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Steer Clear! (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
April 1, 2022 4:00 am

Steer Clear! (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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April 1, 2022 4:00 am

Disagreements arise in the local church just like they do in any organization or family. Some controversies can be beneficial, but others are divisive. Learn how to know the difference and to steer clear of danger, on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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Disagreements can arise in local church. Same with a doing any organization or in a family. Some controversies can actually lead to growth.

Others can be dangerous today on Truth for Life will learn how to distinguish the difference. Alastair Begg continues her studying the book of Titus with a message titled steer clear invited to turn with me to Titus and to chapter 3 will just read the chapter. Chapter 3. Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities to be obedient to be ready for every good work to speak evil of no one to avoid quarreling to be gentle and to show perfect courtesy toward all people, for we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy heated by others and hating one another when the goodness and lovingkindness of God our Savior.

He saved us, not because of works done by eyes in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.

So that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy and I want you to insist on these things so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good work. These things are excellent and profitable for people but avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for the person who stirs up division after warning him once and then twice have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful. He self condemned. When I send out to master to chicken stew. You do your best to come to me in the Acropolis for I decided to spend the winter there.

Do your best to speed Xena's the lawyer in the polis on their way see that they like nothing and let our people learn to devote themselves to good works so as to help cases of urgent need not be unfruitful.

All were with me, send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Thanks be to God for his word gracious God, we humbly pray that what we know not.

You will teach us what we have not, you will give us and what we are not you will make us for your son's sake. Amen. Overcoming close to the end of these studies in Titus and it's important for us to remind ourselves that Titus had received a very clear assignment from the apostle Paul and this letter was a follow-up to that assignment.

The assignment we can read above in verse five of chapter 1 where Paul says to them. This is why I left you in Crete so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you all of us to have any part in any kind of organization et al. understand that delegation is an essential extension of effective leadership is really impossible to be a leader of any use whatsoever unless one is willing and able to delegate and to delegate in such a way that people are able to serve effectively and Paul. We see from all of his letters is someone who is more than willing to do that he was not only willing to do it. He was able to do it and you don't see it any clearer than what we find in these pastoral epistles in writing to Timothy as a young pastor and here also writing to Titus.

He not only provides Titus with a very clear job description.

But he also gives them helpful and careful instruction so that he is enabled to complete the task and the last chapters of Titus are essentially the helpful and careful instruction so that Titus can be about the business of exercising pastoral leadership in the congregations here on the island of Crete noted last time that they role of Titus is that of a pastor and of a teacher and he liked Timothy therefore needs to be the kind of individual who is studying to show himself approved to God.

This is two Timothy 215 a workmen that doesn't need to be ashamed because he is rightly dividing the word of truth, so that when his people listen to the instruction of God's word and able to read it for themselves they're able to posit they were able to cross reference it and they're able to adjudicate on whether this individual is actually a servant of the word are not, and we saw last time that this involves first of all, being prepared to affirm what is profitable and we noted that Titus had a reliable message. It was trustworthy. Verse eight that he himself was to be a resolute messenger insisting on these things, putting his foot down. Is it where and that in turn that the congregations in Crete would be a responsive congregation and that the result would be that they devoted themselves to good works, and we try to think a little about what that might mean from verse eight into verse 90 moves.

If you like from the positive to the negatively gives instruction about what should not be taking place. If there are state is what Titus is to affirm, then verse nine is what Titus is to avoid and were going to notice in verse nine just the issues that are to be avoided and then in verses 10 and 11. The kind of person who is to be confronted. Alright, so that's the layout for the time that we have verse nine.

What other kind of issues that are to be avoided and then in 10 and 11.

What is the kind of person who is to be confronted.

Well, first of all the issues he outlines for us avoid. He says foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions and quarrels about the law and then he tells us why, for they are unprofitable and worthless.

So essentially saying I don't want you to waste your time on this stuff. Titus don't waste your time and don't waste anyone else's time now for cross-references in relationship to this I commend you and another eternal way through this all the time but to first Timothy nitric chapter 1 and verse three through two verse 11 where in the context of Ephesus. Paul is giving instruction concerning false teachers and then in chapter 2 of second Timothy and in verses 23 to 26. You will find that this is a fairly familiar refrain for Paul, this is a concern that is unique not unique to Crete.

It's not a concern that was unique to simply time in history, or to a place in geography but it is an ongoing concern for any and all who become pastors and teachers, and so the pastor is to flee the youthful passions and pursue righteousness, and then in verse 23 of two Timothy two.

He has to have nothing to do with foolish ignorant controversies because he points out in that context because you only know that they breed quarrels and that's no good, because the Lord servant is not to be quarreling out I'm letting is fairly straightforward. Visited here the issues that are to be avoided, but there are two questions that Americans the first is what is he mean by this.

What is he mean by this.

He is clearly not ruling out all controversy. Paul himself is not unfamiliar with controversy you normally need to read the opening of the book of Galatians to realize how concerned he was about the issues of the gospel, how prepared he was on one occasion to take Peter on to his face although he was also an apostle and at the very heart of it all was the issue of the gospel and as we've already seen in chapter 1 here of Titus, he is concerned that those who are false teachers would be rebuked sharply in order that they might be sound in the faith. So we have to immediately recognize that this is not a blanket condemnation of controversy when I was in England in March. One of the people at the conference gave an address on the benefits and dangers of controversy the benefits and dangers of controversy and I never really thought much about it until I sat and listened.

He pointed out how theological controversy gave rise. For example, to the creeds, the Nicene Creed and so on. As people recognize that there were controversial views of the person and work of Jesus of Nazareth and that controversy I gave rise to the creeds. This controversies have given rise to catechisms in order that people might understand what it is that we affirm and it was controversy.

Of course, which gave rise to the Reformation itself as the flame of the gospel was lit in the heart of Martin Luther. In this he realized just how controversial it was going to be for him to challenge the people of authority for him to uphold his discovery of the righteousness that was not his righteousness, making them acceptable to God, but a righteousness that was in Christ that was by grace through faith in Jesus alone, and out of that controversy, the history of the church as a marriage.

In the 16th century in England.

It was controversy which allowed Ridley, and Latimer to remember light a flame such as may never be put out. Why was that flame lit fly in 1555 where they chained up to standards in the center of Oxford and burned at the state because the issue was the doctrine of justification. How is a sinner put right with God.

Because the issue was the atonement. What is it mean that there is a sacrifice once and for all and how quickly they were followed by Cranmer within six months. Cranmer was also prepare you perhaps don't remember the words of Cranmer.

You remember better the cord from the from Ridley, and Latimer from LAT from Latimer to answer Ridley, be of good cheer master Ridley and play the man we shall today by God's grace. Light a candle in England as I trust will never be put out dear, we are all these years later, Cranmer, who was wrestling with the beginning of Titus chapter 3. Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities found himself in the most difficult of situations because Mary the Queen insisting on him exercising his jurisdiction within the framework of Roman Catholicism and so he then, in trying to be a good citizen ally Titus chapter 3 Road lancers of submission to her Majesty's authority. Everyone he wrote, except the last one he tore up right once and tore it up a second time and tore it up 1/3 time to order up 1/4 time and tore it up in the fifth time he send it to her.

I submit dear authority, even though you're asking me violate the gospel and the Queen said you don't even believe what you wrote in the letter, and I'm still going to burn you the state, and when Cranmer was burned at the stake. He said I have sinned in that I sign with my hand. What I did not believe with my heart and the hand with which he signed the letter he placed first in the flames and let it burn/be really clear here Paul is not say any kind of controversy is out. That's why it's important to look carefully at our Bibles and you will notice that the adjective is the thing that keeps us on track.

He says I want you to make sure that you avoid foolish controversies foolish controversies. In other words, where theology is replaced with mythology, where biblical convictions are challenged by human concoctions where the discoveries in the Bible that people want to point us to our right up there with the sightings of the Loch Ness monster absolutely hopeless and worthless stuff and some people rejoice in that ragged lots of letters. As you know, and some of them are just completely fascinated and want me to engage in all kinds of foolish controversy, but I'm able to tell them that I can because it says in the Bible that I mustn't get me off the hook quite a lot is wonderful that are not everybody agrees that the controversy is foolish. Most of them don't think it is.

But it is enough of the Bible covers it for is and what about the genealogies we are supposed to pay attention to the introduction that we have in the gospel of Luke and in the Gospel of Matthew are they there for our benefit.

Of course they are. Why do we have the genealogies of the genealogies are present. The air in order that the readers of the might know that Jesus is a very man that is a true man is a real man that this Jesus is the seed of Abraham that Jesus is the great King who sits on David's throne so we read the genealogies in order to discover that Christ is the Redeemer promised in the Old Testament is not with these people were no they found in the genealogies all kinds of speculative ideas and concepts. They managed to fiddle with them or in such a way as to wrest them to their own destruction, says Calvin. The Holy Spirit is not provided genealogies so that we might wonder into heedless speculation and you know what it is in cabins every year somebody says of you have your ended that the hidden Gospel of Thomas, did you know that there were three other people whose name was excellent. If you multiply them, and then spin them around three times and turn them upside down and read your Bible backwards, you will discover that this is everything that you that you've ever needed to know about the Bible is such nonsense isn't that a fellow start on that stuff with me this week. I either bite my tongue every time he mentioned he was telling me an elaborate story about someone with an unpronounceable name and I just wearied form from that I said dear dear. I wasn't my place to set them right. At that point is where you can only do so much. We are playing golf with people but anyway like a strike trying to get me off my game easy but avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, and what about these dissensions and morals about the law, dissensions and battles about the law. I think this is where you need to go back to verse 10 of chapter 1 to help us discover that this element here is present and it was unsettling folks in Crete noticed there are many who are insubordinate empty talkers and deceivers you see that adjective again the talk a lot of talk but is empty talk.

They want to engage in controversy wanted get you all tied up in genealogies they want to quarrel about the matters of the law, and especially he says those of the circumcision party so the influences that these individuals treated the law of God, the look the Old Testament in its entirety. Perhaps the Jewish law, in particular as I can have happy hunting ground for their speculations and poses the tightest make sure that you don't get embroiled in this stuff make sure that you people don't become masters of this you will of folks who are able to provide plenty of speculative hot air and you will have people who live in it she hears that twitch every time there is the sound of this nonsense in the air. It's like a little rabbit listening will and there are people just like that is sick speculative hot air is now in the breeze with there we go.

There is some good stuff coming out, avoid avoid these things. That's what he means.

Why does it matter, he tells us why it matters. The reason it matters because when you have the inventiveness of these false teachers matched by the curiosity of nave listeners it may create the impression that there is a set of meaningful to debate and wonderful discovery being made, but not sources Paul because these sort of things are unprofitable and worthless there worse than quiet remedies for physical ailments don't get tired of that stuff on the radio to overhear these people selling everything usually in the middle of the night in the early hours of the morning when all good people should be asleep at work and and and you know I hope you don't buy that stuff, and maybe you do. Maybe you sell it and I feel even worse, I suppose, but I knows find myself thinking this is followed really expect me to believe this, and especially when he tells me that I will get 1/3 bottle for nothing. You know it's so wonderful that were given the junk away that incident, but if you rub it whenever Nani danced off then those of those quiet remedies for physical ailments. We can we can handle. We can fiddle with the movie wonder just absolutely useless.

They're usually not harmful and discovered anybody growing a second nose with it or having unusual like that. Usually they just there either self verifiable or they just get put in the blood in the medicine cabinet. But what he's seeing here is that this kind of stuff is actually harmful.

You see, this harms people when people begin to get online said that treats the word of God. The truth of God as some kind of gigantic jigsaw puzzle whereby they can move the pieces around to suit their own satisfaction. Then they will be chaotic and so these things are to be avoided because they lead nowhere and they settle nothing. They lead nowhere. They settle there is certainly a huge difference between the questions of someone who is sincerely seeking the truth and the divisive speculation of what Alister called empty talkers your listing to Truth for Life with Alister bag me remind you of your enjoying Alister's sermons from the book of Titus you can hear his teaching through all three chapters at your convenience. Maybe you missed a message and want to get caught up or you'd like to relisten to a message for sure with a friend. The series is titled get it right.

You can find these messages available for free or you can search for the series in our mobile app or you can purchase the teaching on the USB drive for cost of five dollars telling people about Jesus in his power to save is what we're all about Alister's teaching reaches people in thousands of locations through radio, we are free app on YouTube just a few of the ways people connect with us and it's all because of your prayers and your giving our practice to Truth for Life is to offer as many free or at cost resources as possible. We want to provide clear, relevant Bible teaching to anyone who desires to learn more were able to do this because of our true partners. These are generous listeners like you who have agreed to pray for the ministry and to give consistently to help cover the cost of producing this daily program. If you're not already a true partner. I want to invite you to become part of this essential team today, your monthly giving allows us to tell a worldwide audience about God and about his plan of salvation give us a call today at 888-588-7884 to become a true partner or you can sign up easily on the app or partner and when you signed up to become a true partner. We want to say thanks by inviting you to request to monthly book offers our featured book today is a new release from Sinclair Ferguson book were recommending as you begin to prepare for Easter. It's titled lessons from the upper room in the book Sinclair invites you to imagine that your present in the private upper room where Jesus and his disciples gathered on the evening before Christ's death. The book is a close-up examination of the scene described in the Gospel of John in chapters 13 through 17. As Sinclair explains it's here that were given a window into Jesus heart is instructions for his followers and the promise that he will prepare a place in God's kingdom for all who believe. These chapters in Scripture overflow with foundational teaching from Jesus. When you read lessons from the ethylene Sinclair Ferguson will help you navigate it all and understand it more thoroughly. We should request the book when you sign up to become a monthly truth or you can request lessons from the upper room when you give a one time donation. Just visit Truth for Bob Lapine hope you enjoy your weekend and hope you can join us Monday for the conclusion of today's message.

Find out what to do when we find a wolf in sheep's clothing. The Bible teaching of Alister bag is furnished by Truth for Life or the learning is early

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