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The New Normal, Part 1 - Titus 1:8

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
April 22, 2020 1:00 am

The New Normal, Part 1 - Titus 1:8

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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April 22, 2020 1:00 am

You know what the Church needs today? The same thing it has always needed. Leaders who are more concerned with following the commands of God than the traditions of men.

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Bad activities bad causes bad language, bad music, bad thinking bad habits that of humanity that Paul wrote to Timothy is in chapter 3 verse three. The one of the signs of a corrupting decaying culture is that they will be yours.

All good. It rejoices in the perversity of evil times. Just knowing that something is bad isn't motivation enough to drop in a world where far too many people love what's bad. God calls his people to love. What's good. That's especially true for the group of men God calls to lead the church a group called elders. The elders are men of personal conviction.

Their lives are to be an example for others to follow. There's other important characteristics of godly elders and working to see several of them today on wisdom for the heart. Stephen Devi returns to Titus one with this message called the new normal. I read some time ago I made a very interesting observation about men as you have learned a lot about a man by how he handles everything how he handles Scott plans to get rained out how he responds to an airline loses luggage and what he says when the Christmas tree lights are all tangled up.

It's true that Kelly said you are. You just can't help it get you a number of years and I member traveling invited to speak at a tattoo student body at a Christian college and seminary for their annual Bible conference would be my first visit on their campus tighten time. Of course, to prepare my message and also what I wear when I showed up the right seat right next tire. I choose.

I arrived but my luggage did not the president of the graduate school in his home. I was staying and having a loan me some of his clothing chapel. The next morning to visit a particular dress code and so he gave me his sport coat. It was four sizes larger than I was and he gave me a neckties anywhere this minute if the necktie would never have I chosen it and even shoes. I want a pair slip bonds always rolling and rubber slippers would woodworking joy shoes a large bear wingtips eyewear tended to have. He wore size 13.

I can remember just recall when I'm on stage looking for like a class showing up to speak somewhere for the first time is probably akin to what you've experienced when your your interviewing for the first time with that company you want to put your best foot forward right, you want everything to be just right, you don't pack a bag but you do polish a resume.

Every good thing you know not everyone. He never earned every title next your name, you never had a plaque it's going to be there somewhere on that resident because I want somebody with experience right there. You want somebody with executive management skills.

Perhaps you want somebody with personal charisma. Our or good taste of the right education right sense of manners and all those kinds of things. The people that matter out there that people tend to get jobs like those may be that you're going after our what the world would assess as being valuable. And how do we determine that we determine based on a person's intellect or physical attraction. Or maybe it is even a sense of physical intimidation, prestige, popularity, connections with the right people, just maybe enough to pry to prove to the one doing the interviewing why you want to get the job rather than those other people. Nobody gets the job because they're humble or holy duty to fit in with the crowd and keep the religious stuff yourself. By the way, you got to play the game that kind of thinking, unfortunately, has sort of spillover into the church has Titus shows up on the island of Crete in the first century and he is an apostolic league commission job to find shepherds who are qualified to wear the mantle of leadership in the church. The apostle Paul says the Titus to go back to chapter 1 verse five, you notice this little phrase go appoint elders in every city, as I directed you. In other words, Titus, you might be tempted job with the wrong kind of man to stay on my pain stay staying. According to my directions. Here is a resume list that will matter because it will reveal godly character easy Titus and I think Paul's applying to give me plenty, and Canada's want to leave the office like Elder of the first century like that. He's the owner who wanted simply because he loved being out run and up in front. He loved being the first guy on the lines we can turn around and tell everybody how they got Mark's third John chapter 1 verse nine he simply loved to be first easy Titus.

You also to run the risk naturally looking at men for the wrong reason. You men with prestige with power, prominence, charm may be physical attributes, intellect, stature in the community are like Samuel in the Old Testament your number handy when looking for a king, and he went to the sons of Jesse, he assumed that the tallest, the oldest one most trained in warfare. The strongest would certainly be God's candidate for the king of Israel, and God said, it will effectively said no that's how the world runs its business.

They look on the outside when I God look on the in his heart for single 60%. So if you look at if you look at the resume of shepherded Titus chapter 1, you will find anything you don't find anything about speaking ability.

You don't find anything about leadership skill set or business accomplishments or physical attribute, and that the list has almost nothing whatsoever to do with what the man is done.

It has everything to do with who the man is because what's normal on the island of Crete kidnapping what's normal in the church what's considered normal in the culture can't be the standard of normality for the believer, so the elder is effectively going to change the norm by his own character and lifestyle is going to model the new pattern and effectively what is going to do is turn around and leave the congregation into a new normal. So here's the new normal. What's this beginning in verse eight, the elder pastor Bishop is writing of these is to be hospitable, loving what is good, sensible Jost devout self-control has effortlessly can you imagine that being part of a list of questions are asked in your interviewing for a job. Can you imagine anybody asking you the question, are you a good person. Can you give me an illustration of self-control. Are you personally.

Devout oh know the average person being interviewed with a look that you have no business asking me those kinds of question that's on your business. Those are normal questions.

Well it just so happens to be the business of the church and this is the new normal, and not just for elders either. By the way factors have gone through this list, I find that each of these qualifications are encouraged throughout the New Testament for the lives of every maturing believer. Many of these qualifications listed in Titus one are given to us in Galatians chapter 5 is the fruit spirit controlled life is the elder just so happens to be progressing. These are progressing men under the influence of the Holy Spirit and then leave the flock by way of example, so the flock then has this flesh and blood. This living breathing pattern.

They can actually see and hold accountable and watch and follow so that they will know how to live as well. Under the spirits influence the elder is in many ways nothing more than a living demonstration of a new normal, because we all pursuant together only because we are all wanting to submit to the accountability of the Holy Spirit whom we answer so another words were not now were not submitting to our culture were creating working to create a nickel. We will try to fit into our culture, we are determined by the grace of God to redeem our culture and reform our culture one person at a time by saving gospel of Christ, and if we don't quite redeem the believers in here. How do we ever hope to redeem anybody out there with performed thinking in here we ever hope to influence a Reformation out there remember this distinction before we dive in, while the congregation may progress along in these characteristics.

The elder must progress in these qualities of heart and soul apologist given the elders five vices. We looked at those in our last study together five vices to avoid should they rise in the authority office of Elder Paul -7 virtues to embrace for those will be called by the first five were negative. And now this set of seven are positive when I get to get through all this. Just relax K the first positive qualification is this a notice verse eight and elder must be what hospitable you think that's in the list. Where is that coming from.

Well, let me break it down a little bit of rewarding the New Testament language is made up of two words. One of them is for loss to be translated rendered strong affection really love the other one Xenos which is the Greek word for stranger.

If you would like translate this and I think it's fair to say it it it effectively follows with his definition. It's a love for stranger, literally translated stranger loving is not necessarily saying a lot of people who are strange so were not setting a new standard for the guys her daughters on the day. As noted, he's referring to people you don't know another strange to you there stranger, which is to be unexpected because you think the first thing out of the gate in the seven virtues would not be how Mama loves people he doesn't know how he loves people in here right how he loves the flock would certainly be a qualification and it is to find the passages are related, but here he starts out by saying all by the way, here's the kind of man he has to be. Does he show concern. Does the model personal care for those you might not know, and I think the implication here is that loving the flock is going to be too easy effectively to rewarding maybe a little too self-congratulatory in many men might qualify. They live the church. They never miss the church service is a lousy assembly and many would would fit that bill. Titus is still the link for men who live and show concern for people when there's no church obligation. There's no there's no family connection. There are no public affirmations for whatever you might demonstrate where others can see a lot of this may happen where no onesie.

The true test of hospitality that is not what we do for those we like to be around and we usually hang around people who are like us. But it is showing concern for those who are not like us and unable to repay us in some way by the way, this characteristic is certainly extended to the church at large for the believing body. In fact, the apostle Peter commanded the church the assembly to show hospitality to one another without complaint.

First Peter four and I was editing his humerus. Why, because in that command is the implication that this is not going to be easy, even with brothers and sisters so doing and don't complain about. You understand as well. I think that the culture of Paul's day, which gives a little insight to this issue of hospitality during Paul's day traveling was especially hazardous if you didn't have anywhere to spend the night. Most often, people would travel far enough where they need to spend the night somewhere else in his were very expensive and they were notoriously evil. Travelers could very well expect to be beaten and robbed staying in in Plano referred to an innkeeper as a quote Pirates, who held his guests for ransom ins were notorious for their morality often serve as the village.

Bravo it would be the last place in the world and you, especially as a Christian would ever want to stay if you were traveling because of all these issues and all of these inherent dangers the world of Paul's day had created over time. A system of what they call guests or guest friendships over generations. Different families would make covenants together and arrangements with each other to give one another accommodations and hospitality. When they traveled to one another's region, town or village. Often the members of of families became unknown by sight is because of time they run, recognize and so they devised what they called a tally system they would carry half of a coin or a piece of wood or piece of metal with an emblem on it and it'd been cut in half and over the years when one member of the family travel to distant city in the lodging he carried with him that half of the tally and the host family. He visited would have the other half when those two halves fitted together. The host knew that this was a legitimate member of another family already agreed upon the show hospitality to travel to their so you got that tally component and the first characteristic you need understandably possible when and so counterculture that is loving outside the assembly but counterculture because people didn't do that Paul is saying that the basis for biblical hospitality is spiritual maturity, not family connections, not agreements. It's a love for the stranger in need. Here is a new brand-new normal. Open your doors for them. By the way, the same Greek word for hospitality is found in our English word, and rightly so. Hospice and hospital for good reason.

They knew nothing of this kind of care, certain voluntary, carefree care, even the Greeks with her god of medicine did not offer free care for the sit your wealthy might have a physician attending. That was about it.

A correct understanding of the history of Western civilization of the first, second and third century will show that those who came into the temple of the Greek god of healing masculinity you they would spend the night in the shrine or in the temple, not for medical treatment because that was an offer even though the rumors about other than that it did. They came asleep in the temple or shrine, hoping that the God of healing would appear to them in a dream and revealed them the treatment they needed to follow to make sure it was utterly based on superstition. It was not hospital. Nobody was there waiting medicine or some kind of procedure in order to help both the Romans and Greeks had some kind of rather rugged infirmary for their soldiers. They offered nothing for the general populace and will what we call today from the early centuries, charity hospitals, three hospitals, they became the forerunner for the hospitals we know today which today has nothing to do with Jerry is with insurance right but the original foundation of it was a creation of the Christian community.

It grew out of the gospel and became a method of delivering the gospel in return. One historian noted there simply absolutely no evidence of any medical institution supported by voluntary contribution until we come to the introduction of Christianity and the civilized world based upon Judeo-Christian ethic. Christian hospitals revolutionized the treatment of the poor sick and the dying.

The Greeks and the Romans built are statutes that are God's and temples under Coliseum was in their arenas and their vast system of rocks and even their paved highways. They never built the hospital is the norm of Paul's summed up by historian Philip Schoff simply this; the old Roman world was a world without charity. That was the norm. Pulses Titus is time to find men leave the church into a new normal, men who model care for others who can never pay them back.

Move on. An elder must model personal conviction. He writes next in line here that are not only hospitable but notice their loving what is good again, Paul uses a compound word begins with the same word philosopher lover strong affection and switches were typically translated good and elderly strangers. And you know what is good. He loves good stuff that's my word, not Paul's.

That helps you understand one ancient manuscript use the same word for a man who virtue itself disallows whatever is intrinsically good.

Which means you know I will never remind you of God right because, as Jesus told the rich young ruler came to visit, and there is no good but God is no is intrinsically good but God the father saw the course and spirit. So if you want to know somebody who is godly, godlike, they will be walking after the character and nature of God, which is reflected in goodness they will love things I got below Greek form here to be rendered lover of good things doesn't mean he sequestered himself away from all that is bad, but it does mean he doesn't love what is bad. He has personal convictions based on what he truly love what he loves are those things intrinsically pleasing to God. Paul put it this way to the Philippians chapter 4 verse eight whatever is true, whatever is whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is anything about that that is an excellent if anything is worth praising God about, think on those things.

In other words, meditate on those things dwell on those accompany those walk around with those really on those around yourself with those spend your time and money on those things one weird to be running his little commentary.

This could include good books, good people, good music, good causes that are excellent that would in no way violate or offend the intrinsic glory and goodness of God and why is that kind of man so hard to find who loves good because the world is filled with so many men who love bad, which is the nature of man right.

What is the world love bad stuff is that key Greek word again bad activities bad causes bad language, bad music, bad thinking bad habits, that is, the currents of humanity that Paul wrote to Timothy in second Timothy chapter 3 verse three. The one of the signs of a corrupting decaying culture is that they will be yours. Good thing work there actually God I hate what is good. Getting irritated over good thing. A lot of what sinful Proverbs describes them several different ways. Jeff Dupre, 14 says the world delights in doing evil will set it rejoices in the perversity of evil. Later in September, 23, the world revels in doing wickedness.

They bask in it as if it were a sports is just a sport seen as just another indoor or outdoor sports.

Just another thing and I got a lose the ability to distinguish between what's bad and what's good as they spiral away from the intrinsic goodness of the God whom they rejected revealed in this book so the world is more and more openly in love with bad things about activities bad music, bad people bad language and then finish it takes another step down heard in that it turns around and says this is a really bad after all. This is actually you guys are just way too uptight.

This is bad is good, they will not only do sinful things, bad things, but they will give hearty approval to those who practice them. Chapter 1 why you did that one way to go. Paul effectively says here Titusville finds a manager to serve as elders who can straighten out the definition men who will form personal convictions after the intrinsic nature of God's goodness and then be able to turn around the floppy lead and say no that's actually bad.

And this is actually there are other characteristics for us to see in this passage, but we need to stop here for today will resume this lesson tomorrow at the same time you're listening to wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi. Stephen is himself an elder in the pastor teacher of colonial Baptist Church in Cary, North Carolina the message today is entitled the new normal, and it comes from our current series from Titus one, entitled the shepherd's mantle. To learn more about this series or to listen again. Visit our website wisdom you can call us at the office by dialing 86 648 Bible. In fact, if this would be your first time to call us. We want to send you a complimentary subscription to our brand-new magazine entitled heart-to-heart will start a complementary three month subscription. If you call us today that number once again is 86 648 Bible or 866-482-4253 were always happy to hear from our listeners, and we'd enjoy getting a card, letter or email from you. Our email address is our mailing address is wisdom for the heart PO Box 37297, Raleigh, NC 27627. Thanks for taking the time to listen today will be back at the same time tomorrow and I hope you'll join us, right here on wisdom for the heart

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