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Insist on This!

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
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March 31, 2022 4:00 am

Insist on This!

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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March 31, 2022 4:00 am

When the apostle Paul sent leadership instructions to the young pastor Titus, he stressed the importance of teaching only the Gospel. Find out why this message of salvation remains reliable and urgent today. Listen to Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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When the apostle Paul said leadership instructions to Titus things he stressed was the importance of teaching only the gospel today on Truth for Life Alastair big explains why the message of the gospel remains equally reliable and equally urgent. Today, continuing our study in Titus chapter 3 Alastair is focusing on verse eight probably know the old chestnut about an ordained Anglican clergyman, a young, pure, good going to his first charge you never preach there before and he didn't know what to do. So he wrote to his bishop letting him know this. Send them a postcard which just contain one simple question dear Bishop, what should I preach about the Bishop responded in an equally cryptic way by sending a card which simply said dear preach about God and preach about 20 minutes reason I mention that is because the apostle Paul here has not been bashful throughout this Lancer in telling Titus what it is that he is to preach, for example, in the beginning of chapter 2 but as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. You're not just me saying anything that comes into your head.

Titus you need to make sure that what you're teaching people is in keeping with that doctrine, the apostolic doctrine that you received from me at the end of chapter 2. Again, in expectation, declare these things. In other words, this is the information that I have given to you and this is what your to use as your sermon material Titus is to be very clear about the fact that his shepherding on the people of God is by means of the croup of God's word the way in which the sheep are to be led into pasture is by bringing them to the Bible to understand in his case, primarily in first of all, the Old Testament Scriptures and then the material that had come to him now. By way of the apostle Paul himself. He was fulfilling the role of a pastor and of a shepherd and he's going to be told in verse nine that it is very important that he doesn't get himself embroiled in all kinds of controversies but, instead, that according to our verse this morning.

Verse eight he makes sure that he is insisting on the right things is good for us from time to time just to remind ourselves about what the Bible says concerning the role of the pastor and the teacher Paul when he writes to the Ephesians in Ephesians 4 describes the gift of pastor and teacher is one of the gifts of the ascended Christ to his church that the response of the Ethiopian eunuch when he is reading their prophecy from Isaiah and Philip comes alongside them and says to do you understand what it is you're reading and remember the Ethiopian says how can I unless somebody teaches me, and the role of the shepherd of God in the people of God is to be that of a teacher. This is simply to follow the pattern of Jesus.

Remember when Jesus began his earthly ministry, he begins in his local church. Is it where in the synagogue in Nazareth, where it had been brought up in Luke tells us that when he went there. He was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, and he read from that scroll words with which we became familiar when we studied Luke the spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor so he reads from the Scriptures and then he sits down in the position of the teacher.

Luke tells us that all the eyes of the people in the synagogue were fastened on and waiting to hear what it was that he was going to say by way of exposition, they could hardly have imagined what was about to come out of his mouth as he began to say to them today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing and for three years Jesus had a preoccupation with had a priority all proclaiming the good news. Remember Mark's gospel begins at the time is now fulfilled. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news. And what Jesus did in his three years of earthly ministry.

He then entrusted to the apostles to go out and do and by the time Paul is writing to the church at Rome he says to them in Romans 10 says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God is the word of God is conveyed as it is taught as it is explained by one by another, as well as from the pulpit so God uses this to bring men and women to faith in himself not only as a means of evangelism but also as a means of equipping the people of God so that they might go on to maturity and so it is that Paul is telling Titus throughout this Lancer that he is to take great care in providing this instruction is to do so with conviction is instruction. As we've seen in our previous studies is to be marked by integrity and it is to be marked by dignity and their way in which people will discover whether he is fulfilling the role of the teacher is when they actually start to learn stuff is very straightforward is that you know that leadership is taking place when people are following and you know that teaching is taking place when people are learning the late Archbishop of Canterbury, Donald Cogan used to speak about the three PEs that are present in the pews when he was teaching other young ministers how to preach and teach. He told them you will find in the pews. Those who are puzzled, who are in need of consistent advice. Those who are promising who are in need of constant encouragement and those who are perplexed, who are always in need of compassion and he said, as you address those three PEs in the pew. It is important that you pay attention to the three CDs that need to be present in the plover. Those three CDs being he said, first, that the preacher needs to be candid so that there is no concealment of the truth that he needs to be clear so that there is no obscurity of expression, and that he needs to be confident, so that he is able to speak without fear of the consequences. So very, very helpful advice. I think now I want to give his 3Rs to help others through their state, which is our focus this morning just this one verse and the first are is the first letter of the word reliable reliable why reliable, well it's really a synonym for trustworthy, which is the word that is used there in the opening phrase in verse eight. This saying, says Paul to Titus is trustworthy. The saying is trustworthy. This is actually a routine phrase in the pastoral epistles, that is, first and second Timothy and Titus and you will find that there are I think five occasions, including this one, where Paul uses this very terminology in certain cases, it seems directly related to a very pithy statement in this case, it would seem to be referring to the previous lengthy statement that he is just made comprising what we have in verses 4 to 7 because I think verses 4 to 7 seem to flow together don't need them. When the goodness and lovingkindness of God our Savior appeared. He starts there with that epiphany and he saved us, not by works done by us in righteousness. According to his mercy tells us how this has come about and so on and what he's been doing there between verses four and seven is essentially focusing on the gospel.

On the good news people ask what is this good news is the accountant of what God has done for eyes in the Lord Jesus Christ to save us from sin and from the devil and from dad & having spent verses 4 to 7 on you. Now comes Taveras eight and essentially he's saying in the opening phrase this is solid truth. This is solid truth or if you like you can count on this Titus, you can count on this and it is this trustworthy saying which you are to make your own in your teaching.

All of these congregations. There on the island of Crete I think is important for us to recognize this, and to pause for just a moment to remind ourselves of three other words with which I think we become familiar as we speak about Christianity because this approach does stand out from so much that is part and parcel of our culture, with its renewed interest in spirituality spirituality that is often grounded in the subjective experiences of people who may not be able to give any basis whatsoever for why it is the believe what they say they believe for why the affirm what they have for him but nevertheless there prepared to make my job Christianity stands out against the subjectivism of contemporary spiritualities by introducing eyes to the objective statements that are provided and recorded for is in the Bible. So when we read what Paul is just sand here concerning this trustworthy and reliable material. He is saying what were dealing with this. First of all historical these things actually happened. Secondly, saying it is rational. It is rational. In other words, you can read this doesn't sound like mythology and sound like contrivance, and thirdly it is empirical or if you like. It is verifiable is not a verifiable spirituality that looks inside of ourselves to find a guide which would encourages us to believe this is actual but it is a verifiable data that is outside of eyes that is then confirmed by embracing authentic truth. So, for example, taste and see that the Lord is good. Trust the message of Christianity.

This trustworthiness is reliability. This put it to the tested in this stuff is historical it is rational and it is verifiable. Indeed the thing that separates Christianity from all the other religions of the world in one word is grace is grace. Every religion in the world has as a mechanism whereby we can somehow another make ourselves acceptable with God.

People will swallow that stuff you tell about a beer examine the New Testament evidence of error applied your clinical mind to the gospel records of Yemen examine the evidence.

Have you rejected Christianity because you examine the evidence and you find that it was wanting or is it not true that you rejected Christianity without ever having examined the evidence because when you look at it, you will discover that it is grace that opens our lives and until grace opens our eyes showing us the story of Christianity is not the story of what we must do but it is the story of what God has done in Jesus.

Religion is saying do this do this do this and do this Christianity is say little about is not. And until we understand that our acceptance with God is on account of what God has done and we will continue if we're interested in the accepted by God to try and do for ourselves. The dreadful tyranny of turning over a new leaf's seeking to forsake bad habits attending Bible study saying our prayers, doing everything that anybody suggested is is a possibility, until suddenly it dawns on us by the Holy Spirit is this, it is sin that pays wages those wages being that the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Now it is this that is so reliable, so reliable. The second word is the word resolute resolute notice what he says I want you to insist on these things.

Titus is clearly directed in his teaching, and Paul wants to make sure that Titus aware of the fact that he has a reliable message is now committed to being a resolute messenger that he is prepared to make sure that his people understand that he himself is convinced and that he in turn is committed under God to convincing them. Verse 15 of chapter 2 declare these things exhort and rebuke with all authority, what authority not the authority of Titus is personality, not the authority that comes because he so convinced convinced convinced me authority that is found in the reliability of the message and the reliable nature of that which is trustworthy. Here is your authority, he says, Titus, this is what you have to say and this is why you have to say teach and exhort review them at all authority. Remember the messages reliable. Come on now. Put your foot down sweetie saying take a firm stand on these matters.

What matters on the matters of the gospel see the end of the day when the people who I would live Titus as their pastor when they were getting together and having a meal it would never have cause to regret that Titus insisted on these things. How thankful we are that Titus was committed to these things that he taught us so that we can understand first principles and he exhorted us so that we might understand the way in which that which we have understood is to be written into the very fabric of our lives. Goodness, he kept saying the same thing all the time. Why was he doing that, it would've said to one another must be that letter that he got from Paul because you remember when he read it out. That time we were together. Paulette said in verse eight of chapter 3.

Now listen, this is a trustworthy saying I want you to insist on these things. I was thing about it this week in relationship to teaching and the progression that there should be theirs. First of all, what, what? We will come and say what it what what is it that you're on about, then there is this so what which is really matter. So what. So first, the pastor going to tell you what, then, the very tell you.

So what so that you can then say now what if the pastor goes to the teacher goes too quickly to the soul award without giving you the warrant, then you have no idea what the world is all about and that's what often happens when people talk about having somebody preach the gospel to the what actually mean is that he keeps asking them to do something at the end of the service, but you never really explain what it is that God has done in order to make significant their response.

First of what God has done, then the solar wall of faith and then the now want and that brings us to our third which is the word result result, you notice that there's a purpose clause here. This saying is trustworthy and reliable. I want you to insist on these things be resolute so that here's the result so that those who believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. Notice that it is those who have believed in God.

Those whom he is described in verse 14, who have been redeemed from all lawlessness set free from lawlessness in order to belong entirely to him. Nepal is already made it clear in verse five that we had our acceptance with God is not by these good works, but now he makes clear that it is for these good works. The reason this is so important is because in the end of chapter 1. He has identified some individuals to whom he is going to return. Verse 16 profess to know God by denying him by their works they deny him by their works see the progression of thought here all the way through. He's been showing the outworking of what salvation really means.

So in the reliable statement he shown that the need for salvation is on account of our sin. He shown that the source of salvation is the loving kindness of God.

He is then shown that the ground of our salvation is in his mercy and that the means of our salvation is in the regenerating work of God the Holy Spirit and that the goal of our salvation is that we may become heirs according to the hope of eternal life, and now that the evidence of our salvation is to be seen in our good works so Mrs. I'd rather see a gospel and hear one any day is not what Jesus said in Matthew seven he says to them in a salad. Three. Warning Matthew 721.

Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven. But the one who does the will of my father who is in heaven. Verse 16 of chapter 1 here of Titus.

He says there are many who profess to know God by the denying him by their works they talk the talk but there's no evidence if either is evidence to the contrary is not an outlandish statement that is in concurrence with what Jesus is saying here.

There will be people who say to me.

Many who say to me Lord, Lord, and we prophesy in your name cast out demons in your name do mighty works in your name and then I will declare to them, I never knew you depart from me, you workers of lawlessness, lawlessness, go back to verse 14 of chapter 2, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness from all lawlessness to set us free from that principle of death and sin in order that we might become slaves of righteousness, and in order that by our very deeds we might declare the evidence of our justification. Now this means a great deal doesn't it means what we've said all along, namely that in Christ all of our days and all of our deeds may be good for someone and maybe good for something that we ought not to see our daily routine. Our vocation we are not to see that as like I said the context for engaging in personal evangelism is a context for engaging in personal event but you know you can operate at dinners and the glory of God. You know you can give an injection in a way that fulfills Titus 28.

You know you can respond to an inquiry on the telephone in a way that conveys kindness to the greatest and the least, and we sing about that kindness to the greatest and the least Titus, listen you gardener rely reliable message. Make sure that you are a resolute messenger in order that you might have a responsive congregation. A congregation that here's the call of the kingdom and says it is.

To that kingdom that I am committed is to that cane that I bout it is to that agenda that I will give myself where it takes me from here to there.

Wherever it puts me, but don't for goodness sakes in yourself.

If I was going to take it really seriously I would start being where I am and what I am and I would become something else you may but for the time being.

Bloom where you're planted being the best schoolteacher you can be the best journalist you can be be the best builder you can be asked when people say what is this you earn your salvation set. I could never my salvation. Father has all been paid for been paid for, who paid I news for you reliable news historical's rationalists verifiable.

See that's that's the challenges before us, we have a message this reliable are messengers are called to be resolute and we as a congregation are called to be responsive.

We are not saved by our good works are saved works at Alister bag listening to Truth for Life we been learning why it's so important to preach the gospel rather than simply tell people what they want to hear. And that's our mission of Truth for Life to teach the Bible and only the Bible every single day. We do this, knowing that God will work in the hearts of many who listen and will bring them to know and trust in the Lord Jesus as Christians were often asked why we believe the Bible. Alister touched on the answer today pointed out the message of Christianity is historical, rational and verifiable. If you'd like to know more about what you can be confident in the Bible's teaching the book were offering will be of tremendous help to the book titled know the truth and it's written to explain not only what we believe as Christians but why were confident about what the Bible says this is the last day you can request the book know the truth, so be sure to ask for your copy when you make a or you can call us at 888-588-7884 bubble peen pastors get ask a lot of questions about the Bible and Christianity, and usually they're happy to answer those questions, but sometimes the wisest responses for them to stay out of the discussion will find out why tomorrow Bible teaching of Alister bag is furnished by Truth for Life learning is prolific

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