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March 24, 2022 4:00 am
We as followers of Christ live our lives according to God's instruction.
Today's world, it may be tempting to look for advice in a self-help book or by searching on Google. But as Alister big explains today on Truth for Life, we are unlikely to find any long-lasting solutions from those sources we need to turn instead to God's word, here's Alister big teaching today from Titus chapter 2 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 be demonized from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own for his own possession who are zealous for good works, declare these things exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
After a succession of imperatives such as we had considered it begs the question, how are these things to be fulfilled. How are the older man to live as they should, and the older women to teach and train is the art and the younger women to fulfill all of these things. And here in verse 11 and 12 and 13 and 14. We actually have the answer in these imperatives. These expectations don't stand alone actually never stand alone and Paul you never have. Paul just giving eyes in his letters, a series of things that we must do or must refrain from doing and having them just sit there, is aware all by themselves. He always very carefully either begins with the gospel and shows how it is in the gospel that we have the impetus for doing what God calls us to do, becoming essentially what we are or, as in this case he moves from these expectations. These principles of application in the life's of their fellowship in in Crete and he says now let me remind you of what it is that makes all of this possible.
Let me remind you he says essentially of who you are and it is something that we always need to guard against in our own lives and certainly one needs to do so in one's preaching is very possible for the preacher to for whatever reason, simply deliver a series of apartheid and demands constantly urging him on the people, actions or the absence of actions, and so on.
And for that, unwittingly, to become divorced from the gospel and Graham Goldsworthy who has been a help. I think a number of us on the pastoral team has certainly been of help to me in this. In the last while, and in my black book where I keep notes that have been of particular encouragement to me.
I have on page 42 statement made by Graham Goldsworthy at which reads as follows. Expectations without the gospel are legalistic and then underneath that these words from him to say what we should be or do I not link it with a clear exposition of what God has done about our failure to be or do perfectly, as he wills is to reject the grace of God, and to lead people to lust after self-help and self-improvement in a way not to call a spade a spade is godless you get that if the pastor is simply telling the people what they must do or what they mustn't do without explaining what Christ has done both in his life of perfect righteousness and in his making an atonement for all of our sins, then what actually happens is the people begin to think that what they're supposed to do is fix themselves change themselves, renew themselves, remake themselves and so it becomes a tyranny and it eventually leads people either to become kind of crazy or horribly discouraged or actually to tell lots of lies that are clearly not true concerning themselves and this is no here in tides is that Paul is able to go only go so far along. By giving to Titus these expectations and these directors for the training before he turns them to the grace of God for the grace of God. He says, which is really Paul's great theme has appeared. The word there is epiphany in the Greek and it refers to the epiphany to the manifestation of the grace of God in the person of the son of God in the incarnation for the grace of God is appeared, bringing salvation for all people in the Anglican order of service for the year in the prayer book. If you go to the order for Christmas day. You will find that this reading from Titus chapter 2 is one of the readings for Christmas Day and expressly on account of the fact that it is here that we have the fulfillment of what is anticipated that all the way through the Old Testament classically in a statement by Malachi. The final book of our Old Testament, where he anticipated today as he wrote when the sun of righteousness would rise with healing in his wings is a metaphor. It's a picture but it was anticipating a glory that had not been established in Israel that wasn't going to be enjoyed by them in the immediacy of God's intervention in their lives. It was pointing forward to a day that would come when the sun of righteousness would appear. And Paul says to Titus, here's the great wonder of it Titus and you must keep this in your preaching the grace of God has appeared, the day has dawned the grace which Paul tells Timothy if your Bible is open, you just go back essentially a page or two pages to Timothy chapter 1 and verse nine, when Paul is doing something similar with Timothy. He reminds them there in verse nine that God saved us, and he called us to a holy calling, not because of our works here we go, but because of his own purpose and grace. And it is this which he gave is in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel and this is statement here in Titus two is a more succinct expression of the same thing. But Paul is driving this home before even the ages began in a way that is almost impossible for us to fathom God was doing this and the reason for his appearing as a writer to the Hebrews says is that he is appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And this salvation Paul says is a salvation for all people. If salvation is to be found anywhere. It is to be found only in Christ, and it is this salvation which is to be proclaimed to all and which is to be received by all who believe.
Some people stumble over this because their view and understanding of biblical theology makes them kind of squeamish when they come against things like all people. They seem to be concerned that somehow or another the purposes of God in election will be overturned. If we begin to think that this is as it says in the Bible but it is exactly what it says in the Bible. The him that we just song we sang purposefully, and I believe if there were sinners as many as the sands on the seashore, not just the seashores of Florida and California by the seashores of all worlds. As I am right. I believe that there were sinners. More than that, that Christ is made a sufficient atonement for every one of the John Murray classically and I want to quote Murray here are logical. John Murray.
I will forward to meeting him in heaven. Been to his house where he lived when I was a boy, but I never saw him. He writes the passion for missions for reaching out and telling other people. The good news, the passion for missions is quenched. When we lose sight of the grandeur of the evangel when we lose sight of the vastness of the purpose of God in saving people. It is a fact.
He says that many persuaded as they rightly are of the particularism of the plan of salvation and of his various colonies.
I found it difficult to proclaim the full, free and unrestricted overture of gospel grace they have labored under inhibitions arising from fear that in doing so, they would impinge upon the sovereignty of God in his saving purposes and operations.
The result is that, though formally assenting to the free offer of the gospel. They lack freedom in the presentation of its appeal and of its demand. If you want to go and find that you find it in volume 1 of the four volumes of Murray's writings is on page 59 and then again on page 81 and I said on that notice that this salvation brings about a transformation and it says in verse 12 that this salvation. This work of God, bringing us to himself brings us into the school of grace and in the school of grace we are trained to say no in the NIV says teaching is to say no here in the ESV doesn't have that statement it says training us to renounce to renounce ungodliness and to renounce worldly passions.
In other words, when God saves us.
He not only justifies us. He not only indwells us by the Holy Spirit, but he begins to conform us to the image of his son is CS Lewis says when we come to Jesus Christ.
We may feel as though that somehow or another is purpose was just to take our little lives and make it into a manageable card to each as I have nice little dwelling place, he says, but then you discover that it that there are hammers and chisels going on and you there's all kinds of pieces being knocked off you and and additions being done in superstructures being changed and he says and then it dawns upon your that his purpose is not simply to be satisfied with turning you into a cottage is aware, but in making you into a glorious mansion dwelling place fit for the Holy Spirit in the same way that yesterday is is justifiable for me to refer to romances in the green again. But when the sign goes up over a residence that bears our insignia before ever she takes up residence there is a tremendous amount of work that is done to make it a dwelling place fit for her Majesty, and here he says the people under your care Titus that God has saved, bringing them to himself. They are the ones who are going to discover that they will not be able to sleep their way into heaven is one of the Puritan writers good and probably the best cross referenced in verse 12. Here would be Romans chapter 6 and verse 12 recorded to let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body to make you obey its passions do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness, for sin will have no dominion over you since you are not under law but under grace. Here is the divine impetus once again the grace of God. He breaks the power of canceled sin, he sets the prisoner free, be of sin the double cure, cleanse me from its guilt and its power, so that set free from the abiding ravages and accusations of the evil one set free from all the condemnation, that is, there we then face the daily battle on three fronts against the world against the flesh against the devil and we are not entirely successful, often not even close to it.
Our acceptance remains in the righteousness and finished work of Christ by the ongoing work is that work of fashioning us by the Holy Spirit and it has both a negative dimension to it and it has a positive dimension to and you will notice it is there in the balance of verse 12.
Saying no to ungodliness and worldly passions, and saying yes to self-control to outright living and to godly lives in the present age so the work of the Spirit is to say to us, no bag, you're supposed to be living soberly you're supposed to be living righteously you're supposed to be living in a way that is godly. I haven't seen you for you to do anything other than that in the work of the spirit within our lives is not constant ongoing work of sanctification so that we might be made increasingly like his son, whom he loves the one who has given his life for us.
Are we then going to go out and live in open rebellion and defiance. No, the grace of God doesn't simply make this activity possible. It makes this activity necessary because God does not justify those whom he doesn't sanctify. Sanctification is not an option. When I hear people talk about salvation. They almost inevitably use the word salvation for the experience of being brought to faith in Jesus Christ. There is salvation.
And then there is other other elements. No all of these things are under the orbit of salvation.
Salvation is about what God's purpose from all of eternity. In his election in his predestination in his justification in his sanctification in his glorification. All of that, that he is purpose to do from all of eternity is now focused in the work of his children is fantastic that he would ever care for us to this degree even continue to work with us in the way that Jesus worked with his disciples who regularly put 1 foot in the raw in the wrong direction. And yet he continued to pick them up and move them on those he justifies. He also glorifies no notice that this is all happening in this present age, while verse 13 we are waiting for another epiphany. The same word appearing epiphany in verse 11.
The grace of God is appeared at Perth and they are and again we are waiting for the appearing epiphany of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. So here's the Christian life. We look back to what he has accomplished for us and we look forward to the day when Christ will appear and I don't find many people like like my song my Timothy Dudley Smith songs I can. I'm only allowed to have them provide iron about once every three months of the moment, but I was desperately keen to have a ceiling but I didn't mention it because I knew would get vetoed, but it is such a wonderful song when the Lord in glory comes not with trumpet. Now, with drunkards in all but the sound when he appears will be music in our ears is a great danger at this time of a kind of over realized eschatology simply means try to get everything buttoned up now trying to live as if it's all in the now, but is not all in the now and can be, there's too much cancer. There's too much sadness. There's too much suffering. There's too much pain. There's too much agony to try and convince anybody that we have it all now it doesn't work is not supposed because we live between the two epiphanies that he is calm in his incarnation and he is made atonement for all who trust in him and he will come again in power and great glory. For those who are ready to meet him and the real indication that we are ready to meet him is not because were able to articulate a particular view of eschatology, but it is that everyone who has this hope within him purifies himself even as he is pure. He's coming back would be dreadful to be described by the five foolish virgins with what is he done in his appearing. Verse 14 and with this we stop, we are waiting for the appearing that will be then as we remember what he has done for us in the past. He gave himself for us. He gave himself for us in amazing phrases and he gave himself for us.
He said thought, I'll take I'll take Megson find out I'll take all of that badness. All of that madness. I'll take all of that punishment that must justifiably be expanded upon the sin bearing shame scoffing rude in my place condemned, he stood sealed my bargain with his blood gave himself for us. Why to redeem us from all lawlessness, so that we'll go out and live in license so that we don't go out and see the grace of God is such that we can just do anything we want. Now the grace of God is such that the only thing that we want to do is that which acknowledges what he is done what he is doing and what one day he will bring to completion because he's purifying for himself a people for his own possession. Jesus, if you like. Also sings my mind. My buddy sings it from the other side and that for me is an even more glorious song to think of Christ in glory singing my my my father I know they are my father dear father, I know they are mine in the fires of hell. You know they're yours because I died for that to redeem them from all lawlessness and to make them a people of my valuable there is nothing like this in the whole world.
There is no story like this and this is our story. This is our song praising our Savior all the day long. He sets us free. By making us a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works and how that zeal works itself out becomes part of the exposition of chapter 3, which God willing, we will come, God has accomplished for us, but we can never accomplish for ourselves a great reminder from Alister beg listing the Truth for Life, and please keep listening.
Alister's can be back in just a minute to close with prayer. If you'd like to learn more about what it means to be saved by Christ but the Truth for Life.org/the story there you'll find a helpful video that explains how Jesus sacrifice on the cross frees us from our sin and grants us salvation.
As we learned in today's message God's saving grace is nothing we can earn on our own. It's a gift freely given to all who believe. Again, visit Truth for Life.org/the story a true flight were passionate about proclaiming the good news of salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ everywhere to everyone. If you also long to see unbelievers converted believers established a local church is strengthened.
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When you make a donation through the Truth for Life app or again online the Truth for Life.org/donate now, here's Alister to close with prayer father think you know that we are able to turn to your word, the Bible and discover that it marks I would our steps, corrects it proves is trains us.
Thank you for this passage of the Bible save as Lauren from falling into self recrimination or hopeless attempts at self renovation. Help us to look away to Christ to Marvel. He gave himself for us, so that he might take our life's from us so that he might live his life by the Holy Spirit in us and through us in Jesus name, amen about the pain most of us would agree that the world is out of kilter.
So how do we fix things is through more education, more introspection, better role models. Alister provides the biblical answer tomorrow. Bible teaching of Alister beg is furnished by Truth for Life learning is for