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Grace, Godliness, and Hope

The Verdict / John Munro
The Truth Network Radio
February 3, 2020 1:30 pm

Grace, Godliness, and Hope

The Verdict / John Munro

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So the apostle Paul, as you know, was an evangelistic teacher, a pastor and a prophet. The Lord used him in a mighty mighty way.

But Paul's greatest passion. I believe, was to see the church mature in Christ to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ that was that's what Paul said to the Ephesians. That's what he told for. That's what he struggled for to see a mature church and you can see more of this theme in this letter to Titus, Paul tells Titus to put what remains of this church in order and he gives the qualifications for the elders. He gives instructions for men and women is pastor Paul reminded us this morning. He talks about the importance of sound doctrine and he warns against false teachers.

Now, this evening were going to see Paul's theology about how saving grace leads to godliness and that godliness is to glory.

And that's what we can look at.

So let's read the whole passage first and then we'll go from there. So this is Titus 211 through 15 for the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Verse 15 declare these things exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you now God's grace as we know is God giving unmerited favor toward sinful man without the grace of God we have absolutely no hope.

JI Packer said the grace of God means that God is moving heaven and earth to save sinners when they could lift a finger to save themselves. That's grace now. The apostle Paul, one of his favorite words was grace he introduces his letters and concludes very frequently with Grace to you and peace before Paul grace was just not some theological concept. Christ himself was grace. Christ was grace.

Notice how he opened our opens this section. Verse 11.

The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people. You familiar with John 114 and the Word became flesh and tabernacle among this and he goes on to say, and we have seen his grace. He was full of grace and truth, and we have received in him grace upon grace. John says in chapter 1, Paul. Grace was Christ incarnate that saving grace the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ and noticed it. Paul says that the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people. Now Paul is not saying that all people are going to be say what he saying at all. Not all men will receive this grace. In fact, most will not many but there is one gospel of grace, and all men without distinction can be saved by this grace, there is no one outside the saving influence of this grace. Paul himself was an example of that, the chiefest of sinners he experienced the grace of God we have his testimony in Scripture for five times the chiefest of sinners found salvation in this grace Melanie asking if this grace of God appeared the incarnate Christ. Some 2000 years ago, almost. How does this grace come to you and me today. How does it come will it comes to the preaching of the word of God.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing through the word of Christ and how are they going to hear unless someone sent so you and I through the grace of God here the word of God, flip over to Titus one for second. Titus one verses one through three. The importance of preaching the word of God. Paul, a servant of God and apostle of Jesus Christ for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness in the hope of eternal life, which God never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time here is manifested in his word through the preaching Paul often called the word of God recalled at least a couple of times the word of grace which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior.

So through the proclamation of the gospel. This word of grace God is calling people from all over the world all walks of life to come and see for forgiveness in Christ, and we get a little picture of what what this account. What this grace accomplishes in Revelation chapter 7 when you see a multitude of people from every tribe and every nation in every language worshiping before the throne of God and have and that's with the grace of God accomplishes me ask you another question. What would you say is evidence of saving faith. For by grace you been saved through faith. It's not your own doing.

You familiar with this. Ephesians 289. But what is evidence of saving faith. Now the new deacons and elders at Calvary church. One of the responsibilities that you have is interviewing new member candidates and you could be looking are hearing their testimonies and what evidence are you looking for that this new member candidate has placed their faith in Jesus Christ. What you looking for is a transformation you're looking for a changed life a change of character.

People can come to the Lord as we do completely depraved and rotten liars, adulterers, defiled and broken, you could come to Christ that way, but you cannot stay that way. This grace transforms each person that receives that's what Paul is saying.

Saving grace will produce the fruits of repentance, you meant me are the fruits of righteousness. You remember the parable of the soul. The sower sows on four different types of soil and only one soil does something he receives the word of God, and it produces something. What is a produce fruit produces fruit now look at verse 12.

How does this grace. The saving grace change us. This is what Paul says that he trains us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age grace of God does is yes.

The grace of God. Does this trains us now because the time I'm not to go over each one of these things individually, but understand this, that it is not my natural inclination to want the things of God is not my inclination to want God to be godly not. I don't want any part of.

In fact, I want to lust after the things of the world.

That's what I want in my natural state, but grace teaches us to be godly grace changes. My natural inclination my disposition and gives me a heart for the Lord that I might grow in that grace.

This grace is the motivating power for Christian living with Paula say and it should have such an effect on your life in my life that people outside of here. See if they see you are. They see me they say something is different about that guy.

Something is different about that late. Why doesn't this guy go with us to the bar after work or why doesn't this this lady use profanity nonbelievers. They won't read the Bible.

But there read your life and they'll read mine and we should show them how the grace of God has changed us. We should show that we are not like the world. We are a people whose lights are shining they should say as Paul is saying here in this verse, a people who were upright self-control and godly cutesy life. If you're in Christ you been born again. You are truly alive.

The reprobate those who are not in Christ are not alive. They are the walking dead. That's the reality we are alive. Now if it's true that you and I who are in Christ are alive in the outside world who does not know our Lord's day, and why does it seem that the world is getting darker and darker and the church seems to have a minimal impact in this world. Why does it seem that the world has a greater influence on our kids than the church does, why does it seem that it's increasingly harder to find a good Bible preaching church, why does it appear that this world is winning will tell you one reason it's the same reason that Paul warned Titus about is that people are coming into the church and they are teaching for shameful gain what they ought not teach their deceiving the church as Paul says about the cretins their upsetting whole family there, leading many many people away. Remember, Paul told Titus to put what remained in order. Some of God. Some of God's people were falling away preachers and teachers have crept into the church. Even today, and you know this and they're bringing false doctrine. Their soothing itching ears and people are falling away from the truth and by the way, this is one of the events that will happen prior to the second coming of Christ. They will be a great apostasy. A great falling away of the truth the church the unbelieving church will fall away from the trip from the truth. That will happen before our blessed hope returns. Now the majority preachers in this world today. They are quick to tell you to teach you to preach to you about the promises of God. The promises in the Bible eternal life and peace and happiness, and forgiveness in all of these things will even tell you that God accepts you and likes you just the way you are so blue the other night read from the best-selling book the power of I am Marie from says I'm blessed I'm strong I'm happy I'm healthy. I'm confident I'm attractive and valuable.

I'm victorious on the masterpiece on one of us kind of untalented.

I've got the seeds of greatness after hearing a sermon like that. Somebody said they couldn't decide if if I needed God or God needed me.

But the reality is, this is what people are teaching in the church today. The gods grace is a divine free pass to let you do whatever you want to do you just come as you are.

It's a license to sin really and they want to tell you that these preachers that you and I prior to coming to Christ are in fact completely depraved. There's nothing good in us all in a subtle, we are not good and there's nothing in us. That's lovable. Nothing at all completely against God. The tell you about the promises of God, but they will teach you the commandments of God. Now why would they not teach you about the commandments of God will because it's not motivational. Don't tell me what what I don't.

Don't tell me what not to do. Tell me how great I am and they'll say well maybe that did the the commandments of God or just found in the Old Testament they're not in the New Testament really don't. We have commandments in the New Testament do not get drunk with wine would be filled with the spirit, deny yourself, take up your cross do not love the things in the world of the world or the things in the world. There are plenty of commandments and guess what, if we love him we will keep his commandments. This grace Paul is saying the same saving grace teaches us this thing these things say no renounce ungodliness, renounce worldly passions. This is what grace teaches us well good Bible preaching and teaching is becoming increasingly rare. You know that this was a reason you're here. Teachers are soothing, itching ears telling people what they want to hear in the church today is now very similar to how Paul describes creations Titus 116 they profess to know God, but denied him by their works very much like the church in Laodicea.

The church you know the lukewarm church they say look how rich we are lookout blessed we are. Look at how wonderful we are in Christ is not even in the church he's outside the church and he says I'm knocking and I will come in but I'm not in there. These people think they're worshiping God and he's not even in there very much like these creations deny him by their works.

Now, in Revelation 7, Jesus tells the apostle John to write the letters to the seven churches you're familiar with in five out of the seven churches are completely in bad shape and what is Jesus telling John to write. I know your works to churches sexual immorality.

You lost the love that you had it first you tolerate false teaching. You say you're rich but you are poor your wretched these churches now has the church lost its influence because it's gone the way of the world. That's what were seeing out there is not David Kinnaman wrote a book called unchristian in this book he published his recent research they found when he interviewed a lot of people about what they thought about us. Christian, this particular one he he interviewed young non-Christians to see if they numbered new Christian personally number one and number two. What was the character that person. Did you notice something good in this person something that was different from you so that the results were this the 84% of the young non-Christians that he interviewed new Christian personally so.

8/10 new Christian personally, yet only 15% say the lifestyles of these believers were noticeably different in a good way to if you had 100 believers professing believers. Only 15 of those had lifestyles that were noticeably good and different needs of the young people in the perception of Christians know when you think about that that there lifestyles were no different these Christians is perfect, professing Christians the lifestyles were no different from that of the world when his dad, that's hypocrisy. That's hypocrisy. Some say that Christianity in America is the greatest single cause of atheism. The day hypocrisy when Jesus the incarnate Christ came into the world. He said he did not come into the world to judge the world, or to judge to condemn the world, but he came to save the world.

He didn't come to condemn you came to say but there was one group of people that Jesus took issue with one particular group of people do you know who they were the religious hypocrites, you hypocrites, you are like whitewashed tombs outwardly. You appear beautiful, but within your full of dead men's bones, you hypocrite.

You take the log out of your own eye before you see the speck in your brother's many Christians in this is true or more concerned about how bad the world is than they are with their own walk with Christ her own righteousness.

It's a lot easier to point out there and say I'm not that bad but we don't examine ourselves against the world doing.

We look to the word of God which is perfect. Our our model is Christ himself, and he is perfect he is perfect.

The perfect process as your father in heaven is perfect. We talk about Christian character. This grace that saves trains us to renounce ungodliness and to live upright, holy lives now have to ask you to examine yourself. Paul says this in second Corinthians. Examine yourselves to see whether or not you are in the faith test yourself, or don't you realize this about yourself that Christ is in you, unless you fail to me. The test what am I looking for what I looking for when I examine myself and my looking for confession. Are you a godly person would you say when you're not in this place. When you're not in the sanctuary when you are at home in the privacy of your own home or when you're in your office with your coworkers. What would your non-Christian friends say about you.

Are you the same person to sit in this view right now. Are you a godly person or when you come in these doors.

A calorie church. Is there a veneer you put on your Christian on Sundays and Wednesdays, or are you being changed by the grace of God. Are you growing in this grace is the direction of your life upward towards holy do you renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and do you live, the self-controlled, upright life. Are you different from the world remind you as well that our Lord is coming back in Scripture says he's coming back soon and he's bringing his recompense with them to repay each one for what he has done so. If you are genuinely saved by the grace of God and you will grow in that grace, grace, trains us in godliness and this grace will lead us to glory. That's what Paul is saying our blessed hope now look at this for a second and Titus two there are two appearances of Christ one we just read in's and verse 11. The grace of God is appeared that is the incarnation of Christ and the second one now is in verse 13, Titus two, verse 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ the first appearing is incarnation, the second appearing when he comes in glory. Now most people are okay with the first appearing of Jesus Christ. Most people are okay as long as Christ is in that manger. Think about all the people that come twice yearly to church on Easter and Christmas there okay with Christ being right there and there even okay maybe of Christ as he grows up and travels around town of Palestine, healing the sick and feeding the hungry and loving the least of them, they might be okay with that as well.

But what they're not okay with is the second coming of Christ. Now why would they not not be okay with that because guess what, he's common as the righteous judge we want to think about that because surely this loving Jesus that we now is not going to exact vengeance on his enemies. Surely he's not to do that. Oh yes he yes he is and you know what, and there will be many who stand before him and say Lord Lord did not did not go to Calvary church for 25 years and did not coaching champs sports did not serve in the street ministry did not do this did not do that say I never knew I never knew many who profess to be saved a false sense of assurance unchanged and this is the key unchanged by the grace of God. Now before Christ returns. The age will be marked by false teachers. Meaning, leading many people astray and the love of many growing cold and this lawlessness will increase in pastor pile reference second Timothy this morning. Read the read this passage it says people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud and arrogant, abusive in all kinds of things and it ends with this having the appearance of godliness.

Think about that church in Laodicea. They think they're worshiping God. Think about these creations.

They deny them by their works. You think they think they're worshiping God. Yeah, they do they didn't but they were lawless, ungodly, the very opposite characteristics of a Christ follower not changed by the grace of God. Christ comes back. He's coming back to judge those of us, you and me are in Christ and being molded by this grace, we don't have anything to fear. Not one thing he is our blessed hope he's not coming to judge us. He's coming to glorify us. We know that when he appears. John says we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. So this body will put on immortality and we will be with our blessed hope forever more that blessed hope that Paul is talking about is not an event.

Necessarily, it's a person it's Christ Jesus himself and Daniel says when he comes the righteous that you and me will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of the father.

Are you ready for that. I'm ready.

I'm ready for the Lord to come back and I'm ready to put on immortality and be with the Lord forever flip if you will to Colossians 3 verses one and 41 through four Colossians 3 verses one through four, Paul says, if then you've been raised with Christ, seeking the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth, for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God not notice this and when Christ who is your life appears, you will also appear with him in glory. So what we do. We wait for our blessed hope, and we stay awake. We live with this. Expect an attitude that he could come right now for his church were waiting for our bridegroom to return and we are keeping our candles or lanterns, burning. So what else do we do look at verse 14. Back to Titus. Titus two verse 14, waiting for our blessed hope, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who were zealous for good works. First of all what we do while we wait we keep ourselves pure and undefiled and unstained. This grace of God that Paul is talking about it does in fact transform us. It teaches us, but we also have a role to play in our own sanctification is not let go and let God.

Peter says we have to supplement our faith. For example, with virtue and virtue with knowledge and knowledge in step with self-control, and self-control was steadfastness and steadfastness with godliness. You and I have work to do with her in our own sanctification. So we have to admit that we have to do this, just like Paul says to Titus, say no to sin renounce these things and we strive for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord as we wait for the coming of our Savior number one would purify ourselves, keep ourselves undefiled sinless yeah sinless be perfect, as your father in heaven is perfect is perfect. Second thing is we devote ourselves to good work this works.

My friend does matter works matter. James tells us that faith without works is dead. Remember Jesus said in the sermon on the Mount. Not everyone who says to me Lord Lord will enter the kingdom, but those who do the will of my father who is in heaven. Pastor pile mentioned this morning. Don't sit so and Sauer say that Raja don't sit so can sour rather sit, soak and serve to Goodwin. We are to be zealous for good works, wise upwards. It is God who is working in us to will and for his good pleasure. Yes he's working and us to do good works now. Keep this in mind with the blessed hope he's coming back, and blessed is that servant, whom his master will find at work when he comes, don't you want to be doing the work of the Lord when our Lord returns, don't you want to hear these words. Well done my good and faithful servant.

I do, I want to hear those words more than anything and I want you to hear those words to everyone at Calvary church who knows the Lord Jesus.

I want us all to hear those well done. Lastly, Titus 215 Paul says, declare these things exhort rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you Titus you are speaking on the authority of God.

So you declare these things. You rebuke these false teachers you tell your brothers and sisters Titus to be ready for the second coming of our blessed our blessed hope, he is coming. Tell them he's coming soon. Tell them to keep their set yourself pure and devote yourself to good works, tell them to keep looking for our Lord's return. Titus I'll tell you what I just told the church in Corinth. We are not like so many peddlers of God's word were not doing this for money, but were men of sincerity and we are commissioned by God and in the side of God we speak in Christ you telling Titus. This is what God says. You probably heard the phrase the church is a hospital for sinners and I have never, I don't like that I don't like that phrase, and although there's probably some truth to that person may have never cared for, and the reason is because we were the ones as I mentioned earlier who are truly alive. We are the ones who been changed by the grace of God we are the ones if you truly alive in you been changed by grace you say no to ungodliness in the things of this world and worldly passions. We are the ones if you're truly alive, who were self-control and upright, and holy were the ones who adorn the doctrine of God, who say look how good our God is will there be suffering absolutely.

Will they be hard times absolutely. But even in the midst of that because we are alive.

We have joy even in the midst of and it all begins with the grace of God for the grace of God has appeared, don't presume upon the grace of God and keep in mind who we are hospital for sinners now. We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation of people of his own possession, that we might proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of the darkness into his marvelous light.

We belong to Christ. Keep looking for our blessed hope, and show this lost and dying world. What it means to be truly alive and reconciled to a holy God's gracious heavenly father again. We do thank you for your word. We thank you for precious Savior for how you've lavished on us grace upon grace. Thank you for my brothers and sisters, may we each one of us be growing in grace and knowledge to reach the maturity of Christ. Father keep our eyes awake and keep us looking for our blessed hope, the return of our Lord and Savior. We left all this up in Christ name, amen

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