to love your wives, and a wife to submit to her husband.

You say, I can't do that. He's become my enemy. She's become my enemy. Well, look, maybe that's the case in your sinful heart, but God calls you to love your enemies, because that's what Christ did for you when you were an enemy of God. Christ died for you, Scripture says in Romans chapter 5, verse 8.

And so none of us have any justification for living with settled hostility against anyone in our lives. And to the extent that we have that in our hearts, we need to repent. We need to ask God to sanctify us. We need God to bring forth the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives, to bring about the transformation for which Jesus Christ laid hold of us in our lives. Christ, Titus 2, verse 14, says that he died and he redeemed us that we might be his own possession, zealous for good works.

Now look, in a room of this size, I can only imagine that 80, 90 percent of us are feeling particularly convicted right now. Beloved, if that's the case, don't resist the promptings of the Spirit in your heart. Yield your heart to Christ.

Yield your heart to God and say, yes, this is true. Yes, I have been sinning in this area. Please forgive me.

Please change me. Please show me how to bring forth the fruit of repentance in my life in this area, which is now heavy on my mind. Because, beloved, for those of you that named the name of Christ, this is what he has laid hold of you to be. Christ saved you to change you, to change you from the prior high-handed rebel that you used to be in order to become a loving, deferential servant of his. And the Spirit of true salvation is, Lord, what would you have me to do? That's what Paul said when the Lord stopped him on the road to Damascus. Lord, what would you have me to do?

Well, understand, beloved, I'm going to go on a tangent here. In times past and sometimes even now, there's this broadly evangelical theme and telling you how to live your life. And I always ask the question, what would Jesus do?

You've heard that, right? What would Jesus do? Sounds very high and lofty and all of that. I don't like that question. I don't like that question because it tempts people to think wrongly about how Jesus makes known what he would have you to do. When people are asking that question, they're usually bound in terms of what I'm doing today and what I want to do.

It's a very self-centered focus and it's a very subjective focus. How do you know what Jesus would have you to do? The better question to ask is, what did Jesus say? What does scripture say I am to do? And that drives you out of your own self-centered subjective desires and brings you into the objective Word of God where you find clear instruction. Look, there are 66 books of the Bible.

I believe, if my memory is serving me in the moment, 1,189 chapters of the Bible in the Old and New Testament. Jesus has told you immense amounts about how to think and how to live. Once you've mastered the 1,189 chapters of the Bible and are living them out, then maybe you can ask the question, what would Jesus do here? But the question isn't what would Jesus do. The question is what Jesus has called you to do, what he has commanded in his Word. That's the issue and you can know that by reading and meditating on the written Word of God. And so be very careful about that subjective question, which inevitably leads people to decide that Jesus simply wants them to do what they originally wanted to do in the first place before they asked the question. Our hearts are so deceitful, we are so easily deceived by our own desires that the last thing that we want to do is to look inside ourselves for the answer to the question, what should we do to please God?

Look outside of yourself. Look to Scripture and find the revealed Word of God, which more often than not is going to cut against your natural man and humble you and bring you to repentance. Now, the general principle we said, God calls Christians to a life of submission. To be subject to, as we see it here in verse 9 in the New American Standard, going back to Titus 2, verse 9, put your eyes on the text, if you would. Just to oversimplify, think about them as employees in the modern day sense.

That is a gross oversimplification of the first century context, but it will work for what we're doing here today. What we see here is this verb, this command, to be subject to has this idea. It means to accept your position and to be compliant within it. For now, you're in a position in employment, if you're not self-employed, you're in a position that God has given to you. You have the particular supervisor that you are responsible to, the particular boss that you answer to, and that is an appointment by God.

And God says, recognize the authority of that one who is over you and submit yourself to them. Be subject to them. Conform yourself to their desires. Be compliant. Be cooperative.

You get the idea. Be cooperative in that environment as long as you are in that employment. The command is to be subject to your employer. Now, that brings us to our second point, which is this. It is the specific application. The specific application, and I hope and trust that you'll find this all to be very practical in its orientation. The question is this. The command is to be subject to your masters in everything. It's a broad, comprehensive scope that is given, and we'll talk about the limits on that in just a moment. But the question is, how does this submission work itself out?

What is the specific application? Well, it's all very practical, and I'm going to give you just two simple principles here in the application to help you think through what God wants from you in your present employment situation. First of all, this is a little bit longer. Please, your boss, don't argue with him. Please, your boss, don't argue with him. Your job as your responsibility before God, this is for... Look, let me back up. All of these things that we're about to see, we do for the sake of the God who saved us. This is his will for us.

The kind of boss you have, whether you have a good boss or a bad boss, is very, very secondary in the principles that we are talking about. Understand that we are receiving from the Word of God God's vertical instruction and saying, my child, this is how I want you to live in this area of your life. This is part of the good works that I have appointed for you beforehand that you would walk in them. You are not to be a rebellious employee. You're not to be a rebellious slave. That is displeasing to God because when Jesus Christ came to the world, he humbled himself and he lived in obedience to his heavenly Father. And so Christ, having patterned humility and submission for us, we are to pattern our lives after that and after his example if we are in him. And so we see it here in verse 9. Urge bond slaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing and not argumentative, not contradicting your boss in the things that you are given to do.

Now, back up a moment here. One of the observations that I think most Christians could make, any kind of discerning Christian could make, I would venture to say that many, many Christian bosses, if not all of them, would have this to say if they were able to speak candidly about many Christian employees that they have had over the years, they would say this, that far too often, not always, but far too often, Christians, professing Christians, bring to their employment a selfish sense of entitlement. This is a real danger, a real temptation for genuine Christians.

And the thinking goes like this, and it's not that people think this way deliberately, but they haven't examined their thought processes enough to be able to understand things rightly. As Christians, let me put it this way, as Christians, we have received grace from God, and God is continually gracious to us. We experience his grace, he gives us joy, we sin against him, we enter into a time of rebellion, indifference, stumbling along our way. And what are we taught to do in Scripture?

We go to him and we confess it, right? We ask for grace, we ask for forgiveness, cleanse me from this sin, restore the joy of my salvation. And what does God do faithfully every time?

He does that. He cleanses us, he washes us, he restores our joy, he receives us back and restores the assurance of our salvation. That is the ongoing, wonderful grace of God the wonderful grace of Jesus that reaches even to me, as the hymn writer said.

And so we've received this grace, this undeserved favor from God, we receive as a gift from him. Now, where Christians so often go astray is that they live this way even if they don't consciously think this way. Having received grace from God, having received undeserved favor from Christ, they turn and they start to demand that from men. They expect men to accept their weaknesses, their rebellion. They expect men to overlook the times when they're late for work, when they don't do their job, when they can't be depended upon. And they just expect that to be overlooked because they have misunderstood and misapplied the grace of God vertically that they are receiving in their lives.

And that is a very wrong way to think and a very wrong way to live. Beloved, in the workplace you should think about it in precisely the opposite way. The way that you should think rightly about your workplace relationship vis-a-vis your boss or supervisor is this, I have received favor from God that I did not deserve. Therefore, I am going to give favor to my employer by giving them excellence in everything that I do, in showing them compliance and cooperation in what I do rather than expecting my boss to overlook my failures.

I'm not going to give him any failures to overlook. I'm going to do my job with excellence. I'm going to do it with a cheerful attitude and I'm going to seek the good of my employer by the work that they have given me to do and which I'm paid to do. You are to view your work as service directly to Christ himself and look beyond your human boss and say, this is what Christ wants and therefore I will give him my best. That's Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, with part one of a message titled, The Christian Worker, here on The Truth Pulpit. Now just before we go, here again is Don with a closing thought.

Well, you know, Bill, as I'm sitting here in studio, I'm mindful of the fact that someone may be tuning in for one of the first times and hearing The Truth Pulpit and they're mindful of the difficulty of life and maybe, my friend, you've come to the same conclusion I have that the world has gone crazy and there is no refuge in the wisdom of this world. Let me invite you to a position of hope. Look to the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. In the book of Acts chapter 2 it says, repent and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. There is a promise that scripture gives to you, my friend, that the Lord makes to everyone who would call on him. Scripture says, be saved from this perverse generation. I encourage you to call on Christ who was crucified and risen for sinners just like you. Call on him. Ask him to save you from this wicked world and to bring you into his heavenly kingdom. God bless you and we'll see you next time on The Truth Pulpit. Thanks, Don. And now for Don Green, I'm Bill Wright, inviting you back next time as Don continues to teach God's people God's Word from the Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-23 04:43:51 / 2023-02-23 04:52:08 / 8

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