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April 27, 2020 1:00 am
Culture is becoming more and more like that airplane that flies into a bank of clouds and you can see how Denny can see down. You might think you're ascending instead of just sending you all know that you're headed straight for the side of the mountain.
A tragic ending is just I had tightness find me some men who will go back to the instrument panel will effectively stand up and accept both the positive and the negative aspects of Bible exposition manual tell the truth the same. The lives under their care to their own desires. Their own agendas. They seem to do so with no regard for God. The same was true in the time of the early church. So when Paul wrote a letter to a young pastor named Titus.
He challenged him to be the kind of pastor who would speak with clarity regarding God and his word. He also challenged Titus to raise up a team of elders to serve in the church. Men with that same purpose. Welcome to wisdom for the heart.
Stephen Devi continues through his series entitled the shepherd's mantle today with this lesson. He's calling chocolate soldiers.
Paul shifts from what an elder is to what an elder does notice first nine holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching.
In other words, a true shepherd isn't going to let go of the faithful word you translated the word that is faithful, the word that is trustworthy. He's not gonna let it go. He's gonna revere it and read it and study it and memorize it and obey it and believe it and teach it is literally going to love the word.
The words of God is faithful.
It is trustworthy, and he never wants to go far from it.
He wants to live in. It is always good to set the example and for the flock in relation to this book and being constantly nourished on the words of faith and sound doctrine. First Timothy four verse 62 to long for the pure milk of the word as a baby longs to be fed.
First Peter 22 and being commended to the word of God's grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those are being sanctified accept her 20 and Ephesians so so that's is alive and is longing, the pastor preaches and teaches the word of God and elder believes he is fully convinced that the Bible is alive and capable of bringing about true and genuine Reformation so hard in character, so he clings to it because what I can happen. Anything else is a shepherd leading the flock to parched dry grass and ground rather than the green pastures of God's inspired word firm grip on the word of God allows an elder to get his arms around the work of God church in our generation is joining more and more a host of others. In this mass appeal and a quest for relevancy which does nothing more than make their ministries superficial and self focused where the highest goal of meeting together for worship is the enjoyment of the spectator rather than the pleasure of God. When we sing a song we assayed.
We like that one. We leave the service a was that was that really good for us to be like that with that enjoyable was an entertaining that the highest goal in that kind of church. The focus is on the fulfilled life of the listener rather than the transform the life of the listener by means of the word of God into the image and character of Jesus Christ our chief Shepherd so apart from the clear commitment and exposition of Scripture. The church then is going to be driven along with the winds of the most recent fabs and and trends is going to be driven by by entertainment and sends storytelling which John Piper and his wonderful little book called the supremacy of God in preaching, which is required reading in her seminary. He he describes the average evangelical service in these words, he simply calls it the slapstick of evangelical worship.
It's quite possible and I'm coming to believe this. More and more.
It is quite possible that the evangelical church in our world at large is now set up to melt down at the first signs of genuine persecution standing for the gospel which I believe is just around the corner. I want you to notice the Paul said the elder must cling to the trustworthy word which is note this to miss this phrase in accordance with the teaching. In other words, it tracks back to and is in agreement with the apostolic doctrine when I come up with anything original. Anybody says it is of the brand-new for you.
It's after the period of the last chapter last verse of Revelation. Just turn them off and and and and type your shoes and run this teaching of the apostles was the core around which the New Testament church was formed and committed acts chapter 2, verse 42, any teaching that didn't correspond with the progressing revelation through the apostles. You're holding in your lap that apostolic truth which then ended with the last apostle John in his last Revelation.
Anything that disagrees with denigrates detracts from this record of apostolic truth and preaching was considered by the church.
Spurious and dangerous and even devilish, according to Paul in Galatians chapter 1 verses eight and nine. There is only one apostolic body of truth. It was delivered already. Through the apostolic community is only one Lord reveals to us.
There's only one way it reveals reserves only one baptism. There's only one spirit 101 faith.
Ephesians 445. Anything apart from this, God breathed resource is simply wrong.
Anything that disagrees with what it says about what it says is wrong.
Are you ready for that kind of stand.
Are you ready for the County heat. There are not many gods.
There's only one true and living God or not. Many faiths I personally bristle when I hear that there are not many faiths. There's only one faith, everything else is speculation and eternally dangerous error. You ready for the kind of stand was in one group of people believe the 2+2 = 4, and another group of people believe the 2+2 = 5. None of us would say in that nice, there are two answers there to viewpoints matters most is what 2+2 means personally to them. My algebra teacher never gave me that kind latitude is either Ira she didn't care what 2+2 meant to me personally it on enough to care about me personally. She certainly didn't give any points for getting close are you are you are you willing to communicate that kind of conviction out there in a world that is now saturated in pluralism best expressed in one man's biography.
I read recently where he said that the house of God. If there is one has many doorways G. Lessing and 18th-century German critic played an instrumental role in Europe popularizing pluralism, which is now become the theology of our American culture, and all you have to do is talk to somebody out there, and you'll hear them say without God's good for you but I get a different one of that belief is good for you because I get for me. Can't we just agree that even though we believe contradictory truths we could still both be right, that's that is the theology of our thinking so to speak. GE Lessing was so a good storyteller and he often use the story that he created to promote his viewpoint. See the sounds anywhere familiar to what we're hearing today. He said this father had a magic ring which he was bound to give to one of his three sons. When he died that wanting to be accused of favoritism he made to imitation rings just like his after his death. Each son received a ring and each son thought he was the one who owned the genuine bring well the three troubled sons begin to argue with who actually owned the genuine ring and finally these three agreed to go to Nathan, the wise, and explain what was going on. After hearing their tail. Nathan, the wise responded that each of them was to think that his own ring was the true ring and not try to persuade anyone differently. That sounds really nice.net we can't we all coexist is certainly nonconfrontational. We can we put the cross next to the star next the crescent moon.
The trouble with the stories at the end of the day. There was only one magic ring and the other two were fakes.
I guess I'd hoped they'd never need the magic there's only one gospel. All others are fraudulent and to use this analogy, there's no magic in them. There's no hope of redemption or forgiveness. There's no supernatural cleansing power and hope for heaven and and a rescue from from sin and myself and how Titus. Make sure that you find men who will claim to that kind of apostolic truth and that kind of manner. Make sure they holdfast they won't let it go. Let go of the gospel. Make sure they're convinced because as soon as they take on the mantle of a shepherd. The heat is going to be turned up beyond their imagination. The pressure will be on to soften the edges of repentance and the claims of discipleship. Heat will be on the compromise, the exclusive claims of Christ alone. By faith in him alone anybody made out of chocolate isn't gonna survive and I get a tell you every time I see a preacher interviewed on television.
I cringe because so often you will hear. What about all those Muslims one about the sinner. That said, and they will say well it's not up to me this yes it is. Yes, it is the second challenge is even greater than simply believing I want you to notice the will gives Titus two aspects of what they're to do with the word of God. The first aspect is positively the middle part of verse nine. So that right he's going to cling to the word that is trustworthy.
The tracks all way back agree to the apostolic truth, so that first of all, is good to be able to exhort in sound doctrine. That's the positive side of this word exhort carries the idea of urging the listener to respond to receive, to apply the truth that this is more than me transferring information from my notes to your notes that that's not the goal of of exhortation exhortation is ultimately oriented to a verdict to exhort means to seek by God's spirit to influence the mind and the heart. The conscience of the hearer. It is alive or death exhortation that the word Paul uses here translated, exhort is from Park hello to call alongside. It's also known from use of the Holy Spirit. The Parkway task is the one who encourages and he convicts and and he reforms modern equivalent for our thinking would be the idea of having a good coach. Tough when he needs to be tough and comforting when he needs to become comforting. A good coach knows what his players need even even though they might disagree about you, but I never had a had a soccer coach in high school ever say out on the practice field. The guys the real reason you're out here today is for you to feel good about yourselves so wanted to give the player next to big Internet we hug these and I want you to feel good and as new cleats you got on the didn't work recommend like you're supposed to over the summer so if you don't want to do a lap that's really fine with me back to give the whole regiment of discipline and training up to you and you do whatever you feel you know you feel is right for you because at the end of the day.
I want you to have happy thoughts about soccer not Harley my my saga because you still used to work for Hitler. I'm fairly convinced of it. I mean he would work us to the bone and we would be praying for the rapture but but he also knew how to encourage us and motivate us and stretch us he talk strategy and teamwork. He would tell us about the teams we were going to be up against. And after we were dead tired and sprawled out on the side of the soccer field.
He tell us why it mattered is good coach and paid off. True biblical exposition is exhortation it actually joins the truth of the word of God with the activity of the spirit of God in bringing about through its truth transformation in the child of God, so that this truth becomes a way of life you would notice the Paul describes this doctrine as sound. It is sound doctrine.
The Greek word dino gives us our word hygiene literally means healthy doctrine.
Good for you. It will save your soul and protect your path feed your mind, your heart, and old days doctors referred to someone as sound of wind and limb good lungs, healthy body, so sound doctrine. That's the idea produces a healthy Christian and doctrinally healthy Christians live healthy lives, make up a healthy church there thinking correctly their living correctly. That's the biblical definition of health and behind it all is a commitment to sound biblical exposition. So Titus now I want you to go and find men who will love the word like this again 11 out to study it and deliver its and stand by it so that the body will be sound and healthy as doctrine is sound and that's the positive aspect is a negative aspect onto the sea. This is the second aspect notice. Further, at the end of verse nine and not finish there a lot of hazards a that's great.
I'm just going to encourage a really good coach all and and to refute those who contradict his ministry is both constructive and confrontive. John Calvin, the reformer wrote that a pastor needs to voices one voice for gathering the sheet and another voice for driving away the wall and the fee.
Paul is going to spend several verses detailing this confrontive ministry. I'll save our most of our thoughts for the bulimia lycée for today study the word translated refute is a bit surprising. I've already addressed it somewhat but I'll tell you the word refute means to literally show people their sins define that sin and summon them to repentance. Paul knew the Titus needed men would be willing to deliver the truth and expose the air we needed more today than ever. In the heat is turning up his call something sinful or in error or in need of saving is to be considered on loving and judgmental and even divisive who, what right do you have to judge me to call that a sin to tell me I need to be saved. To say I'm a sinner you're just being judgmental.
Listen calling cyanide poisoning is not being judgmental, being protective, telling your child that that neighbors dog will bite him is not being on loving putting a fence up so the dog can get your child and your child to get the dog is not being divisive and protective, telling someone they need to be saved. There following a false prophet or false God or false Messiah is not being on loving fact is being a loving enough to try and warn them of hell and save them or have been right in our culture is becoming more more like that airplane that flies into a bank of clouds and you can see how Denny can see down. You might think you're okay you I think your flying trim. You might think you're ascending and descending. You don't know that you're headed straight for the side of a mountain, a tragic ending is just I had Titus find me some men who will go back to the instrument panel who will effectively stand up and accept both the positive and the negative aspects of Bible exposition manual tell the truth to save the lives under their care. I can remember personally the first rumblings I had in my gut spirit sells more spiritual of anger and sadness, mixed together and what God was doing in my own heart to eventually accept the role of an elder. As I listen to a false teacher deliver a message to his congregation happened when I was a freshman in college I was going to be a history teacher of the few grades I got affected.
I God's leading. So I went away to study the little college I went to didn't have a campus in the other, walk to different buildings and I would often walk past this little stone chapel off on the side of Main Street. Beautiful gardens, beautiful beautiful chapel set about 100 people, and I was curious what they believed. I wanted to know what with that guy in there was preaching so I decided to skip church growth supposed to be in a more you confess that so were okay, I think, but I decided to go to that church for their morning service and I didn't plan it but it just so happened to be Easter Sunday morning I slipped into a pew beautiful mahogany handcarved pews slate floor beautiful chapel people around me well-dressed, waiting for the service to begin looking at the programs. The organ was playing somewhere in the background.
We stood and sung a hymn I didn't recognize it didn't seem all that bad. Other than saying about Jesus or God's character anything about the sounded good minute Dr. so and so I can't member's name or until you stood to speak.
I can believe what I was hearing. He rambled on and on literally giving reasons why Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, and I can still feel what I felt 35 years ago, sitting there looking around these people and that false teacher up there who of all Sundays on Easter was telling people why Jesus was dead and I could feel right here. I still have so is every elder shepherd leader. Why because there is an aspect of believing the truth we want to warn people you're angry over error you pity the poor sheep have nothing to eat. You want to do everything you can. And it is been my great duty and delight to wear the mantle of shepherd to both battle the wolves as well as exhort and encourage the flock along this saving help the true path that ultimately will lead to heaven.
Chuck Swindoll, the Chancellor Della seminars pastor churches for more than 50 years now still pastoring Martian.
I had a chance of intent to hear him talk about what he learned in 50 years of ministry to nationals broadcasters, but he wrote recently some words that I have in one of his newest publications insights on the book of Titus that I'm enjoying